Monday, November 3, 2008

The ATR rally is on, for Monday, November 24.


The ATR Ad Hoc Committee Reports:

The ATR rally is on, for Monday, November 24.

The UFT Executive Board tonight voted to set the date for the rally to support our colleagues in the Absent Teacher Reserve. The ad hoc committee to support ATRs had insisted that the rally be held between the elections and Thanksgiving in order to keep up the momentum, and make a strong show of union support. With a November 24 date, this will now be possible -- it's up to us and the whole union membership to make it real.

We need thousands to come out to say "no" to the teacher-bashers and union-busters.

Randi Weingarten introduced the motion, saying that the rally was voted by the Delegate Assembly on October 15, and we need to start building it. She added they will try to get as many UFTers there as possible. The rally would create pressure to get some action on the issue of the ATRs, she said, and the delegate assembly of November 12 can be helpful in building for the rally.

I spoke earlier at the E-Board, reading our statement and stressing that we needed a date now, that we "talked the talk" at the D.A., now we need a date to "walk the walk."

The union bureaucracy has been agonizingly slow in responding to the mounting crisis over the at least 1,400 teachers who have been removed from their positions. (Also, well over a hundred teaching fellows face 'termination" as of December 5, if they don't get permanent positions.) The stage was set by the 2005 UFT contract which gave up seniority transfers, which many of us opposed at the time. But now that it's clear that the DOE is using this to try to break teacher tenure, everyone can see the need for a powerful fightback.

Our amendment calling for the rally said that it calls on the DOE to "reduce class size and give assigned positions to all teachers in the Absent Teacher Reserve who want assignments before any new teachers are hired." Let's act together to win this demand on behalf of teachers, and our students who are crammed in ever more crowded classrooms.

--Marjorie

NOTE: As far as I know, the RTR event at Tweed scheduled for this Wed. at 4:15

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