Saturday, January 10, 2015
What The Union Forgot To Tell You About The ATR Agreement.
In the new contract the union allowed the DOE to impose special provisions on the ATRs, making them "second class citizens". Moreover, the union has quietly allowed the DOE to keep the immoral "problem codes" attached to an ATR's file if they had a substantiated OSI or SCI investigation. even when an independent arbitrator finds the charges not to be true. Now it seems that the UFT and DOE have had some side agreements that circumvent the recently enacted ATR agreement.
First, the UFT has agreed to allow principals to hire external candidates for vacancies during January. Nowhere in the contract is this spelled out or even hinted at. Many principals are still interviewing ATRs but only to show that they are abiding by the contract while delaying hiring until the January window to hire an external candidate, probably a "newbie".
Second, just like all other ATR agreements, the DOE is violating the conditions as the union has no power to enforce it. I know of a case where a Bronx elementary school Principal is hiring an external candidate for a long-term leave replacement, in direct violation of the ATR Agreement. How many other principals are violating the ATR Agreement? I'm sure quite a few.
Finally, the UFT has failed to protect ATR rights from vindictive field supervisors. How can rotating ATRs, who have no ownership or even knowledge of the students,. expect to meet the unreasonable requirements imposed by these field supervisors. Most importantly, they demand "rigor" and "higher level thinking skills". However, if you have no knowledge of the students, how can one determine their ability in one class session? What is "rigor" anyway? Despite numerous complaints, the UFT has failed to stop this abusive practice by the field supervisors.
To summarize, it appears the DOE has decided that violating or circumventing the contract terms of the ATR Agreement is part of their game and the UFT does nothing about it, like usual.