Wednesday, September 15, 2010

DOE to ATRs: Jump Off a Cliff

Angel Gonzalez and I went over to the big ATR job fair for Staten Island and Brooklyn ATRs (Absentee Teacher Reserves for the uninitiated) held in Park Slope to hand out the just published Grassroots Education Movement (GEMNYC) newsletter.

So we discovered some fun facts. The meeting was mandatory. Some notices said 10-4. A follow-up said to report at 1pm. Those who reported at 10 were made to sit around until 1pm and then had to line up to be registered one by one. Hundreds of people were there to be interviewed for jobs. We hear that some people weren't notified and if they didn't show look for Tweed to leak some leaky statistics to the NY Post or Wall St. Journal about how people refused to look for jobs.

Even if they are "hired" they are still at-will employees subject the the whims of principals. Their position is so precarious they have to do anything in the hope of staying on. I know one ATR who tells people she will move their cars during her preps and lunchtime just to curry favor.

Angel and I talked to them about forming an ATR committee to put pressure on the UFT to relieve the situation. They seemed receptive to a rally in November to commemorate the one held 2 years ago, the threat of which forced the UFT and Tweed to try to undercut it with a deal - still a lousy one but one that doesn't charge the school for the cost of the ATR - that expires on Dec. 1. Even if they get a job under this deal they can be released at the end of the school year if they didn't wash the floors with a toothbrush to the principal's satisfaction.

The funniest response came from an ATR who refused to take out newsletter, proclaiming he was in Unity Caucus. "They screwed you too," we shouted. But I guess those free trips to Seattle were worth it.

Actually, the funniest response came from the UFT's Ann Rosen who has to schlep over from UFT headquarters for the event. Usually we are on friendly terms but when Angel and I joked that this is all her fault she got a bit testy telling us how she worked her ass off for these people. I pointed out she was making a pretty nice salary for working her ass off and the alternative was going back to teaching. Here is what she makes for working her ass off:


Here are some comments from yesterday's blog post
Mid Day Snack: The Great ATR Musical Chair Swap Game
Once again the blame is placed upon the teachers who due to no fault of their own are left dangling in the wind. The contract is clear, excessed staff shall be placed into vacancies within license with district. The UFT should be filing an immediate cease and desist Article 78 on behalf of the atr's. Let the Dept and Klein explain this to voters and parents as class size rise throughout the city.

I am not a math person, but this just doesn't add up. The DOE cuts budgets, teachers get excessed, but the DOE is still paying for them, but won't put them in schools, class sizes rise, the DOE saves no money anyway... ???? Why not just place the ATRs in schools (especially given testgate, schools could use an extra teacher for intervention, given that generally schools lost at least one position -depending on individual principal decisons- due to cuts). The placed ATRs would not come out of school-based budgets. The ATRs would be 'working', and kids would benefit. If the ATR is a "bad teacher" they are subject to the same rating system as everyone else and can be given a U and go through due process. The DOE could always offter an 'opt out' to principals who do not want to deal w/ 'hiring' someone not of their choosing. Done and Done. Instead the DOE is using this issue to paint teachers as sucking the life out of taxpayers and doing harm or at least neglegence to children. UFT: Do your job and tell the proper narrative to the citizens of our city. Push for ATRs to be placed in their licensed positions in a school. With the extreme rise in class sizes across the city, the budget cuts, and testgate... there is more than enough political capital to spend on this issue, if you (the uft) really wanted to solve it in a way that benefits children and teachers.
AfterBurn
I still have to post the election results- Fenty/Rhee lost, Perkins won BIG. But I have to go see Leonie debate a Tweed lug and naybe get to tape it.

In the meantime if you don't read Reality Based Educator you are missing some of the best political commentary from a teacher perspective (yes, RBE teaches in NYC).

And then our pal NYC Educator takes Evan and Sydney to task in his usual fabulous manner. Teamed with his cohort Miss Eyre who used a cannon on them the other day, this amounts to a dismemberment.
Who Funds Ex-Educators 4 Excellence?

 

13 comments:

  1. Keep telling it like it is Norm. We've gotta fight like hell to restore the contractual seniority rights transfer. Working for years as veteran excellent teachers earns us that right. Make ATRs the DOE and their UFT UNITY officers who surrendered our right to transfer in the 2005 contract.

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  2. Norm thank you for writing about the ATRS, and also thanks for going with Angel yesterday to see the big crowd of ATRs that went to the Job Fair.
    I am ready to JUMP OFF THE CLIFF because the ATR AGREEMENT will EXPIRE on December 1, 2010. And-- if the ATRs do not get an appointed job between Nov.1-Nov.15of 2010 we are in a bigger trouble. No principal will ever pay our salary in the future for BUGGET purposes. Correct me if I am wrong. It is also important to point out that not all ATRs are under this agreement.
    It is time to organize and tell the UFT to fix this mess that they created.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Now Ann Rosen is evil? Give me a break, I could not have ever gotten certified if she didn't help me as well as thousands of others. How crude.

    ReplyDelete
  4. By my very rough calculations, the DOE is wasting almost $8,000,000 a year, based on an average ATR salary of let's say $60,000. According to a very good friend who has been in ATR hell for several years, there are about 1,300 ATRs waiting for appointment and being lied to by both the DOE and the UFT. What a sad commentary on a school system that was once great, with all its flaws, and a union that was once a standardbearer for all others.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I was standing with Norm outside when he handed out the flyers.

    You HAD to see the facial expressions of the principals who walked out of that gaudy joint.

    Looks of outrage, incredulity, and superiority when they noticed who and what Norm was doing. Their faces TOTALLY conveyed a "how dare you" attitude.

    You'd think they were the King and Queen of England, for Christ's sake- appalling really.

    They've been so emboldened that ANY opposition is met with disbelief. THANK YOU UFT!

    It was a pleasure meeting Norm . . . he's passionate about this cause. RALLY AROUND HIM . . .

    ReplyDelete
  6. No one said Ann Rosen is evil. And when I have someone with a license problem I send them to her. But when we joked it was the UFT's fault for the ATR situation she got all uppity and started up with how hard she is working. Give me a break. I spent 30 years on the classroom and 4 years working out of the classroom at the district. Sure I worked 8 and sometimes 10 hour days at the district but I never complained about how hard I was working since compares to classroom it was fluff.

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  7. The UFT and DOE should stop using these teachers as pawns in a political game that is not going anywhere.
    If it is about the children then place these teachers in schools and get these kids the extra help Klein offered to holdovers. The DOE tginks its breaking the Union insteads its breaking humans including kids. Its not fair and discriminatory. Shame on the union for allowing these atrocities. It is as if the UFT is looking the other way and hoping the issue goes away while its own members attack the leadership for being weak. The message now is do no cross anyone in power such as principals. A.P., Superintendents because the UFT will roll over and play dead when it is time to back their members up.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have been in the ATR Pool for several years.

    1. My study sabbatical ended on 7/31/10. As of 9/15/10, I have been put back on sabbatical pay. In other words, my checks are coming in 30% short.

    2. Since August, I have been unable to log into the Excessed Selection Transfer System. The System says I am not in excess. I have been in excess since 2007. In addition, I went to the MANDATORY ATR Job Fair today and I was not allowed into the building. I was told I am not in excess. So when I hear that I am not trying to find a job, the truth is im not allowed to look for a job.

    I have contacted everybody I can think of and neither problem has been solved.

    ReplyDelete
  9. AS a defender of Ann Rosen, perhaps for one minute Ann was stressed about the atr situation and the event. Just maybe Ann Rosen has been working all summer at "the evil union work" trying to assist all atr's in being placed. Or just perhaps she was upset at the lousey situation herself, a crack is made to her...and just perhaps she over- reacted. No room for humanity here. Accusing her of double pensions, cushy jobs...just pathetic.

    For the person who is having trouble straightening out their status....call your UFT boro office who will get it fixed asap.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am not sure what is the point of the Ann Rosen reference or your insistance in bullying people...and USING the atr's. However, I loved the fact that the moment you were criticized about picking on her because she said she works hard, your reply was that you worked at the district office working 10 hour days and never complained. So, basically...you want a medal for not being in the classroom and liking it!!

    Norm. You are just like the DOE. When they do something the principal doesn't like, they are now the scum of the earth, the parasites, the worst, the incompetent, etc.

    Really Norm. Can't you just get some therapy?

    It just is wrong, regardless of political affiliation.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am an ATR. Nobody is using the ATRs to expose Rosen. I would like to know how many ATRs have been placed with the help of Rosen and the rest of the UFT people that go to the Job Fairs or during the Summer. I bet NONE.
    I do not know why we pay dues.

    UFT fix the ATR situation instead of defending Rosen, Mulgrew, etc. of your own

    ReplyDelete
  12. Ann and anyone really who gets paid as a UFT rep, covers for the UFT's lack of action and cannot stand any criticism of the UFT. Just say one critical comment to Ann about the UFT and see how she defends the UFT like Altomare. The UFT is his "god". They can do no wrong. When you get paid the exorbitant salaries these UFT reps get, is it any wonder they "protect" their job and cover for the unions mess. The other day Mulgrew said there were only 600 ATRs. Give me a break when Petromonaco told me that in Staten Island alone, ATR's increased from only 12 to 200! As a sub, I will tell you that we are getting decimated. There is no work in many schools because they have ATR's. Both ATR's and subs got shafted and as usual, the UFT minimizes the problem. I showed Mulgrew my certificate that stated that subs are to "look for other work" to supplement their income. Never in all these years have I ever had a job where they tell me to look for another one in the job description "requirements". Mulgrew's response? "I don't care". He walked away. Didn't even want to discuss it. Ignorance is bliss when you make his salary. It's all so sad, so sad indeed. There is no union. I agree with Kaufman.
    No heart, no guts of any UFT rep to advocate for us. It's been over for a long time.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ann and anyone really who gets paid as a UFT rep, covers for the UFT's lack of action and cannot stand any criticism of the UFT. Just say one critical comment to Ann about the UFT and see how she defends the UFT like Altomare. The UFT is his "god". They can do no wrong. When you get paid the exorbitant salaries these UFT reps get, is it any wonder they "protect" their job and cover for the unions mess. The other day Mulgrew said there were only 600 ATRs. Give me a break when Petromonaco told me that in Staten Island alone, ATR's increased from only 12 to 200! As a sub, I will tell you that we are getting decimated. There is no work in many schools because they have ATR's. Both ATR's and subs got shafted and as usual, the UFT minimizes the problem. I showed Mulgrew my certificate that stated that subs are to "look for other work" to supplement their income. Never in all these years have I ever had a job where they tell me to look for another one in the job description "requirements". Mulgrew's response? "I don't care". He walked away. Didn't even want to discuss it. Ignorance is bliss when you make his salary. It's all so sad, so sad indeed. There is no union. I agree with Kaufman.
    No heart, no guts of any UFT rep to advocate for us. It's been over for a long time.

    ReplyDelete

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