Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Video the UFT Doesn't Want You To See: The ATR Rally

A Tale of Two Rallies
A Tale of a Rally
A Wine and Cheese Party

[Make sure to see Part 2 also]

On November 24, 2008, teachers without positions, known as ATRs, held a rally at Tweed. They had forced the UFT to endorse the rally but in the interim the UFT signed an agreement with the DOE. The leadership called for an information meeting at UFT HQ, a mile away at the very same time the rally was due to start. Mass confusion. I taped the UFT HQ while David Bellel did the rally. The back story is how desperate UFT leaders were to suppress the tape I made. In fact, today at the Delegate Assembly they will pass a gag rule to try to prevent future embarrassment.

Part 1
Concurrent events at Tweed and the UFT

Part 2
UFT leaders with some ATRs who went to the info session march -er- meander up Broadway to Tweed where the 2 forces meet. Unity is outnumbered and Randi is heckled as she speaks. Note: She congratulates the people who called for the rally, saying there would not have been an agreement with the DOE if not for the rally. Less than an hour before she gave the people at the info meeting the reverse message: that in these bad economic times, things like rallies and militancy are not wise. No wonder they didn't want me to tape.


Anonymous said...

Great job! I think it's about time those of us who are aware and fed up with our destructive union leadership, begin to protest and rally against our own union. As great as it is that you are able to demonstrate the clear two faced and despicable behavior of Randi and our union leadership, the video also shows how she skillfully co-opts the rally and begins chanting let teachers teach herself, thus making it appear she was the organizer and leader the whole time. I for one would whole heartedly support and show for a rally outside of union headquarters with the explicit purpose of demonstrating against Randi and the whole Unity party. I would imagine between those that support the ATR issue, the rubber room issue, ICE, TJC, NYC Public School Parents and so many others a pretty hefty demonstration could be put together. It's time to put up and make Randi and Unity take notice. Maybe just maybe her hand could be forced and much like Obama hopes to use public support to persuade Republicans to go along with him, maybe, just maybe some people in Unity, including Randi, might actually do the right thing for us for a change. I for one am sick and tired of hearing my Union leadership constantly discusses putting children first. Yes our children are important, but they, in my opinion are not Randi's responsibility, they are Bloomberg and Joel Klein’s. WE THE TEACHERS PAYING HER SALARY TO REPRESENT US SHOULD BE HER NUMBER ONE PRIORITY! She has sold us out and not kept our interests in the forefront of her priorities or duties for way too long, if ever. It’s time to stand up for ourselves against our own union, because they sure as hell aren’t going to ever think of us as anything more than their own private bankroll otherwise.


NYC Educator said...

It's abundantly clear why they object so strongly to any evidence of what they're really like or what they actually do. Or what they don't do.

The contrast between the speakers at the rally and the patronage employees, as well as their utter lack of patience or tolerance for anyone not on the bandwagon is simply stunning.

Great work, Norm. These people set us back 20 years and they sit stuffing their faces and chatting while passionate others try to correct their innumerable errors.

Maybe the most revealing post I've seen.

Anonymous said...

I can see why they don't want cameras to document who they really are. Good work Norm.

Anonymous said...

Hey norm,

you are exactly what that guy comin out the door called you!

oh wait, now you'll edit that so no one will know what people think about you

Anonymous said...

Rude, belligerent, pugnacious... totally counterproductive.

Once again, ICE forgets who it's allies are.

Anonymous said...

Remind us again as to who ICE's allies are.

Anonymous said...

A really energizing video. You captured the essence of both events. That RW set up the informational session at HQ to run simultaneously with the militant event outside Tweed is grounds for recall.

Anonymous said...

Keep exposing the hypocrisy of Randi. In classic fashion she has surrounded herself with toadies who called you names when you asked them questions they could not answer. In classic fashion she seeks to stifle debate. In classic fashion she has harnessed the Union leadership to her outsized personal ambitions.
The Union needs someone who passionately fights for those who need it the most: ATRs, Rubber Room internees, bullied teachers, and harassed questioners of the DOE orthodoxy.
Plus, the apoplexy of her crew was borderline hysterical (funny and overwrought). Wine and can't make it up.
Don't confuse me with that weak anonymous posted above - I am not smart enough to establish a username.

Anonymous said...

Great Job Norm! That day I went to the rally and it was sickening what happened with the boycott from RW. We waited for her in the bitter cold while she and her people were stuffing themselves with the wine and cheese. By the time she came, people were fed up because it was so late. Randy and her cronies just care about feathering their own nests. What is more, another insult for the ATRS is the interview or cover letter the UFT put on the website. I wonder which principal will choose a teacher from that web. That will be another JOKE like the OPEN MAKET WAS-- (They put the ATR teachers in another room and gave jobs to the newbies).

Anonymous said...

Great work. It's powerful and right on time. Let's keep the pressure on. It's "get down" time.

Anonymous said...

Randi hid her head in the sand after Klien issued a directive to principals telling them that ATRs were "undesirable". Why wasn't a protest statement issued by the union???

Bring that up at the next DA meeting.

Klein Halts Plan to Make Schools Take Unassigned Teachers
Published: September 2, 2006

On the eve of the new academic year, Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein abruptly scrapped plans to impose a hiring freeze that would have forced principals to fill any last vacancies with unassigned teachers already in the system.

Mr. Klein said yesterday that it was more important for principals to choose their own staff than it was for the city to place potentially undesirable veteran teachers who must stay on the payroll even if no school offers them a position.

The decision to lift the freeze, just hours before it was to begin, was aimed at bolstering Mr. Klein’s position in a labor dispute over 44 unassigned assistant principals. To circumvent provisions in their contract that would force the assistant principals on principals who do not want them, Mr. Klein said he would created unneeded jobs for them, wasting as much as $5.2 million.

His stance on teachers once again allowed Mr. Klein to portray himself as a champion of autonomy and authority for principals.

City education officials said they believed most of the unassigned teachers would find jobs in the system. But Mr. Klein’s move raised at least a possibility that the city could be forced to pay the salaries of as many as 1,500 unassigned teachers, at a cost of nearly $100 million.

Officials said that 1,001 veteran teachers had yet to find positions and that about 500 newly hired teachers were also awaiting assignments.

Mr. Klein said unassigned teachers would be used as substitutes. “We will assign them to permanent substitute basis,” he said. “That may have some cost implications, but it’s costlier, I believe, to force individuals on a school.”

The number of teaching vacancies fluctuates, but has ranged from about 400 to 800 recently, ahead of the opening of school on Tuesday, said Elizabeth Arons, the system’s chief executive for human resources. Last year, the system carried 200 to 250 teachers without regular assignments on its payroll.

The city and the principals’ union — which represents both principals and assistant principals — are locked in a bitter contract dispute, and Mr. Klein has said that the seniority provisions are a major impediment. The provisions allow veteran assistant principals without assignments to bump junior colleagues who are not permanently appointed, potentially upending efforts by principals to build cohesive teams.

The union, the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, said management failures by the chancellor’s office, rather than the contract, were the reason the 44 assistant principals did not have jobs.

Last year, the teachers’ union agreed to relinquish similar bumping rights in exchange for a transfer system that allows teachers to apply for openings citywide. Mr. Klein said yesterday that those changes were among the most important of his tenure because principals for the first time “have the authority to hire people who are aligned with their vision, their mission.”

Jill S. Levy, the president of the supervisors’ union, said she was willing to negotiate changes but has accused Mr. Klein of blaming the contract for his own failures. The union said 37 of the 44 vacancies were caused by the administration’s closing or downsizing schools.