Tuesday, November 18, 2008

UPDATED: DOE Press Release on ATR Agreement With UFT

UPDATE:
RALLY IS ON!

READ THE ENTIRE MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT AT NORMS NOTES.
ICE CONTACT EXPERTS WILL DO ANALYSIS LATER.

Look for follow-up posts from Marjorie Stamberg.

Department of Education AND United Federation of Teachers Reach Agreement on Absent Teacher Reserves (ATRs)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 18, 2008

New Measures Create Financial Incentives To Hire ATRs

United Federation of Teachers (UFT) President Randi Weingarten and Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein today finalized an agreement designed to improve the placement processes and procedures for teachers and other UFT personnel in the Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR). Teachers whose positions have been eliminated—for example, when a school closes—and who are not able to find regular positions are placed in the ATR pool and work as full-time substitutes. The agreement, which was approved unanimously by the UFT Executive Board on November 18, creates substantial financial incentives for schools to hire teachers, guidance counselors, social workers and attendance teachers from the ATR pool. In addition, Chancellor Klein will urge principals to fill vacancies with personnel from the ATR pool before considering other candidates. This agreement does not call for the forced placement of any personnel.

“This is a terrific agreement,” said UFT President Randi Weingarten. “These experienced and qualified people have essentially seen their careers put in a holding pattern due to student enrollment patterns or the closing of schools. They have been struggling to find permanent jobs in large part because schools have been opting for less experienced personnel at lower salaries. By eliminating the financial obstacles, we should see more ATRs being permanently placed, which will be good for children and save the school district money. This is an agreement worth trying, particularly with these troubling economic times.”

“Today’s agreement with the UFT creates incentives that encourage principals to voluntarily hire qualified teachers in the ATR pool to fill school vacancies, thereby reducing the cost to the City of maintaining excessed teachers on the payroll,” Chancellor Klein said. “This agreement is part of our very serious effort to minimize cuts to schools and classrooms during these hard economic times. At worst, if no additional teachers are hired from the ATR pool, it’s cost neutral. At best, if principals find qualified teachers in the ATR pool to fill vacancies in their schools, it could save us millions of dollars. And, importantly, it preserves principals’ right to choose the teachers in their schools. While we continue to believe that teachers in the ATR pool should not be permitted to stay on the payroll indefinitely, this agreement represents a needed step forward.”

Under the terms of the agreement, schools that hire one of the educators in the ATR pool after November 1 of each calendar year will receive two subsidies. The Department of Education (DOE) will pay the difference between the ATR’s actual salary and the salary of a starting teacher, and then, in subsequent years, will continue to pay the difference between the actual salary and the subsequent steps on the salary scale. This subsidy will terminate once the excessed employee has been in the position for eight years. The DOE will also give schools that hire an ATR an additional lump sum equal to half of a new hire’s salary.

Principals who are willing to hire ATRs but not permanently place them can instead hire ATRs on a provisional basis. In those cases, schools will pay the educators’ actual salaries. If a principal and ATR decide the ATR should be placed permanently, the school will receive the subsidies. If the ATR is not permanently placed, the ATR will return to the ATR pool at the end of the school year.

After one year, the DOE and UFT will evaluate whether this agreement is benefiting schools.

“I am pleased that the DOE and the UFT were able to work together and find common ground on this critical issue of reducing the number of unplaced excessed teachers,” Chancellor Klein said. “I expect principals will actively and in good faith first consider qualified candidates in the ATR pool when filling open positions.”

“I want to thank the ATRs who have continued to press this issue and all of the teachers who took part in the ‘Let Us Teach’ campaign,” said Weingarten. “By using the ATR pool to fill vacancies, millions of dollars can be saved and thousands of kids get the benefit of these great educators. This is a solution that works for everyone.”

8 comments:

  1. And potentially phoney. This is what Klein says in public. In private, he may still tell the principals not to hire ATR's so this agreement can look like a failure. So, in a year, they fire us.

    Why do this now? Why not wait until the contract is up...oh, it's A YEAR FROM THE CONTRACT BEING UP (just about)...SO THIS GIVES RANDI A REASON TO SIGN A CONTRACT IN WHICH WE ARE FIRED!

    ReplyDelete
  2. One that is not in the agreement was promoted by the Department of Education but opposed by the union; it would have forced ATR members who had remained in the pool for a certain length of time to go off the city payroll. Another proposal not in the agreement was suggested by the union; it would have forced principals to hire ATR members before hiring any other kind of teacher.
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  3. Klein's three words that should scare everyone the most?..."In good faith."

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  4. THIS IS THE BIGGEST CROCK OF BULL I'VE EVER SEEN......THIS IS JUST A MOVE TO SHUT THE ATR'S UP UNTIL AFTER THE MAYORAL CONTROL ISSUE GOES OVER IN BLOOM/KIELNS FAVOR AND THE RIGGED MAYORAL ELECTION IS WON BY MEGA UCKS MIKE!

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