Sunday, September 11, 2011

Revolt Brewing in ATR Ranks/GEM ATR Support Group


I felt like I was an extra in Chushingura, a Japanese play about the forty-seven samurai who took revenge after the forced suicide of their lord Asano Nagamori. Asano had drawn his sword in the Shogun's castle after being humiliated by the chief of protocol. Forty-seven of his samurai who had become ronin after Asano's death, waited two years to exact vengeance. (Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Kodansha, p. 404 vol. 1, ISBN 4-06-931098-3)
Read Marc Epstein's great report writing at NYC ATR
New York City Ronin Teacher, by Marc Epstein


One former ATR commented:
Up in Washington Heights???? Are they KIDDING? If that isn't proof that they are trying to harass ATRs into quitting, I don't know what is. If I had to go to that thing, I'd be looking at at LEAST 2.5hrs to get home. At least Citifield was more central to everyone, and there was parking. Though, I think the job fair would have been much better if they had opened the bar in the VIP lounge and offered drink specials with every ATR placement. Probably would have had everyone placed in an hour if they did "Two Free Drinks with Every Placed ATR."  Certainly would have made it more fun.
I get a report from a newly retired teacher that there were 5 newbie teachers in her math department while experienced ATRs are floating around. The UFT deal with the DOE only calls for the principal to have interviewed some ATRs before hiring newbies. We're not sure he did but what difference does it make if he wanted newbies anyway?

GEM brings ATRs together
The Grassroots Education Movement has been holding conference calls with ATRs to gather information and the situation is turning ugly as teachers from the closing schools are sent hither and yon. We have been funneling people to the great voice of the ATRs at the NYCATR blog (links on sidebar and in our blogroll). 

And Jamaica HS chapter leader, ICE's James Eterno, has joined in the calls to offer advice as people tell as many horror stories about the UFT (you're lucky to have a job) as the DOE. In our last call James informed an ATR who was excessed illegally that she must file a "right of return" letter ASAP - something the union reps neglected to tell her. 

James, who represents 30 excessed ATRs from Jamaica HS (even though they are gone from the school with the union mute they have nowhere else to go)  has some advice for ATRs at the ICE blog:

The DOE has the right to send ATRs on interviews during the regular school day.

The DOE does not have the right under current conditions to assign anyone out of his/her district/superintendency. For example, a high school ATR in Manhattan should be assigned to a Manhattan High School and not to an elementary school or an ATR in District 28 should not be assigned to a school in District 26.

Finally, anyone in excess should know that according to contract Article 17 B Rule 8 that there is a right of return to the school in which the person is excessed. Feel free to use the sample letter below that all excessed teachers
Read it all at the ICEUFT Blog

I'll be doing lots more on the ATR situation. Also read Chaz's School Daze

If you are in touch with an ATR have then touch base with me. NYCATR has offered his blog as a place to tell their stories as I will do here too.

Here is the next so-called hiring hall from the faceless bureaucrats at the DOE.
May the Ronin revolt and slay the oppressors.

From: Atrassignment
> Sent: Thursday, September 08, 2011 7:37 PM
> To: Atrassignment
> Subject: Mandatory Teacher Recruitment Fair for ATRs assigned to the Bronx and Manhattan
> Dear Teacher,
> Welcome back to a new school year! While the school year is getting underway, we want to let you know of an upcoming event to meet with principals who have vacancy needs for teachers. On Tuesday, September 13, 2011 the New York City Department of Education will be holding a mandatory recruitment fair for teachers in the Absence Teacher Reserve (ATR) pool assigned to schools in Bronx and Manhattan. Unlike hiring events held throughout the summer, as a teacher in the Reserve pool from one of these boroughs, you are required to attend this event, which is being held from 1:00 p.m. (specific check-in times below). You will be expected to stay until the end of the school day and encouraged to stay until the end of the event at approximately 4:00 p.m.

> The event will take place at The Armory Foundation, 216 Ft. Washington Avenue, Manhattan, NY. If you need directions to this location, please use<> for public transportation or<> for driving directions.
> You should plan to report to your assigned school at the start of the school day and then travel to the fair. Lunch will not be served at the fair, but you are entitled to the contracted amount of time for lunch on your own before the fair. When you leave the recruitment fair you will be provided with documentation of your attendance to submit to your school. There is no pre-registration for this fair. However, to facilitate smoother admission to the event, we ask that you arrive at the time below corresponding to your last name.
> Teacher Check-In Times
> Last Name
> Arrival Time
> A through D
> 1:00
> E through K
> 1:10
> L through Q
> 1:20
> R through Z
> 1:30

> As with other recruitment events held this summer, this will be an opportunity for you to meet with school representatives regarding potential vacancies. We encourage you to treat this as you would any job interview opportunity and recommend business attire as well as that you bring 10-15 copies of your resume. Note that you will be asked for a copy of your resume upon check in so that the Division of Human Resources & Talent can provide it to schools with vacancies in your subject area upon request. If you need assistance on resume writing or interviewing, resources are available at the Teacher Hiring Support Center site,<>
> Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island Teacher Recruitment Fair (Non-Mandated)
> If you would like to take advantage of another opportunity to meet with principals, the New York City Department of Education is also holding a teacher recruitment fair on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 for schools in the boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island and for ATRs in those boroughs. You are not required to attend this second event, and doing so would be your own choice. Should you wish to attend, you need to notify your school in advance so they can make appropriate arrangements. This event is also being held from 1:00 p.m. to approximately 4:00 p.m. with the same check-in time schedule by last name.
> If you have any questions regarding the recruitment fair or related job search support, please contact the Teacher Hiring Support Center at>. For questions regarding your status as in the Absent Teacher Reserve, please contact HR Connect at (718) 935-4000. We look forward to seeing you at the event.
> Sincerely,
> Teacher Hiring Support
> Division of Human Resources & Talent
> New York City Department of Education
> Please note: If you have been hired into a fully appointed or provisional position and are no longer part of the ATR pool, you are not required to attend the event.

Check out Norms Notes for a variety of articles of interest: And make sure to check out the side panel on right for news bits.


Schoolgal said...

It speaks volumes when the UFT doesn't object to a job fair with an inconvenient location. Also, Edwize just wrote some article (seems almost self-congratulatory) about how the rate of ATRs didn't increase. Pretty disgusting that they cover the numbers without regard to the people involved.

Lastly, the UFT ATR agreement had so many loopholes it's no wonder that this year's agreement is a slap in the face.

Schoolgal said...

Oops! I meant last year, not lately :(

a former teacher said...

How can an ATR get in touch with the GEM ATR support group.

ed notes online said...

Email me:

Anonymous said...

I feel so grateful that I do not work for the DOE anymore and that I work for a CBO. Up until now, I didn't realize how good I have it.