ATRs, the unrepresented -- no elected representatives in the UFT
"The right of voting for representatives is the primary right by which other rights are protected.
"To take away this right is to reduce a man to slavery, for slavery consists in being subject to the will of another."
Thomas Paine, First Principles of Government
Saturday, September 1, 2018
Standard ATR assignment procedure has the ATRs getting their assignments by Thursday afternoon, evening if the system is running late. Not this year. Just a few hard their assignments by Thursday evening. And many ATRs did not get their assignment by 5 pm Friday. Many were finally sent out over the next hour and a half.
Why the delay? The DOE has been handling this assignment task for a few years now.
Maybe the problem is due to a big influx of new ATRs. Mayor Bill De Blasio shut many schools last year. And in the case of Renewal Schools without great clout the teachers were turned out of their jobs, being told to get new position assignments at other schools or wait and see what rotation would bring. (As always, Fair Student Funding means that new hires will get preference in filling the vacancies at new schools or those Renewal Schools which turned out their veterans.) The big mystery is how many new ATRs or excessed staff are there, scores? Hundreds?
Another thing: is part of the DOE algorithm for assigning teachers to work as far as possible from where they live? Teachers had years back applied to work not too deep into a borough next to their own borough. For example, a teacher living in the Bronx might seek a teaching job in Harlem. But we're seeing in the rotation era teachers being assigned to the furthest end of the borough, creating commutes in excess of one and a half hours, so, in the case of the above Bronx residing teacher, he'd be assigned to the far south end of Manhattan.
Surely, these are hardship commutes.
AND, there are some excessed employees in good standing, as of Labor Day, still with no assignment!
Thursday, May 24, 2018
The teachers shot dead at Santa Fe were substitutes. Carranza and DeBlasio's DOE still denies keys to many ATRs.
Where is Michael Mulgrew loudly declaring action to ensure our safety.
Time magazine wrote, "‘They’re Really on Their Own.’ Santa Fe Reveals the Danger of Being a Substitute Teacher in Era of School Shootings," pointing out the obvious safety hazards that substitute teachers face. Technically, we're not subs. But let's face it, when it comes to security, we ATRs treated that way: left out of getting all the safety materials such as colored cards for the possible lockdowns, and many of us are still left out on getting keys to lock classroom doors.
Here's another clincher: we know that three of the slain students were in the art class that substitute teacher Cynthia Tisdale was covering. One wonders: did Santa Fe substitutes lack keys as many ATRs do? Let that weigh on the conscience. Will DOE refusal to "arm" ATRs with keys lead to a situation in which students die because the school was uncooperative with getting keys to an ATR?
Neither the DOE nor the UFT have given you special tips from the perspective of the perspective of a substitutting teacher --perhaps because it's been so long since any UFT leader was a substitute teacher. Here are some useful comments in the Time article.
In Briscoe’s [one surviving substitute] case, he told the students to cover their mouths based off of what he had heard occurred at other school shootings in the past. “That was something I never learned in training,” Briscoe, who earned around $12 an hour substitute teaching at Santa Fe High School, said. . . . This fight-or-flight mentality applies to all teachers thrust into these terrifying situations — whether they had gone through training or were familiar with the space or not, Briscoe said. But with two mass-casualty school shootings this year thus far, the layout of a classroom and lockdown procedures are on the top of the minds for some substitute teachers at each new gig.
“We’re expected to go in there and do the same job,” said Ginger Swanson, a 44-year-old substitute teacher based in Ohio. “We should have access to the same tools and information.” . . . .
Any time Swanson walks into a new classroom now, she thinks: Is there more than one exit? What’s this building’s floor plan? Can I open that window? Can the kids fit out the window? Can I? Where does the window lead to? What could I use to barricade the door? “You can’t just read your lesson plan and have a day with the kids,” Swanson said. “You have to keep [the potential for a shooting] in the back of your mind now.”(Of course, the 2012 reference is to the Sandy Hook massacre, the largest school shooting to date.)
Swanson didn’t have these thoughts back when she began substitute teaching in 2012. She now wants schools in her counties to host orientations for substitute teachers so they can have a better sense of its protocols, lockdown procedures, layout and more.
Where is the Ginger Swanson in the UFT, advocating for our safety? We need reforms now, or we could become statistics, like Glenda Ann Perkins and Cynthia Tisdale in Santa Fe, Texas.
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Where is the UFT?
Once assigned to a school, an ATR should receive keys, should get a mailbox, a school email and a teacher manual with all procedures and protocols. The safety of our students should not be put at risk because a whole set of teachers is being bullied by the DOE. If the school leaders cannot commit to these things, how can they honestly guarantee that a tragedy does not happen to DOE students and staff?
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
One key way that teachers helped many students to survive in the Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Connecticut and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida was to lock the classroom doors.
A lesser well known ugly truth is that in members of the Absent Teacher Reserve are often not given keys that allow them to lock the classroom doors. ATRs know why this is done. ATRs are treated as pariahs. Neglecting the needs to equip with them with the essential tools to do their job is another way to ostracize and demoralize them. However, declining to give ATRs classroom keys is a serious safety problem. The NYC Department of Education has done a cruel thing in failing to see that ATRs are fully equipped. The DOE and the UFT have known that this is an ongoing problem. They are both failing in a duty of leadership and rectifying this.
Friday, February 16, 2018
See the post from last week for details on the excessed teachers' lawsuit.
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
See the post from last week for details on the excessed teachers' lawsuit.
Thursday, February 1, 2018
It's finally happening: New York City ATRs are suing the city Department of Education.
Members of the Absent Teacher Reserve, or ATRs, are getting fed up: fed up with the field supervisors doing bogus observations in classrooms teachers just encountered, principals run amuk, writing up veteran teachers for petty things so that the DOE can quickly lower salary costs and relieve a teacher of full pension, fed up with the blatant age discrimination, and OF COURSE, fed up with the union (the UFT) for saying the DOE's line that teachers could get real assignments, if only they polished their resumes and had modern skills.
The law firm of Glass and Krakower (www.ghnylaw.com) is taking up a class action lawsuit on the case. They are an established practice with successes in challenging cases of teacher abuse. As part of the case, the legal team is looking into ways that teachers that teachers have been abused in their particular cases.
Here is the link. There is a deadline of February 9.
And a form, associated with the suit to fill out: http://teacherslawyer.blogspot.com/2017/12/asking-courts-if-fair-student-funding.html?m=1