Monday, December 8, 2014

Eterno Off ATR Rotation Pool But Still An ATR - Time for UFT to Establish an ATR Chapter

For those of you who are following my travelogue around the high schools of Queens, I have some news. I am being taken off the Absent Teacher Reserve Rotation train wreck by Middle College High School for the rest of the 2014-15 school year. Middle College was one of the schools I wandered through this fall.  Apparently, I did something right there as they called me in for an interview for a Leave Replacement Teacher position.  I don't know how to say thank you enough to Principal Linda Siegmund and her faculty for rescuing me from ATR rotations to let me actually teach again. The new trimester starts today.  Middle College is a very progressive school that I am looking forward to working in... James Eterno on the ICE blog.
It is not often we have cause to celebrate the actions of principals but let's hail Linda Siegmund for giving James an opportunity despite his notoriety as a union activist and former opposition presidential candidate (2010) against Mulgrew. Given that James and Camille saw the birth of their 2nd child back in July this is also a much-needed stability factor in their lives.

Arthur Goldstein at NYC Educator blog has a strong piece on the ATR situation today: An ATR by Any Other Name
"If you aren't treated the same as every other working teacher, it's ludicrous to say you're the same as every other working teacher."
I'd like to get a list of the limits on ATRs even when they get a year-long provisional appointment. We know that they can never accumulate school seniority or even put in a preference sheet and in some cases can't get per session. In fact a provisional who would like permanent placement has to be very well behaved and pretty much give up any protections in the contract. And imagine their VAM ratings - do provisional ATRs get rated and observed by their admins the same way?

Isn't it time for the UFT to stop stonewalling and establish an ATR chapter? MORE brought this up at the October DA and it was turned down by Unity.
Resolution  for  Full  Union  Representation  for  ATRs  
 Whereas,  the  Delegate  Assembly  is  the  highest  policy  making  body  in  the  United  Federation  of   Teachers,  and
 Whereas,  federal  labor  law  requires  that  policy  making  bodies  within  a  union  be  democratically   elected  with  each  member  entitled  to  a  vote,  and
 Whereas,  Absent  Teacher  Reserves  (ATRs)  are  not  entitled  to  vote  in  Chapter  Elections  unless  they   happen  to  be  working  in  a  school  that  has  a  Chapter  Election  during  a  particular  week  that  the  ATR  is   working  in  a  school,  and
 Whereas,  unions  can  set  up  reasonable  rules  as  to  who  can  run  for  office,  but  it  is  not  reasonable  that   ATRs  including  Leave  Replacement  Teachers  and  Provisional  Teachers  cannot  run  or  serve  as   Delegates  or  Chapter  Leaders  simply  because  they  belong  to  no  Chapter,  and
Whereas,  the  ATR  position  has  now  been  embedded  in  the  UFT  contract  in  Section  16  of  the  2014   Memorandum  of  Agreement,  therefore  be  it

Resolved,  that  the  UFT  will  immediately  create  a  Functional  Chapter  to  represent  the  interests  of   ATRs,  Leave  Replacement  Teachers  and  Provisional  Teachers.
 Here is James' full post:


Unfortunately, this experienced teacher may very well be back on the train next year due to his max salary. 


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