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

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The ATR World According to Arundell, Pt. II, Reports from the outer boroughs

In October the UFT had official meetings for the ACRs and ATRs. Amy Arundell set out her spin, but it contrasted with how displaced teachers see things.

The Guidelines for employees in rotation
Displaced teachers' reality: There have been guidelines for the ATRs but lots of the guidelines get violated. Where is the union on the systematic violations?
Arundell's line: The guidelines are suggestions. You have to stand up for yourselves.

Rotation
Arundell's line: Rotation has been great. Supervisors were not placing people before there was rotation.

Short and medium term assignments
Arundell's line: Emphasized that high school appointees can be placed anywhere in their borough to cover leave, long term absence (LTA), or vacancy; must accept placement. Elementary and middle school only forced to accept in license in their district. For a week or two you may have to teach out of license.
Displaced teachers: Could the city put ATRs in classes as mentor teachers?
Arundell's line: (Did not respond well to the suggestion.)

Letters in the file
Displaced teachers' reality: Supervisors are saying that we are going to put letters in your file.
Arundell's line: There are lots of things that they are doing.

Lesson plans
Displaced teachers' reality Students expect assignments in the class that they are covering.
Many newer schools have abandoned the traditional routine of storing timely teacher-assigned lesson plans, even in the age of email. Students protest against covering teachers' own lessons in subjects that they are not scheduled for.
Arundell's line: Teachers are to do demo lessons. “Field supervisors and I will tell you that you have to have lesson plans in your area.”

Mandated lesson plan formats
Displaced teachers' report: At one of the meetings a displaced member reported that principals are mandating that regular teachers adhere to specific lesson plan formats spelled out in templates.
Arundell's line: She interrupted and said that was school specific.

Short and medium term assignments
Arundell's line Emphasized that high school appointees can be placed anywhere in their borough to cover leave, LTA, or vacancy; must accept placement. Elementary and middle school only forced to accept in license in their district. For a week or two you may have to teach out of license.

Displaced teacher: Could the city put ATRs in classes as mentor teachers?
Arundell's line: Did not respond well to the suggestion.

Status of displaced teachers
Displaced teachers' reality: Teachers do not have regular assignments, so they are not really appointed
Arundell's line: Displaced teachers and other staff have all the contractual rights as other staff. This is thinking along the way that the DOE is thinking. The DOE is trying separate people into different categories. We are protecting you from that.

Rebuttal many displaced teachers say to this: Displaced teachers lose out on per session opportunities. The UFT sold out teachers with the 2005 contract. It did not fight the city when the city began using the Fair School Funding formula. This has prevented principals from assigning (permanently appointing) teachers and counselors to their schools. As the vast majority of displaced staff are over 45 this amounts to age discrimination.

Numbers of displaced staff
Currently [10/8/13] there are about 1700 ATRs city-wide, of which 600 are in the Bronx.
(The numbers are now much higher. See Chaz blog http://chaz11.blogspot.com/2013/11/how-union-and-new-mayor-can-solve-atr.html )

Buy-outs
No clear response. [From previous reports: There was a large gap between what the city would offer and what the union wanted. So now buy-out would happen.]

Democratic representation
Displaced teacher:  If you were an ATR wouldn't you want to have an elected representative?
Arundell's line: (After some delay) No.

1 comment:

  1. First, let's accept that we can't reverse the 2005 contract right now. We are trying to survive as ATRs and ultimately get full time placement. Anyone covering a class has to have a lesson plan. In reality, when you cover a class, you do the best you can. This year, my ATR Supervisor pre-arranged with administration in my "school of the week" and with me to observe me in license. This meant I taught a lesson in someone else's class. I met with the teacher and the kids beforehand. It worked out as best as could be expected.

    As you read Chaz' blog post on this same meeting, you know that the UFT Representative, Amy Arundell indicated she hoped the system would change in the future, clearly acknowledging this is far from perfect. The meeting was meant to inform us of our present rights and responsibilities. We need to act on these and hold the UFT Reps accountable for supporting us in their schools and letting us know who to call if we need back up, etc as they would other faculty members. We divide ourselves from the general population when we don't seek out the UFT Reps, find out who the AP's, deans, etc are in the school. I have wriiten to you before about the idea of an ATR Rep. Aside from being logistically difficult to arrange, it defines us at outsiders. It gives EVERYBODY in the school the opportunity to cut us off.

    Mentoring? That's funny. I've been used twice during those month-long stays to train brand new teachers. In other words, to train someone for a job I could've had. I don't want to mentor anyone until I have a job first. By the way, you know many people who took jobs in the DOE's last full-time mentoring programme ARE NOW ATR'S as the program was cut after a year!
    As Chaz indicated in his posting, the purpose of the meeting was informational. No one said this was a good situation. We need to work with the UFT to navigate it, but more importantly, move toward getting us hired.

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