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

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Why in the era of Newtown and Parkland are ATRs denied keys for locking their room?

Last week 17 people, students and staff, have lost their lives to gun violence on campus.

One key way that teachers helped many students to survive in the Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Connecticut and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida was to lock the classroom doors.

A lesser well known ugly truth is that in members of the Absent Teacher Reserve are often not given keys that allow them to lock the classroom doors. ATRs know why this is done. ATRs are treated as pariahs. Neglecting the needs to equip with them with the essential tools to do their job is another way to ostracize and demoralize them. However, declining to give ATRs classroom keys is a serious safety problem. The NYC Department of Education has done a cruel thing in failing to see that ATRs are fully equipped. The DOE and the UFT have known that this is an ongoing problem. They are both failing in a duty of leadership and rectifying this.


  1. I’d be overjoyed with a restroom key. I’ve been in the dump for 5 months and can’t take a dump.

  2. Apparently, in safety training, principals are told to sacrifice ATRs over anyone else.

    The Uft has signed off bc we ATRs are lower than the stuff you find under the fridge

    1. They just want to push out the experienced teachers out.

  3. Our Union by not negotiating in good faith has impacted that a group of teachers called ATRs are treated in a different way under rules that were not voted, and are denied a fair chance to find permanent jobs because they are in disvantage with respect to new teachers. The ATR pool was never created to be a dumping ground for the most experienced teachers. Therefore we require a new agreement with the input, and vote of ATRs in compliance with the Roberts Laws. We also require a new agreement that prevents any targeting, harassment, or abuse from any type of supervisor with the sole purpose of terminating ATRs. Observations should not be used in a arbitrary, and capricious way to penalize or to terminate an ATR.

  4. ATRs ara harassed by Field Supervisors who are not acting in good faith.

  5. The union needs to go much further and challenge the DOE’s use of field supervisions at PERB or by filing a lawsuit. How unfair is it to observe a teacher in a classroom of strangers, with no ownership of their grades, and no idea how much rigor to put into a lesson since the ATR has no idea of the students’ academic ability? Any knowledge of IEPs? Yet our disconnected union leadership ignores the issue and allows the DOE to run roughshod over the hapless ATR. They are giving a blank check to supervisors that for the most part are not acting in good faith. ATRs should not be harassed and targeted by Supervisors coming with an agenda.

  6. Lawsuits will be piling up on age discrimination because the hiring policies adopted by the UFT and DOE are discriminatory.