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


WE ARE ALL ATRs

WE ARE ALL ATRs

Friday, May 30, 2014

The tentative UFT contract's "problematic" clause seems legally dubious

As writers at the ICEUFT blog have emphasized the standard for discipline of ATRs is tricky: "The “Problematic” Language is Not the Only Part of the Agreement that is Problematic". It is based on a label of behavior as "problematic;" but this is troublesome, as the term is not precisely defined in the tentative DOE-UFT 2014 contract.

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

Quick responses to hokey arguments for the UFT contract's "protections" for ATRs

Once upon a time there was a rep that promoted the UFT's 2014 contract, and said:

On ATR’s:   Double the protection a regular classroom has.  Yes, now it takes TWO principals documenting problematic behavior to bring someone on 3020a charges.  Yes, they will get a hearing in front of a neutral arbitrator.  Yes,  the DOE will have to prove their case.   Yes, the UFT will provide them with an attorney free of charge.   
Yes, they will now be sent to schools in their district and borough, where there are vacancies in their license area. Yes, the open market transfer period has been extended.  Yes,  they will have the option of taking a severance package if they resign.  Yes, there is NO AUTOMATIC DISMISSAL. 
The UFT said the ATRs would be protected.  They have been protected.  

To which an ATR responded:

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

Petition the UFT for a mass meeting to explain the contract's impact on ATRs

This petition to Mulgrew is something that would be good for people to support. It encompasses all excessed staff in all content areas. Shouldn't we be granted a meeting? Staff could have an opportunity to ask a question about their situations or obtain information about the 2014 NYC DOE - UFT contract that they otherwise would not have had.
The union should announce the meeting to every member by their personal email and through the UFT website.



Petition the UFT for a mass meeting to explain the contract's impact on ATRs

We ask you for a mass meeting at UFT headquarters, in the delegate assembly hall, to accommodate all members of the Absent Counselor Reserve (ACRs), the Absent Teacher Reserve (ATRs), other excessed staff or other concerned UFT members, for the purpose of fully airing how the tentative UFT contract will affect excessed staff. 
The ATR part of the contract is a fundamental violation of due process and tenure. We are troubled that there is an expedited discipline and termination process that applies only to ATRs and not to non-excessed teachers. By agreeing to this expedited process you appear to be conceding to the myth that ATRs are all bad teachers instead of educators caught up in school closings and co-locations. 
Principal among our concerns, we wish to have a full enumeration of all actions that would constitute "problematic behavior". 
We are very troubled by your statement, reported in the May 12, 2014 “Wall Street Journal”, that some unnamed panel of hearing officers would solidify the definition of "problematic". How can we be considered as breaking the law if there is no written law or statute? You are trying to get people to agree to a contract whose terms are not yet really defined. 

PETITION BACKGROUND

How can one be considered as breaking the law if there is not yet a written law? Should the fate of teachers' careers rest on undefined legal concepts?

Monday, May 12, 2014

"First They Came" by an excessed teacher

This gem needs no introduction.

They came for the Ed Evaluators, but I was not an Ed Evaluator so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Home Economics Teachers, but I was not a Home Economics Teacher so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Shop Teachers, but I was not a Shop Teacher so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Reading Teachers, but I was not a Reading Teacher so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Literacy Coaches, but I was not a Literacy Coach so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Librarians, but I was not a Librarian so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Bi-Lingual Teachers, but I was not a Bi-Lingual Teacher so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Business Teachers, but I was not a Business Teacher so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Drama Teachers, but I was not a Drama Teacher so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Art Teachers, but I was not an Art Teacher so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Band Teachers, but I was not a Band Teacher so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Phys Ed Teachers, but I was not a Phys Ed Teacher so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Computer Teachers, but I was not a Computer Teacher so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Physics Teachers, but I was not a Physics Teacher so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Chemistry Teachers, but I was not a Chemistry Teacher so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Foreign Language Teachers, but I was not a Foreign Language Teacher so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Dance Teachers, but I was not a Dance Teacher so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Music Teachers, but I was not a Music Teacher so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Common Branch Teachers teaching in middle school, but I was not a Common Branch Teacher teaching in middle school so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Guidance Counselors, but I was not a Guidance Counselor so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Social Workers, but I was not a Social Worker so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Older Teachers, but I was not an Older Teacher so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Minority Teachers, but I was not a Minority Teacher so I did not speak out.

Then they came for me, the regularly assigned teacher --and THERE WAS NO ONE LEFT TO SPEAK FOR ME AND IT WAS TOO LATE.


Just Vote No on the UFT Contract that makes ATRs Harijans!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

ATRs: Leaflet the delegates @ Wed's DA: Vote No on the UFT contract

ACRs/ATRs, other excesseed UFT members:
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:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1b2HI9Rs04WdNWrkKtCRea1VRYGJ0XfAXwDSYU-GDI8o/pub
*Version addressed to UFT delegates:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AwfHzIEKyVHY30kJ3IGihWbed6hrMiN_SA1YmtseosY/pub
*UFT's Pay Raise Schedule drawn out to 2020, plus issue of disparate treatment of ATRs:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qHdwRJF1hAyQgmbKiSlaw3bzrI41UmwBvh1MrmnbOKc/pub
*Drawn-out raise schedule Illustrated in a graphical form:
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DZQBUBWlLLQ/U2ZzWlriviI/AAAAAAAAAE4/EqKPAlEct_o/s1600/AContract4PuttingOffRetro.gif

Fellow UFT members, ask your delegates,


DELEGATES, CAN YOU AFFORD TO SUPPORT THIS CONTRACT?”


In the new expedited process an ATR's career can be cut short promptly:
The charge from just two principals that he or she is “unprofessional” (which is not spelled out) will end their tenure, without due process.
--Can we really trust that principals will not create frivolous trumped up charges?
How safe are you from becoming an ATR?
--Is your license the next to be eliminated?
--Is your school losing enrollment?
--Is your school getting a co-location?
--Do you think your principal likes you –now?


And why are we agreeing with merit pay and with putting 200 schools outside of union protection?
Why does 75% of retro pay does not come until October 2018?


"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?


Vote NO on the UFT contract! ATR Chapter Committee atrnyc.blogspot.com

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:

Our Pay Raises
Money
These are the raises that we will get on paper (what the press is reporting):
'09 --4%
'10 --4%
'11 --0% ($1,000 signing
bonus credited to 2011)
'12 --0%
'13 --1%
'14 -1%
'15 -1%
'16 --1.5%
'17 --2.5%
'18 --3%

However, the money that is owed to us from previous years will ONLY arrive beginning in the
year 2015. It will work like this:
• 9/1/14- 2% (which includes the raise due 5/1/13 and 5/1/14 at 1% each):
• 5/1/15 - 3% (2% from our leftover raises in '09-'10 plus the 1% in the contract)
• 5/1/16 - 3.5% (2% from our leftover raises in '09-'10 plus the 1.5% in the contract)
• 5/1/17 - 4.5% (2% from our leftover raises in '09-'10 plus the 2.5% in the contract)
• 5/1/18 - 5% (2% from our leftover raises in '09-'10 plus the 3% in the contract)
• We would receive the $1,000 signing bonus sometime early next Fall

Our Retropay
That comes over 5 years and doesn't begin until 2015. We will receive a percentage of what
we are owed in one payment per year:
• 10/1 2015- 12.5% (lump sum)
• 10/1 2016 - Nothing
• 10/1 2017 - 12.5% lump sum
• 10/1 2018 - 25% lump sum
• 10/1 2019 - 25% lump sum
• 10/1 2020 - 25% lump sum

ATRs
Whoever accepts a position at a school, will go right back into the pool if a principal *says* they acted in an unprofessional manner. If an ATR is sent back into the reserve pool twice, then he/she will be fired in a 50 day time frame via a 3020-a hearing that will last no more than 1 day.