Saturday, September 4, 2010

Time For Another ATR Rally?

With the 2nd anniversary of the ATR rally coming up in November and the UFT/Tweed ATR agreement due to expire, and the escalating Klein attacks, some ATRs have been in touch and are talking about another rally. Or at least a blog to keep people informed.

I was at a meeting the other day where a chapter leader said he heard that very day that the number of excessed teachers in his school had jumped from 2 to 12. That was just a few hours after I heard from a reporter who said the DOE was claiming the ATR situation was not increasing or did not think it was a big problem. I told the reporter to do the math - between the 19 schools closed that the UFT "won" a suit and then turned around and screwed some of the schools by agreeing to allow other schools to open in the buildings and draw away potential freshmen - and the budget cuts there would be a jump in the numbers as people got back to school. Unless lots of people retired. Or died. Or were killed by a hit squad hired by the DOE in an attempt to create jobs and save money.

The ATR story is heating up with Klein calling for salary freezes and the press jumping on board. The attack is on people supposedly who don't apply for jobs. But all of is done online and many are shut out and others sent in resumes to schools and got no response. I get emails from people who are offered jobs so far away from their home and as an ATR are in their neighborhood. So why travel if they don't have to?

Now it is interesting that the UFT is calling for them to be given permanent assignments to schools, which the DOE doesn't want to do for ideological reasons even if class sizes go through the roof. What if the DOE followed UFT advice and then just try to put people as far away as possible to force them into great discomfort? In other words, offer an English teacher in the Bronx a job in Staten Island and offer a Staten Island English teacher a job in the Bronx. The UFT would tell them to file grievances and wait goodness knows how long while they spend 3-4 hours a day commuting. Good luck! Let's make sure this factor is taken into account.

I left this comment at Gotham on Anna's ATR story, which as Leonie points out below is distorted:
Wouldst the UFT offer the same eloquent defense of ATRs as Leonie does.

It's not about what Klein wants. It is about what he did. What kind of contract he was willing to sign to get what he wanted.

"So in order to promote free-market principals and accountability, Klein wants to offer job security for life to laid-off employees during a recession with no stipulations for getting them back into the city’s workforce? We must have missed that social-studies class."

So when Anna says: "Klein does not want to offer job security for life to laid-off employees during a recession with no stipulations for getting them back into the city’s workforce. In fact, he wants the opposite."

Of course he doesn't want to offer job security - to anyone in the system. But he did do exactly that to win his ideological point. And now he wants his cake and to eat it too by calling on the reneging of that deal he made - yes, he signed a contract.

(Does he think he is more valuable than Darrelle Reves of the Jets?)

For those who think the UFT will find a way to give up the ATRs- maybe not fire them but do agree to some kind of wage freeze or buyout - (by the way, don't u-rated people get frozen even when not proven guilty?)- look for money in a contract in exchange for something that can be sold to the members but hidden in a way to make it sellable.  The UFT has been selling off pieces of the contract in exchange for money for some time.

And by the way, an ATR informed me today to remind us that the ATR agreement between the DOE and UFT that was announced on the eve of the ATR rally that was subverted by the UFT runs out in November. 
Some ATRs are talking about another rally. Look for an ATR blog coming soon.

You can view my video of the ATR rally and the UFT wine and cheese party at the same time at:
Here is Leonie's comment:

Anna: how do “We know that most (60 percent) of the 1700 teachers who haven’t found work did not go to recruitment fairs or apply to jobs online.” Did you get that data from the DOE? Was it confirmed by any independent source? Given their slipperiness w/ data, why trust the reliability of this claim And what about the comments from ATR teachers about the computer system’s screw ups, and their inability to access the online jobs site?
Moreover, Klein’s insistence that these teachers should not be put in permanent positions because that would violate the autonomy of principals doesn’t hold water. Why not make these teachers available to principals free of charge, without having to pay for them out of their individual school budgets, and see if the principals wanted them or not?
Klein has created the disincentive for principals to hire these teachers by his supposed “fair student funding” system, which discourages principals from hiring experienced teachers ….a system that would never be considered acceptable for staffing either police precincts or fire houses or any other municipal agency. Then he unfairly slanders these teachers and uses their continued unemployment to try to justify layoffs, at the same time as class sizes are growing at an unprecedented rate. Who really cares about the kids here?

1 comment:

  1. Norm- Thank you for writing about this topic. You are completely right. The ATR Agreement will expire on December, 2010. I went to the UFT.Org and reread "... This agreement will expire on December 1, 2010".
    This year will be my FIFTH year as an ATR. It is outrageous! I've been in three different schools that had openings for the three licences I have ( Special Education, ESL, and Spanish) but the jobs were given to the TFA, TFellows and administration connections. It is time to organize the next rally.


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