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

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Some goals to pose in the ATR meetings at the UFT borough offices

Some goals to pose to Amy Arundell and the UFT in the ATR meetings at the borough offices on September 9 (Manhattan and Queens), September 11 (Staten Island) and September 12 (Bronx). The Brooklyn meeting was held on September 8.

  1. 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.
2) Questions to ask at the UFT’s ATR Meetings
  • 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?
3) Goals
  • 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.