Thursday, September 20, 2012

ATRs Meet Today/Send Letter to Chicago Teachers

...the stories from teachers with lunatic principals keep rolling in.

The Curse of the ATR

We thought that we had heard it all, but this one's really novel: a fellow lands in the ATR after being accused by his Principal of trying to put a curse on her.  This new contributor goes by the name of Burn Down the House. -- burndownthehouse---
The story above is pretty funny. A newly minted ATR after winning his 3020a hearing after the principal claimed her house had burned down due to the curse ---and the stories from teachers with lunatic principals keep rolling in.

[Must read - In the "you get what you pay for" category - how an experienced teacher ATR doing a good job with a difficult class was shunned for a brand new teacher who is having diffuculty: The Invisible ATR]

One major issue in Chicago was the fate of their version of ATRs. Teachers are paid for only a year (or less) when their schools close in Chicago and if they don't get a job they are laid off. The union was demanding teachers get hired from this pool of laid off teachers.

Here in NYC these teachers are paid forever, a significant difference and I would guess a key point in the level of union activism in Chicago vs here. Our ATRs are not treated very well -- a major aim of Bloomberg is to go to the Chicago model but the UFT leadership has seen the handwriting on the wall -- if they allow this to go they would face some serious opposition to their control of the union. So the UFT would also be happy to see the ATR issue go away so they are willing to allow a degrading of the conditions -- rotating to a new school every week, no representation within the union, etc. Those who are not resilient or are ill, may just go away by leaving. With every batch of closing schools the pool will be replenished, an ebb and flow. Eventually the closing schools mania will slow down as schools that replace them fail.

Before the updates from the ATR world from
here is a report from the so-called "job fair":
If anyone had a chance to attend the job fair this afternoon, saw it was a joke.  I would guess only 5 schools showed up  I even saw one pair from a school get up and leave shortly after 4:30 when they saw what a waste of time it was.  I thought I would see people I knew and only saw one, not a lot of teachers there, maybe a couple hundred.  Most everyone I spoke with were new ATR's and were really in the dark.  Told all to check ednotes and become a member of the GEM/ATR group.  I ended up talking with and answering questions from a small group of ATR's.  As I left, I stopped by the UFT table and spoke with four of our representatives sitting there speaking to no one but themselves.  As I drilled them softly about Union politics and issues, I was told not to be sarcastic by one of them as the conversation progressed.  I then ended the conversation and told them I was doing more to inform our members then they would just sitting there.   Spoke to a disgruntled former AP in the ATR pool outside.. 

Another Manhattan HS ATR placed in a school in the same building I am in this month, told me she received an invitation for the Queens, Brooklyn, SI fair last week but not one for today 

I also received an email today from HR stating that I am part of an initiative to have field supervisors come and observe in my substitute teaching role.

NYC ATRs send warning to Chicago

Chicago teachers have a new contract that will require the city to "hire back" 50% of any teachers that lose their positions due to school closings; in order to meet the quota, some teachers will be retained as part of a "substitute pool" (see here). In other words, the Windy City will have its very own version of Gotham's Absent Teacher Reserve.

When the GEM/ATR Committee heard about this, they sent some words of warning to their brothers and sisters in Chicago. The GEM/ATR communique is must reading for teachers in both cities.

Dear Sisters and Brothers in the Chicago Teachers Union,

The GEM/ATR Committee's advice on how to be vigilant in protecting the integrity of hiring pools:

1. We wish to warn you that, if left unchecked, Chicago Public Schools will probably hire new, inexperienced teachers, from organizations such as Teach for America recruits, instead of teachers from your hiring pool. We are saying this based on our experience in New York City. The administration uses budget formulas which powerfully incentivize principals to hire new teachers instead of the excessed teachers from the closed schools. Our administration then presents the fiction that the excessed teachers are undesirable/unemployable, when in actuality the administration just wants to hire new teachers over older teachers, because they cost less to the schools.

2. Again, from our experience, if there is no enforcement provision and there is no transparency on the issue of hires in your city, your BOE, just like ours, will not fully comply with their agreement. To avoid these problems, there should be a joint committee between the union and a board of education that is supposed to evaluate the actual performance of the agreement (which we supposedly have in N.Y.C.), AND that the results be regularly published so that union members can be informed, in order to mobilize union members to hold board of education leaders accountable. In New York, ATRs --excessed teachers, are in the dark as to whether the agreement is being enforced. We have just learned through the media that our ranks stand at a record 1,800 teachers in the excess pool. (Just from casual conversations, many of us learn of positions that were open but were not advertised/posted, even though they are supposed to be advertised.) In other words, if you do not have enforcement provisions and consequences for the BOE, they will not fully follow the agreement.

3. Union leaders should be given timely information as to the performance of the agreement. By timely, we mean specific deadlines upon which specific information is shared (such as the number of excessed teachers, which licenses, number of new hires, the licenses of the excessed teachers, and proof of advertising/posting of every filled position.)

4. If the agreement/contract is not followed by a board of education there should be consequences to the board, such as allowing more input from teachers and parents as to policy decisions. For example teachers picked by the union, or parents picked by PTAs, would be allowed to vote on board of education policy making committees. To unelected boards of education, we would say: "You should have no fear of getting increased democracy in policy decisions, if you just follow through with the agreement."

In solidarity, the GEM/ATR Committee, of excessed NYC teachers.

(For full disclosure, we are unrepresented dues-paying members of the United Federation of Teachers.)

Also from the blog:

1,800 Teachers in the Absent Teacher Reserve

1 comment:

Jim Callaghan said...

SHE REFUSED TO GIVE ME A COPY OF THE PER SESSION LIST AFTER TEACHERS COMPLAINED SHE WAS HOGGING IT -OVER $12,000 A YEAR. Jerry "The Hilton Man" and others sent smimilar letters bashing their members. THen Randi, who wrote the complaint with nepotism hire Adam Ross and Joe Bruno's hand-holder Carol Gerstl all pointed fingers at each other for not "vetting" the teachers properly.
One of the teachers who Randi bashed -from her own complaint, recently won a huge settlement from the DOE-she had to hire her own lawyer because Adam Ross and Randi wouldnt defend her.
This letter from Crispino shows how corrupt Randi and her minions were and are.

Sent: Sunday, February 19, 2006 11:12 AM
Subject: age issues
Dear Randi,
Thank you for saying hello the other night. It was a nice event and nice to see you.

It has come to my attention that several people from my school are mentioned in the age discrimination suit. I have some concerns about the accuracy of what I read.
I made several contacts to raise some concerns, but I am not sure what I had to say was appreciated. The DOE legal has been in my building a lot about this.

Here is what I know:

NAME REDACTED BY JIM said that she was not given a student teacher, when in fact it was an SVA she was not given. The selection committee which was made up of mostly UFT members, selected a person in the SVA's licence area and a person who was older than Diana.
Another person NAME REDACTED was mentioned and she has a letter in her file for using an ethnic slur on the elevator to a bunch of people. She also would get caught not having a lesson plan and would provide one later, written on a napkin. ( I think this is in an observation report, in her file)
Another member mentions named REDCATED Students complained that she is always talking on her cell phone in class when she should be teaching. She has since fallen in the classroom hitting her head. She then came back to work and left a week later applying for disability using an injured knee for the reason, but in her file is record of the knee being a preexisting condition. The original fall does not mention the knee.

When Mr. Resnick was going to U rate 22 people, I asked him who would he let transfer, he mentioned 4.
REDACTED was one of them. I took her out for drinks and told her they were going after her. She replied several times that she was a good teacher. I told her that might be true, but that she is not rating herself, they are rating her and they don't think she is a good teacher. In short, she did not transfer and did get the U rating.
Randi, many of the staff do not like the way she treats the students. NAME REDACTED the administration feels does a dog and pony show.
In the current New York Teacher, REDACTED is quoted several times. It does not put things in a good light at Graphics nor is it accurate. I am also concerned that I now have lost some of my negotiation ability and that this article is going to divide my chapter. This worries me greatly.
Being an election year for chapter leaders, Graphics being on the SURR list and how hard it is to unite our members in these troubled times.
The majority of the staff are happy about the people that got U rated. They are also behind Mr. Resnick, who cleaned up our halls and is trying to make positive change and get us off the SURR list. Michael Mulgrew knows Resnick, he was AP Security at his school.
I need your guidance.
In solidarity,