Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Did The DOE Secretly Host A Job Fair At The Brooklyn Museum And Failed To Invite The ATRs? Worse, Did The Union Know It And Let The Job Fair Happen?



Last week, I was contacted by a fellow ATR who asked me about a teachers' "job fair" being planned on Tuesday, June 7th at the Brooklyn Museum. This "job fair" seems to be by invitation only and few, if any ATRs were invited. A teacher who wangled an invitation by going to 65 Court Street personally told me that various schools were represented and many newly minted "Teaching Fellows" and "Teach For America" candidates were being interviewed for all sort of positions, not just "special education" despite the hiring freeze.. The ATR that got the invitation only ran into two other ATRs at the "job fair" and the school administrators (mainly principals) were questioning the lack of interest by the ATRs in their school for their vacancies. The ATR did tell some of the principals that almost all the ATRs were not invited to the "job fair" and was almost universally greeted with disbelief to what the ATR said. It appears many of the administrators were unaware that the DOE did not invite the ATRs to the "job fair". What was most upsetting to me was the ATR claimed the UFT had their own welcome desk set up to great the teachers.

After talking to the ATR in detail and in depth, I have come to the disturbing conclusion that the DOE did not want the ATRs at the "job fair" and that is the reason why there were so few ATRs there. Why would the DOE do this to their own principals? Here are some reasons why.
  1. It convinces the unsuspecting principals that the ATRs are not interested in teaching classes and filling vacancies at their schools.
  2. Helps Tweed to continue to demonize the ATRs as teachers who don't want to and/or can't teach.
  3. Maybe sneaking in "newbie teachers" in some vacancies despite the hiring freeze by claiming there are no ATRs available to fill the vacancy.
While, nothing surprises me on the depths the DOE will go to get around the hiring freeze and disrespect the ATRs, the most worrisome issue was the apparent complicity the UFT had in this top secret "job fair". The ATR teacher who attended told me that there was a UFT table welcoming the potential "newbie teachers" and the smattering of ATRs who managed to find themselves at the "job fair".

My questions to the union are the following:
  • Why didn't the UFT alert all the ATRs of this "job fair"?
  • Is the union unwittingly aiding and abetting Tweed in further demonizing the ATRs?
  • Are they making sure the DOE is listing all the vacancies in the "Open Market Transfer System"? If not, then why?
I believe our union needs to inform the ATRs and all other transfer teachers why they appear complicit in keeping the June 7th "job fair" secret. We are owed an explanation to this disturbing and dangerous development and the union's role in it.

25 comments:

bookworm said...

I have had a similar experience when dealing with the THSC. I saw that I had missed the first 2 hiring events in May and requested an invitation to the one on June 7. Was told that the events were by "invitation only" and to stay tuned to my email to see if I get invited. Never got my invitation.

They Know All About IT said...

Talk to Amy Arundel at the union. She knows all about it and was instructed to tell ATRs that there would be a fair in the summer for them knowing full well that many would not be in town at that time.

Anonymous said...

...unreal...

Anonymous said...

Does Michael Mulgrew know about this?

bookworm said...

I did contact Amy Arundell. She is on maternity leave at the moment. I haven't been able to get in touch with Michael Mendel whom I understand is covering in her absence.

Anonymous said...

WTF...Invitation Only?

Anonymous said...

This is really disturbing. What was the union thinking of when they allowed the DOE to host a teacher job fair without the ATRs?

Chaz said...

The UFT has some explaining to do when it comes to this "job fair" and the exclusion of the ATRs. So far their silence is deafening.

bookworm said...

I am beginning to wonder if we ATRs need to band together and file a class action against our own union for not fighting this on our behalf.

Rod said...

Chaz, I'm an ATR in the Bronx and received this email 6/8. Open to all teachers registered on Open Market. What do you think?

Dear Colleague,

The Teacher Hiring Support Center (THSC) is accepting online registration for the Bronx and Manhattan Teacher Recruitment Fair

taking place on Tuesday, June 14th, 2011 at 4 pm at Fordham University, 441 Fordham Road, Bronx, NY. The fair will be held at

the McGinley Center - McGinley Ballroom and Campus Center Lounge. An

Rod said...

Here's the link for the job fair.

https://thscnyc.org/teacher/events/NYCEventRegister.do?eventId=14806

Chaz said...

Interesting, but it still does not account for the lack of ATR invitations at the Brooklyn Museum and the union's role in it.

Anonymous said...

Not only were ATRs not invited but also teachers that are in danger of being laid off. I am an elementary school teacher in Queens with an elementary and special ed degree. I was given tenure last year so if I am good enough for tenure I should be good enough to consider so a special ed position.

bookworm said...

I contacted my borough office today and the rep I spoke to didn't even seem to know what the THSC WAS. I told him my story of being denied an invitation, and also the fact that the THSC hid the vacancies in new school on the THSC site instead of the Open Market, with NO notice on the OM of this fact. He emailed the district reps in the borough to ascertain what they know and said we'd speak next week.

He also seemed genuinely surprised that ATRs were being deliberately shut out. We shall see what happens. Me, I expect a dose of tea and sympathy with very little action. Not that I'm cynical or anything....

Sweet Girl Tracie said...

In regards to the 'demoralization of ATR's" and not assisting them with making sure they know of vacancies, I just added a writing piece to my blog.
I think it will be very informative, another loophole that the UFT let happen.

http://talesofasweetgirl.blogspot.com/2011/06/i-am-not-going-to-blow-50amp-but-80amp.html

Chaz said...

Bookworm:

I was contacted by a union leader who was, to say the least, quite upset I posted this on my blog. He claimed that the "teacher fair" was only for new schools or for schools adding grades and it was by "invitation only" for nontenured teachers and teachers from an alternate certification programs (TFR & TFA).

When i told him that excluding ATRs was not right and the union is complicit in their exclusion he told me that I was just trying to start trouble and hung up.

Yes, expect the union to ignore our complaints and act like everything is great.

Schoolgal said...

The biggest mistake these ATRs made was believing in Weingarten and not pursuing their discrimination suit.

This whole "invite only" smacks of discrimination. That is not what the Open Market was supposed to be about. And giving them a "special" job fair day smacks of segregation.

We must keep in mind that Klein (in an email to principals) labeled them "undesirables" and ordered principals not to hire them. It's time for the ATRs to control their destiny and get their own suit going again.

Chaz said...

schoolgal:

How true. I must admit that i was shocked that Tweed would allow the ATR crises to happen and pay them $160 million dollar annually. However, they did. With the hiring freeze and a new Chancellor, maybe Tweed will reverse course and tell principals to hire the ATRs to reduce the drain on the funds.

The age discrimination case will only happen if the union backs it and so far the union shows no inclination of doing so.

Schoolgal said...

Chaz:
The new chancellor works at the mayor's bidding. I am sure he backed Klein all the way on this.

If I recall, the original suit was not filed by the Union, and it wasn't until news of the suit spread in the media, did Randi step in. And the deal that was made with Tweed had more holes than swiss cheese. My principal for instance just closed positions rather than hire from the ATR pool. And, she has had the same F-status employee for 5 years!!

I believe a class-action suit can still be filed without union support.

bookworm said...

Holding a job fair for newbies and untenured teachers smacks of age discrimination and segregation. And why only "untenured" teachers? Maybe because principals only want teachers they can keep intimidated and compliant. And why are ANY newbies being hired before we get placed? Oh, right, because between the DOE and the UFT, one lies and the other swears to it.

Chaz said...

Schoolgal:

If what you say is true, the CL must tell the DR and the union must do something about the hiding of teaching vacancies.

Boojworm:

I totally agree,I still think the union must be pushed to do it.

Schoolgal said...

The CL is aware. It's a technicality because the vacancy is not hidden, it's just removed from existence. When a teacher retired early in the year, she just split up her class and increased the class size on the grade. As long as it fell within the class size guideline, there's nothing to be done.

If you recall the ATR agreement, a principal had to get permission to keep a F-status teacher. She managed to get that easily because I am sure the DoE would rather her pay for that than a senior teacher.
There were so many loopholes in that ATR agreement, as in many of the agreements made with the UFT that it's becoming a joke.

If the ATRs want to sit and wait it out, that's their decision. If they want to complain and not take any action, that's their decision too. But I cannot fight their battles and neither can you. They have to throw down the gauntlet on this one.

bookworm said...

I agree that we need to start pressuring the union, but the nature of the ATR situation makes it difficult as we don't know who we are or where we are, and are moved around constantly like the ball in a 3-Card Monty game. I am ready to do the Tarantella on someone's desk until they listen but where does one begin?

Schoolgal said...

Begin with your own lawyer for a consultation.

Chaz said...

Schoolgal & Bookworm:

We are paying $1,200 to our union annually. Our union leaders should be getting a list of all "F" status people in every school and all vacancies and then demand that the DOE fill those vacancies with full-time teachers not "F" status people.


What are we paying our dues for?