It seems that Chancellor Dennis Walcott has finally given up trying to fire ATRs by imposing a time limit on being an ATR. Since he now realizes that the union has no interest in negotiating a contract with the Bloomberg Administration and even then Michael Mulgrew has made it clear that he has no intention of giving up the ATRs by imposing a time limit in the next contract. So instead of the stick, the Chancellor is offering a carrot by giving buyouts to ATRs.
While the Chancellor is vague on the buyout offer, he did say it will be "generous" compared to other cities buyout offers. Dallas gave a $10,000 buyout while Washington D.C. offered a $25,000 buyout for teachers in good standing. The best guess is that the buyout offer will be $1,000 per year of service which makes it somewhat equivalent to but certainly not superior to the Washington D.C. buyout offer.
The proposal by the Chancellor is quite flawed since the only ATRs that will take the buyout offer are those ATRs ready to retire anyway. One of my ATR friends had her final pension consultation and was putting in her retirement papers next month. Now she intends to stay until September so that she can get a $26,000 buyout package. Who can blame her? Sure, some but not many other ATRs will take the buyout offer because they want to leave the profession anyway. The vast majority of ATRs will thumb their collective noses at the "generous buyout".
The majority of long-term ATRs (greater than one year) are senior teachers who are highly compensated and therefore are usually shunned by principals. Remember principals control their school budget and due to the "fair student funding formula" are very reluctant to hire senior ATRs due to these budgetary reasons. Furthermore, between ex-Chancellor Joel Klein, the DOE, and the media, the ATRs are looked at as failed or burnt out teachers. Even in today's New York Post editorial the article demonizes the ATRs so why shouldn't principals, especially the "Leadership Academy Principals", believe it? Despite the demonizing of the ATRs, many of them are hard working teachers, who, no fault of their own, came from closing schools, excessed due to the elimination of the school program, and a target of phony discipline issues by vindictive principals.
I personally cannot see any teacher under 62 (unless part of the 25/55 program) taking the "generous buyout". Certainly, any ATR under 55 will thumb their collectives noses at it since they cannot collect a pension or retiree health benefits until they reach 55 years of age. So just what is "generous"? I guess it is in the eye of the beholder. I suspect the Chancellor will be very disappointed when he realizes that his "generous buyout" policy will result in few takers. If the Chancellor really wants to eliminate the ATR problem simply reimpose the requirement that excessed teachers in their district are placed in the vacancies. Any other proposal is doomed to fail and a waste of 100 million dollars.
WHO DO WE BACK TO PRIMARY CUOMO?
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