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
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Delegates that support ACRs/ATRs and educators will support these resolutions at Wednesday's UFT Delegate Assembly
Please raise for NEXT MONTH’S AGENDA
Whereas, the Delegate Assembly is the highest policy making body in the United Federation of
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.
Movement of Rank and File Educators is the Social
Justice Caucus of the UFT- New York City’s Teachers union.
We are a positive alternative to the current union leadership.
Want to talk MORE?
Join us for a post-DA gathering at 6 pm, just a few blocks away at
the White Horse Tavern, 25 Bridge St.
RESOLUTION FOR THE UFT TO ENDORSE HOWIE HAWKINS FOR GOVERNOR
& BRIAN JONES FOR LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR - Please raise for THIS MONTH’S AGENDA
Whereas, both New York State gubernatorial candidates Andrew Cuomo and Rob Astorino vocally
support the privatization of education through the expansion of charter schools, and the Green Party
ticket of Howie Hawkins and Brian Jones oppose charter schools, and
Whereas, Andrew Cuomo has pushed through an expansion of testing statewide and the punitive linking of test scores to teacher evaluations, while the Hawkins/Jones ticket opposes an emphasis on
Whereas, Andrew Cuomo implemented a destructive tax cap that has forced massive layoffs of teachers in upstate districts, and
Whereas, the New York State AFL-CIO and the New York State United Teachers have declined to endorse
Cuomo because of his anti-education policies, and
Whereas the Buffalo Teachers Federation, Port Jefferson Station Teachers Association, East Williston Teachers Association, Lakeland Federation of Teachers, Diane Ravitch, the Coalition for Public Education,
the Independent Commission on Public Education and three local NYC Democratic clubs have all
endorsed the Hawkins/Jones ticket, and
Whereas, the Hawkins/Jones platform of a Green New Deal calls for equitable funding for all of our
schools, reduced class sizes across the state, support for programs that promote desegregation in
our schools, an end to zero-tolerance discipline policies driving the school-to-prison pipeline,
and allowing schools to develop methods of assessment organic to the learning process, and
Whereas, Astorino and Cuomo are both millionaires while Hawkins and Jones are both union activists,
Hawkins in Teamsters, Jones in the UFT and PSC, therefore be it,
Resolved, the United Federation of Teachers endorses Howie Hawkins for Governor of New York State and Brian Jones for Lieutenant Governor. Be it further
Resolved, the UFT, through COPE, inform its members of this endorsement, the contrasts between the candidates on key education issues, and mobilize its members to support the Hawkins/Jones campaign.
Thursday, October 2, 2014
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
- Points We Want to Make
- Was the return to the previous way of funding teachers’ salaries, so as to remove the “roadblock” of higher salary costs from principals’ consideration when hiring, a part of the contract negotiation? Why not?
- Last school year, some ATR members were observed by their field supervisors, out of license. Why did the UFT allow this?
- Recommend that next school year, the DOE arranges for all current ATR members, to collectively meet, to have a day of professional development. At the same event, allow the UFT to hold its annual UFT meeting for ATRs that is currently held borough-wide, after working hours.
- Demand protection from physical harm from students and consequences for their actions, if it does occur.
- Considering that a significant number of students are reading below grade level, what is the UFT doing to urge the DOE to put librarians back in schools and reading teachers back in the classrooms?
- Why were many members of the ATR, who applied on the “Open Market System,” not given interviews?
- How many members of the ATR were appointed to positions prior to the beginning of the school year?
- Explain who pays ATR members’ salaries if hired provisionally versus being appointed. How long does the DOE pay/contribute to their salaries once in these positions?
- What plans are underway, by the DOE, to create opportunities/new programs for ATR members with Art, Music and CTE Trade licenses?
- What happens to ATR teachers who were U-rated last school year?
- Why didn’t the UFT respond to the repeated lies and/or attacks on members of the ATR pool by the media (“Crain's,” the “NY Daily News,” the “NY Post,” “WNYC,” the “NY Times” and the “Wall Street Journal”) and Chancellor Farina?
- Why is the UFT “turning a blind eye” in many cases to ATR members’ complaints of harassment by school administrators or ATR field supervisors?
- If ATR members are terminated after 3020a hearings, for unprofessional behavior, do the members lose their entire pension minus the years they contributed?
- Despite repeated requests for a definition of “unprofessional behavior” on the part of ATR members, which could result in an expedited 3020a hearing and ultimately, termination, why is the UFT’s answer vague or nil? Stating that the arbitrators will be able to recognize such behavior is not considered an adequate response, according to the ATR pool. How may the ATR avoid such problematic practices if they don’t know what they are? Why are ATR members singled out for disparate treatment, while the remaining membership is not?
- According to chancellor there will be no forced placement. Then explain how ATR members, who do not accept a position in their license area and in their borough, are to be considered as resigning?
- The UFT should allow ACRs and ATRs to have borough-level elected representatives with Delegate Assembly voting rights, as our number at approximately 1,000 is comparable to the number of UFT members in many districts.
- The UFT should facilitate the creation of new positions for borough representatives dedicated to the ATR pool.
- Due to that fact that the following incidents happen quite frequently, instead of putting the onus on ATR members to complain to Chapter Leaders or UFT representatives, the UFT should inform school administrators to:
- stop assigning ATR teachers to do clerical tasks.
- stop assigning multiple periods of cafeteria, hall and bathroom duty.
- inform School Safety that ATR members do not have to scan.
- insist that schools provide bathroom, classroom and elevator keys.
- The UFT should insist that the DOE puts in writing, in explicit detail, a list of the unprofessional behaviors that principals can use to return ATR members back in rotation, and that could result in an expedited hearing and ultimately, their termination.
Friday, August 29, 2014
"#ATRjobs Experienced employees @NYCSchools @UFT @BilldeBlasio Ensure placements 2014-2015 Apply #district#boro#ADA constraints #ATRjobs"
For Michael Mulgrew / the UFT:
Monday, August 11, 2014
Monday, July 7, 2014
Thursday, June 5, 2014
Today I shed tears for our union, and its soon-to-be isolation from others fighting for bargaining power and right to make a living from their labor. My tears will now be a path to putting my boots on the ground and my condemnation in the air, vocal cords wanting to yell out my adamant cry for change. The courage to speak out makes me free.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
When they came for the cops, they realized the cops were armed and carried weapons. So, they got what they wanted.
When they came for the transportation union, they realized their union leader was fearless and outspoken --not afraid to get arrested. So, they got what they wanted.
When they came for the teachers, they noticed that teachers loved kids and were willing to spend their own money on needed supplies and stay after school to help kids in need. They also noted that teachers were highly sensitive, thoughtful and compassionate folks. So, there was really no need to give them anything. And nothing is what they got.
Friday, May 30, 2014
The beginning of the article describes the fast-track expedited dealing with targeted ATRs:
Principal removal of ATR after assignment. Under the proposed contract a principal (not the teacher) has the complete discretion to return a teacher to the ATR pool. If the return is based on “problematic behavior,” defined as “behavior that is inconsistent with the expectations established for professionals working in school.” An ATR accused in two writings within two years of this “problematic behavior” may be accused of a “pattern of problematic behavior” which can become the basis of an “expedited 3020-a hearing” in which a hearing must be completed in one day (half day to each side) within 20 days that the teacher requests a hearing. The decision must be made within 15 days of the hearing date.
The article closes with this conclusion which sums up how this sets a bad precedent for teachers in general, going into the future.
The acceptance of this procedure as a perceived benefit signals our union’s position in future contracts where it appears all teachers will “enjoy” the benefit of expedited and ill-defined termination proceedings.
This proposal is anathema to the good order of the teaching profession and must be completely understood before it is blindly accepted.
Another ICEUFT blogpost addresses how Mulgrew is conceding the ability for the "problematic" to be determined by others in the future. (May 13: "Mulgrew Admits He'll Leave Critical Issues to Others in Proposed Contract.")
This contract rests on disciplining teachers by terms that will be figured out at sometime down the line. Essentially, this has the potential of handing to arbitrators a blank slate on which to write discipline law. This overrides the state's 3020-a law, taking away some of the protections that law has offered. How could the UFT lawyers on the negotiating team agree to this provision?
The UFT has not explained to its members these precedents in discipline and rule setting.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
I'm sorry you have bought into this. We will have a ONE day hearing. That is not protection. Are you kidding? What about calling witnesses? What is unprofessional conduct? Have you seen a list? No, no one has?
This has created a 2nd class of teacher? Why? ATRs are not worse teachers, they are not ATRs due to something on their part. Their school was closed because of Bloomberg. Why are they being hunted down like dogs? Being sent to schools in their borough??? Do you know how large Queens is? And I have no choice if I want to accept a job? I can't get to schools in Astoria or L.I.C. There is no parking, but I may have to take the job. The only jobs left will be the jobs that no one else wants.
PLEASE DON'T SUGAR COAT THIS CRAP FOR US. ATRs ARE NOT STUPID.
Saturday, May 17, 2014
The union should announce the meeting to every member by their personal email and through the UFT website.
Monday, May 12, 2014
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Leaflet the special UFT Delegate Assembly (special location) at the NY Hilton in Midtown:
1335 Ave of the Americas (west side of 6th Ave between 53rd St & 54th St, near E, F, M, N, Q, R line stations)
Wednesday, 5/7, 4 to 6 pm
(The MORE Caucus, which is supporting the ATR cause, is leafletting there as well with their leaflet.)
*Click this link for Web access to the print-ready landscape-formatted leaflet:
*Version addressed to UFT delegates:
*UFT's Pay Raise Schedule drawn out to 2020, plus issue of disparate treatment of ATRs:
*Drawn-out raise schedule Illustrated in a graphical form:
"These [ATRs] are good teachers, mostly from closing schools. But rather than create a win-win situation, the system - despite repeated requests - refused to deal with these issues."
--UFT then president Randi Weingarten, April 10, 2008 – How far have we come from then?
THE DOE'S TEACHER RETENTION PLAN: HOLD OFF 3/4 OF RETRO PAYMENT FOR 4-6 YEARS
Here are the true details about the proposed contract as reported by UFT Leadership on May 1, 2014 to the negotiating committee:
Monday, April 28, 2014
The following description is just one instance of the rampant contract evaluations in practice under chancellor Farina's "new, improved" DOE. Unsurprisingly, interpretation of ATR observation conditions for temporarily placed ATRs is an area where the DOE and the UFT do not see eye to eye.
Rotating ATRs are covered by the 2007 to 2009 NYCDOE-UFT contract conditions, as there is no replacement DOE-UFT contract yet. ATRs are subject to the S and U observation system. Since they are not in a regular school they are allowed to request in writing to have pre-observation and post-observation conferences, as required under Articles 8J and 20 of the contract, as regularly assigned teachers were allowed to do, pre-Advance. Some Field Supervisors are accepting these written requests. Others are not. Also, as in the following case, some are not agreeing to submitting post-observation written requests, in person; and some are insisting that post-observation conferences can double as pre-evaluation conferences. All of this, of course, is in violation of Articles 8J and 20 of the contract. On the issue of observation reports, pre-Advance, read further here.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
The article is from a site which is targeted towards administrators, the National Council on Teacher Quality, nctq.org. The article, "Tr3 Trends: Teacher Excessing and Placement", from the site, surveys 114 districts, including Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York City, Washington D.C., and smaller districts such as Little Rock. It doesn't address the issue of evaluation of teachers while out of the classroom in an excessed status. Notice that in other cities seniority protects senior teachers in other cities, yet New York City is one place where seniority works as a penalty against teachers.
The contrast of better situations for excessed teachers in other cities suggests that we should be armed with this knowledge as the NYC DOE and the UFT move forward with contract negotiations as well as negotiations over ATR status.
These patterns can be overlapping and include:
1. districts that use performance and other factors in deciding whether to retain teachers
2. districts that lay off teachers
3. districts that hire without consideration of seniority (27% of the survey), includes Chicago, Dallas, Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York.
4. apparently, LA & NYC are two of seven districts that place teachers in sub work pools until they are placed in a school.
5. 34 districts (29.8% of the survey, and including Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, St. Paul and St. Louis) have the district assign the teachers back into schools.
6. four districts (including Cleveland, Las Vegas, Little Rock and Spokane) allow teachers to choose positions based on seniority.
7. only six districts are in the worst category: five districts lay-off teachers or place them on un-paid leave (this includes Chicago teachers after 10 months); another, Washington, D.C. gives options of resignation, buy-out or eventual termination after a year if the teacher is unable to find a job.
8. about half the surveyed districts (65 of 114) do not address the issue of what to do with teachers that cannot find jobs.
Here's the article, Tr3 Trends: Teacher Excessing and Placement. Go to the original page link, for the charts on the teacher displacement and assignment trends.
PDQ: Pretty Darn Quick Blog
Tr3 Trends: Teacher Excessing and Placement
In this month's Tr3 Trends, we take a look at teacher excessing: what factors determine which teachers to excess, how excessed teachers are assigned to schools, and what happens to excessed teachers who cannot find new assignments.
But first, what is excessing and how is excessing different from a layoff?
Excessing is the shifting of teachers from one school to another that results from a school reducing the size of its faculty due to a drop in student enrollment, a change in budget, programmatic changes, or because the school is being closed, redesigned or phased out. Unlike being laid off, teachers who are excessed are still employees of the district and, in most cases, are still entitled to a teaching position at a school, but just not the same school that they left.
We've analyzed scores of excessing policies in districts' contracts and board policies. Here are the trends that stand out:
In over half of Tr3 districts, seniority is the primary factor considered in excessing decisions.
We also looked at how excessed teachers were matched with new placements.
In about a third of the districts, principals or other site-based administrators choose which excessed teachers to hire, as opposed to being placed on the basis of seniority status or assigned by the district's HR office.
Duval County (FL), St. Paul, Sacramento, St. Louis, and Pittsburgh are a few of the districts in which Human Resources places excessed teachers in schools without seeking input from the principal--at least according to the teachers' contract.
In Cleveland, Clark County (NV), Spokane, and Little Rock, teachers are allowed to choose placements based on their seniority.
In only six districts in our database, teachers are exited out of the school system--via layoffs, unpaid leave, early retirement, or buyouts--if they are excessed and then unable to secure a new assignment. In most districts, excessing does not lead to layoffs.
Little Rock, Chicago, and Douglas County (CO) give teachers temporary assignments (in Little Rock they serve as substitutes) and then if they are still unable to find permanent positions, they are laid off or placed on unpaid leave. In Chicago, teachers have 10 months to find a position and in Douglas they have 12 months. Little Rock's contract does not specify how long teachers have to find a position.
In Washington, D.C. excessed teachers unable to find placements are given three options:
- They can immediately receive a $25,000 buyout,
- They can elect early retirement, or
- They can accept a year-long temporary assignment and continue looking for a position. If they cannot find another position within that year they will be laid off.