Wednesday, November 19, 2008

ATR Update

Marjorie provides some preliminary analysis here. James Eterno and Jeff Kaufman will take a closer look and report on the ICE blog later. As she points out, the DOE and the union are feeling the heat. Marjorie and gang made powerful presentations at PEP on Monday. And they continue to go to UFT Exec Bd and Delegate Assemblies to put pressure on the union. Maybe the powerless in the UFT are finding ways to nudge the elephant in the room.

I don't see anything about the RTRs who are to be fired on Dec. 5th.

Marjorie Stamberg reports:

Today, the DOE and UFT signed off on a "side agreement" on the ATRs, which was presented to a special Executive Board tonight and approved. This is a complicated document, with various financial incentives for principals to give positions to ATRs, while maintaining the framework of the contract and budget structure which continually generate new ATRs. I'm attaching the agreement here, so everyone can read and discuss it. (See Norms Notes.)

Importantly, it was announced that the UFT rally to support the ATRs is still on for November 24th at 4:30 at Tweed. (This was despite some feelers earlier in the day about possibly changing the "venue" away from Tweed; we said no way.) The DOE is clearly feeling the heat for not placing teachers "as the city confronts the current fiscal crisis." So our organizing is having an effect. Let's redouble our efforts to mobilize in the schools and get everybody out!

The fact that the DOE signed off on language that says the ATRs are a "pool of available, qualified, experienced teachers" undercuts Klein's trash campaign in the media where he has tried to scapegoat teachers for a situation the DOE created. While the DOE agreed to "in good faith pursue hiring ATRs," we repeat our central demand that there be no new hiring until all ATRS who want positions are placed.

The side agreement provides for some formula of partial central funding and budgetary incentives that might encourage principals to place ATRs. However, the central principle that the principal has the sole right to hire whomever remains. The endless excessing due to reorganization of schools and programs will continue. And Joel Klein in the DOE press release says he's still pursuing his thwarted obsession to "terminate" ATRs.

There's also a paragraph that keeps the door wide open for "provisional" placements of ATRs who could then be excessed again at the end of the school year.

At the Executive Board, Roz Panepento, former Chapter Leader at ASHS (before we were re-organized into GED-Plus), spoke powerfully, saying the side agreement reminded her of what happened in D79 a year ago, when hundreds of teachers were excessed. The agreement just had too many loopholes, she said, and the union should be fighting for a moratorium on new hires until all ATRS who want positions, are placed.

We have struggled long and hard to defend ATRs. We know well --"If we're not ATR now, we could be soon." So the struggle continues, and we're having an effect. Let's keep the heat on.

Bring a delegation from your school, and see you November 24th.



  1. Is it just me? I find this agreement hysterical. Reminds me of the old italian women I used see bargaining over the purchase of a banana at the fruit market.

    Notice he never uses the word atr without stipulating that they are qualified. All teachers are qualified by virtue of their license.

  2. The agreement in paragraph 4. states, when a centrally funded ATR is hired to fill a regular position in a school...there is a financial incentive. ATR teachers in closing schools are funded by the school budget. Are they excluded from the provisions of the agreement?

  3. Does the agreement mean that the school would not have any incentive to hire school-funded ATRs? I had assumed that most ATRs were centrally funded, but I just confirmed with the AP that all Lafayette ATRs are funded by the school budget this year, so that would mean we wouldn't be helped by the provisions in paras. 5 and 6, which refer to centrally-funded ATRs.


  4. This agreement is so confusing. Many ATRS are paid by central. It is going to be impossible to get a job in a school where the ATRS are working for free = The schoold is not paying them from their budget.


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