And at the latest UFT delegate assembly president Mulgrew said that the union has taken in 6,000 new members. That means thousands of displaced roving teachers could have had stationary teaching assignments. But unlike Randi Weingarten, Mulgrew has never pushed for a hiring freeze, and has never advocated for the ATRs, pressing the city to hire them. See this age discrimination lawsuit the Weingarten waged, to get the city place ATRs. Read this Chaz post from that time. On the new teachers, Mulgrew at last week's DA said, "we're going to do the new teachers." Whatever that meant.
The union is only too happy to have the dual dues income stream of dues paying new teachers and dues paying wandering ATRs. This is more favorable for the UFT over the pre-rotation pattern of the city hiring more subs than today. Subs don't pay the full union dues that ATRs pay. New teachers have the posts we could have had, and the UFT has dues from both new and old teachers.
Where are the kids in all this? Arundell pointed out that the students and their Regents test scores are suffering. ATRs see that thousands are suffering in another way. At schools across the city schools drag their feet and do not hire teachers for vacancies --including in Regents classes. They ask the ATRs passing through: when will we get a teacher? Will you be our new teacher? Will you be entering the grades? Will you speak to our parents? ATRs honestly have to say that they don't know.
Bloomberg/Walcott's and now DeBlasio/Farina's policy has been driven by spite against veteran teachers; it has not been productive. Children, as we see, are the victims.
And when the city starts placing ATRs in "provisional" positions what they mean is that they are placing teachers in positions only for the four to six weeks that they will be in the school. Students ask the same questions of the teacher. ATRs, for their part, ask students about past teachers that year and learn that they have had a revolving door of different teachers different weeks or months. Of course, many students feel bitter, abandoned. No wonder many lack motivation. Who gets blamed? The ATR of course.
Realistically, how well do you think that teachers can get students to put their all into their work under these situations? The students treat the ATRs as extended time subs. And more than a few students have been upset when they find that the teacher they finally warmed to in a month is going to be replaced the next week by an entirely different teacher. The UFT claims to be the union that cares about students and families. Where is the advocacy this time? And readers, imagine that your child were in such classrooms. Would you appreciate DeBlasio's continuing this Bloomberg era policy against placing teachers on a permanent basis?
Here is the nuance: principals will hire people for the first year because the city pays their salary, but beyond the second year they will have to pay for them out of their own budget. It's only in that preliminary time frame that the principals are off the hook.
Despite, all the restrictions the union and the DOE imposed on the ATRs, the union made a point to tell the ATRs in their October meeting that the ATR Agreement will help get them positions as principals will employ them for the school's average teacher salary the first year, with the DOE paying the rest and for free the second year. What a great deal! Except, they didn't tell the ATRs the fine print attached to the ATR Agreement. You see the free second year comes with a major string attached. The free second year comes with the permanent appointment of the ATR to the school and that means the ATR's seniority will be taken into account if the school does any future excessing. That's right. Once the Principal picks up the ATR for the second year, they are permanently appointed, with full seniority rights. Therefore, few principals are willing to take a chance, unless they get a special waiver from DOE Central to keep the ATR a second year without permanently appointing the ATR.
Where does this all come from? We can't find this online in the UFT contract? Chaz explained:
The ATR pool of teachers range from a maximum of 2,600 at the beginning of the school year, to 1,000 near the end. Does that mean the 1,600 excessed teachers received an appointed position? The answer is an emphatic no! Most of the 1,600 ATRs are either provisionally appointed for the year or on a long-term leave replacement assignment. Almost all of those teachers will be back into the ATR pool at the end of the school year. Unlike the CSA (administrators) and DC37 (secretaries), the UFT members, except for paras, are rotated throughout the year. The union negotiated a two year ATR agreement that ends in the 2015-16 school year and must be renegotiated for the 2016-17 school year and beyond, otherwise, it reverts back to the 2007 ATR Agreement. How has it worked? In my opinion, terribly! Few ATRs have landed permanent positions and the ATR pool is as large as ever. The union had touted that if a school picked up an ATR for the second year, the ATR was free for the school. Then why don't principals take the DOE up on their generous offer? The answer was that there are strings attached. First, let's look at the two year ATR agreement the union negotiated with the DOE. without any input from the people affected, the ATRs. The union agreed to the DOE's demands that ATRs must go to mandatory interviews in their Borough (not Districts) and missing two would result in termination. That ATRs have no right to refuse an assignment or position and if they don't show up by the second day, they are terminated. If two consecutive principals or in consecutive years, find the ATR's behavior not to their liking, the ATR will be subject to a termination hearing. In other words, the union agreed to reduced "due process rights" for ATRs. Oh, did I forget about the one day 3020-a hearing for the ill-defined problematic behavior? How about the ridiculous "flyby observations" by the DOE field supervisors assassins that have resulted in quite a few "unsatisfactory" ratings and some 3020-a charges this year? The result was that the ATRs became second class citizens.The UFT needs to fight for the termination of the Fair Student Funding formula. DeBlasio needs to start being a mayor that does not show contempt for veteran workers as Bloomberg did. Actions speak louder than the words of pretenses of progressive. Career-threatening dubious U ratings from field supervisor observations, under substitute settings, grown to a record level under DeBlasio/Farina. DeBlasio, we're reading your actions. Right now, your labor and DOE policies are looking little different from Bloomberg's.