The ATR Agreement that was signed by the DOE and UFT as part of the deal not to layoff the "newbie teachers" (like the Mayor would have really done that) has a section that requires that the two parties meet twice a term to determine if the Agreement is actually working and whether there are abuses to the ATR assignment process. In typical UFT fashion of claiming that a "lemon is really lemonade" the ATR Agreement is working as they cheer that 228 of the ATRs took provisional (not permanent) positions in the NYC school system. Left unsaid is that still leaves 1,200 ATRs going from school to school weekly, mostly senior teachers and that is what the union calls success?
The question is who is on the Joint Oversight Committee? Is it Michael Mendel? Amy Arundell? Leo Casey? (please let this be no). Who? How about the DOE? Andrew Gordon? Who else? Who cares? Well I care. First, why is there not an ATR on the Joint Oversight Committee? You would think that first hand knowledge of how the ATR Agreement is really working would be sought after by both the DOE and union? However,, the union chose not to put an ATR on the committee since they don't want to hear the inconvenient truth of the failure it is. You wouldn't want real information to be given to the affected members would you?
Every time the ATRs complain about how the union does not protect them, the unions answer is always the same. "We protected your job" . Unfortunately, the truth is the union aided and abetted the DOE in causing and perpetuating the ATR crises. Let's look how this happened.
First, the union agreed to the ATRs in the infamous 2005 contract that eliminating excessing and bumping and allowed principals to hire from the outside. Second, the union failed to challenge the Chancellor and allowed Joel Klein to demonize the ATRs in his famous 2006 memo to principals not to hire them because they are "lazy and bad teachers". Third, the union allowed the DOE to drop the "job freeze"during the summer hiring season to ensure the few ATRs would be given an opportunity to interview for positions. Fourth, the UFT bought into the DOE propaganda that their algorithm would maximize and match schools with vacancies and ATRs. In reality the algorithm is a fraud and some teachers were assigned to schools that didn't even have their subject area! The DOE algorithm simply randomizes the ATR with the schools in their district and does not take into account potential matches. Finally, many principals are either hiding or not filling their vacancies and the UFT does nothing about it. Some District Reps have been diligent in reporting these vacancies to the leadership, while others don't. Regardless, the leadership at the UFT appears not to be too interested in pursuing principals for their failure to either fill their vacancies or using day-to-day subs in violation of the ATR Agreement. Here is one example. Notice how the union's newspaper, The New York Teacher, seems never to have articles about the ATRs? I guess "out of sight, out of mind".
I believe the UFT suffers from the same lack of transparency as the DOE does and this secrecy and disinformation is not in the members interest, especially the ATRs., It is the responsibility of the two parties to provide the following information to the affected members.
- Names of the people on the Joint Oversight Committee
- Issues discussed
- Agreements reached
- Items not resolved
- Numbers of ATRs placed using the DOE algorithm