Monday, September 6, 2010

Where in the contract does it say that an excessed teacher has to call principals, go door to door, check on line for vacancies, apply and give demonstration lessons as if they are a new hire?

Below is a section of a piece on the ATR situation put up by James Eterno on the ICE blog. James seems to think it would be suicide for the UFT to give up the ATRs so they could be fired if they don't get a job within a certain specified time period. Note that Klein recently called for their salaries to be frozen, a new wrinkle. Is it out of the question that the UFT might agree to some version of this plan to help the city save money? There are other examples of salary freezes I believe - license, U-ratings. ATRs are prevented from getting certain extra jobs, which is a from of a salary cut.
In the horrible 2005 contract, the Board and the UFT added a Rule 11 to Article 17B that says: "Unless a principal denies the placement, an excessed teacher will be placed by the Board into a vacancy within his/her district/superintendency. The Board will place the excessed teacher who is not so placed in an ATR position in the school from which he/she is excessed, or in another school in the same district or superintendency."

These are the only changes from Rule 4 that were added by the new Rule 11:

First, to the fullest degree possible is out so excessed people must stay in their district/superintendency.

Second, now principals can deny placements and then the teacher becomes an ATR who has to stay in his/her district.

Where in the contract does it say that an excessed teacher has to call principals, go door to door, check on line for vacancies, apply and give demonstration lessons as if they are a new hire? It doesn't; the responsibility to place teachers belongs to the Board of Education, not the teacher. Case closed. It says it in the contract.

The fact that the Board no longer places excessed employees but instead tells people in excess to go to job fairs or pound the pavement as if these are laid off workers or new people looking for a job is a violation of the contract. The Board is supposed to place excessed employees. The fact that the UFT allows this to go on and gives classes to veteran teachers in polishing up their resumes shows how the UFT is basically in sync with the Board of Ed.
The UFT has allowed so much to go on. Why stop here?

Read James' entire piece and the comments at ICE:



  1. Mulgrew will be under tremendous pressure to sacrifice the ATRs, and he will do so, for some chump change in the next contract.

    And, unfortunately, the membership will likely accept it: senior people waiting to get out will vote for it to sweeten the pensions - which are in extreme danger of being cut if Andrew Cuomo is successful in having a state constitutional convention, as he has called for - and young teachers will vote for it either because they don't want or expect to stay long enough to collect a pension (which, sadly, is a reasonable inference on their part) or because they think they're too good to ever become ATR.

    Ill fare the schools, the union and the Republic.

  2. MF,

    I feel that our profession is being "deprofessionalized", to quote Lois Weiner, Prof. of Education at NJ City University. Her views, which must be brought to the attention of others, are indicative of what's occurring nationwide.

    Lois states, "No Child Left Behind is part of this global project to deprofessionalize teaching as an occupation. And the reason that it’s important in this project to deprofessionalize teaching is that the thinking is that the biggest expenditure in education is teacher salaries. And they want to cut costs. They want to diminish the amount of money that’s put into public education. And that means they have to lower teacher costs. And in order to do that, they have to deprofessionalize teaching. They have to make it a revolving door, in which we’re not going to pay teachers very much. They’re not going to stay very long. We’re going to credential them really fast. They’re going to go in. We’re going to burn them up. They’re going to leave in three, four, five years. And that’s the model that they want."

    How do we warn others and get the message out there that we must organize our efforts well and strengthen our cause so as to protect our profession?

    I feel that our union may make a Faustian deal with Klein that's definitely will pit the members against each other.

  3. Anonymous,

    You, and Lois Weiner are correct: teaching is being deprofessionalized and de-skilled.

    What is happening to us is just a late arrival of Taylorism, which used time and motion studies and a step-by-step breakdown of the work process to eliminate worker autonomy and allow management total control of production. It also corresponds to the corporate ed deform view of children as "products," (aka commodities) in the immortal words of DOE consultant Jack Welch.

    Although almost everything the deformers say is a lie, the terminology they use is revealing. It's incredible that no one has called them on the use of the term "value-added," which refers to "the enhancement of a product or service by a company before the product is offered to customers." Whether they realize it or not, they are admitting that they view children as commodities being prepared for (the employer-dominated labor) market. So much for preparation for citizenship, democratic participation and all that archaic 20th century jazz. It's now a race to the 19th century.

    As for getting the word out, you're suggestions are as good as mine. It can be very discouraging, since facts don't matter anymore: the distortions, half-truths and outright lies just keep getting repeated.

    As for the UFT, at their best they function as a kind of in-house ombudsman for members; at their worst they function as an arm of the HR department, helping the DOE manage the workforce.

    And on that cheery note, I'll wish you a happy and successful school year.

  4. MF,

    Thank you for having such insight into the education mess that's being created by the deformers, for working diligently to inform the members of the truth, for having such courage in your blogs to confront these deformers, for standing up to staunch union leaders and the emperor klein that they are not wearing clothes. Hold on that passion of telling the truth because your action encourages others to eventually get involved in taking back education from the deformers.

    The only question is what did RANDI get for the 2005 contract, other than being a "player" with the NYC elite and flying on the mayor's plane?
    We know what Mulgrew and his courtesans are getting: D.O.E. jobs for their family, friends and significant others.
    The members and the kids are not even in the equation.


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