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

Hello, ATRs are suing

Friday, November 1, 2013

Displaced ACRs, ATRs appealed to Arundell, Mulgrew - no response

This letter was sent on June 26, 2013 with no response from Amy Arundell or from Michael Mulgrew, to whom the article was CC'ed.  These issues remain unresolved. Our group is now 50 percent larger.  Our class of displaced teacher, guidance counselor, social worker, psychologist, librarian, secretary is now nearing 2,000.

The union has a pattern of non-response to its members in other urgent situations. This following quote is a taste of the neglect on the part of the union that will go public:
Students fight, threaten, use table legs as weapons, throw rocks, candy, and pens at me while I work with students, etc. I have been documenting and reporting these incidents DAILY to both my school administration and the UFT, with little to no response.

Amy Arundell,
Special Representative
United Federation of Teachers
52 Broadway
New York, NY 10004

Dear Amy:

We are writing on behalf of over 100 ACRs and ATRs. We would like to appeal for declarative action on the UFT's part to ensure that the DOE and the UFT protect our interests, our dignity and our professional status in remedying these patterns which we have been finding systemic in our members' experience. Most of these patterns are in clear violation of the guidelines for excessed employees that the UFT distributed at the meetings last fall.

The indignities we face are:

·      Principals and chapter leaders not introducing themselves
·      Scheduling staff referring to us as substitutes in front of students, staff citing “sub policies” when referring to procedures they lay out for us
·      Staff or administration directing excessed staff to sign in or punch in, in violation of the contract
·      Lack of compliance with standard contractual schedules, such as being assigned to four classes in a row or not being assigned two preps & lunch at secondary school level
·      Contractually dubious assignments such as clerical duties or hall assignments, sometimes for a full day
·      Observations in out-of-license settings, with students we do not know, and/or without knowing the class's place in a course sequence
·      Denial of contractually standard observation protocols, such as pre-observation conferences
·      Little or no access to computers for professional development, lacking passwords we are usually forced to log in as students
·      Students directing sexually vulgar remarks to teachers, throwing objects at teachers (sometimes heavy things like dense plastic bottles) and otherwise harassing teachers, being met with minimal disciplining cooperation from administration (and teachers often criticized by administration for defending themselves against physical attacks or threats thereof)
·      Lack of proper bathroom and elevator access (keys should be directly dispensed to excessed staff upon entry to schools, for the day or for the week).   *** On this latter point, principals have denied elevator keys to teachers that use canes
·      No secure (locked to students) place where teachers may store their belongings
·      Denial of access to staff refrigerators
·      Parking space for the handicapped not being offered
·      Failure to make religious allowances (since assigned schedules vary by the day, there is no opportunity for ATRs to make up time to the school by covering other periods during the week, if they have to leave early for the Sabbath on Friday)
·      School assignment notices do not carry the school hours or reporting times, in contrast to the announcements during the 2011 to 2012 year

Aside from issues of on-the-job dignity, we are quite concerned that our efforts to secure Common Core, Danielson Framework and Smart Board training, in order to be fully commensurate with our in-class peers, are stymied.
Another problem is that the only workshops administered by the Danielson Group in Walcott's list of Danielson workshops are scheduled on Saturdays; this is a flagrant denial of access to observant Jews and Seventh Day Adventists. The same is true for the first series of the UFT Summer Institute. One session is on July 10, the first day of Ramadan, hence an issue for observant Muslims.

In closing, we would like to re-state for the record that we pay dues yet are denied true representation. Alone among our peers outside of the excess pool, we do not have elected representatives.  We are again formally requesting that we have elected chapter leaders, by borough.

If we do not get binding commitments in a written, signed statement of committing to rectify these issues, within five business days of the mailing date of this letter, we will be forced to go further public on these long un-remedied grievances.

Sincerely yours,


  1. ATR here. Filed grievance weeks ago, completely ignored. Contract is clear. Clear violation. Nobody cares. I don't even know why I bother staying in this lousy job.

  2. Inside schools as a comment section for every school in the city. If you experience hellish conditions let prospective students and parents know how the school is being run. Most of the comments, especially for the worst schools are pure fiction.