Sunday, June 11, 2017
Did The Union Sellout The ATRs?
By now we all know that the union leadership secretly negotiated a new two year ATR Agreement, without ATR input or participation, along with an inferior and insulting buyout incentive. However, the new ATR Agreement doesn't spell out many of the issues that ATRs experience during the year.
First, will there be field supervisors and how will their duties change with the new ATR Agreement? The information supplied by the union and the DOE makes no mention of the field supervise issue. I suspect that the ATR field supervisor responsibilities will be similar to this school year. However, its possible the actual rating officer will be the school Principal, assuming the ATRs are placed in a school for the long-term.
Second, will the rotation end? Or will those ATRs who won their 3020-a termination hearings be rotated while the ATRs from closing schools and programs will be "forced placed"? It certainly appears that is what the DOE has in mind by reserving the right not to place ATRs who were disciplined.
Third, why did the union leadership agree to allow the DOE to place elementary and middle school ATRs into other districts in the Borough? Why didn't the union ask those ATRs for thewir opinion?
Finally, why didn't the union negotiate the right for ATRs to have mutual consent and reject a "forced placement"? The reason is that the union leadership knew very well that given the vote, ATRs would overwhelmingly reject the "forced placement" and the ATR Agreement.
The main reason the union leadership did not consult the ATRs and refuse them proper representation is that the ATRs remind all teachers how the union sold the ATRs out back in 2005. When then UFT President, Randi Wiengarten, and her propaganda minister, Leo Casey, told the members that the DOE would never pay for ATRs salary without a classroom and would push principals to hire them. How wrong they were. Moreover, they said the newly created Open Market Transfer System would allow all teachers to sell themselves to desperate schools who needed veteran teachers. Of course, the opposite is true. In fact the UFT lie about how successful the Open Market System is still echoed by Gene Mann in his online newspaper, The Organizer, who claims that 4,000 teachers transfer through it every year. Of course he fails to mention few, if any veteran teachers, get positions through it.
As for the Chapter Leaders? While the union will still occasionally, in their Chapter Leader newsletter, mention to the Chapter Leaders to welcome the ATRs to their school and make sure they have a bathroom key, an elevator pass, and a safe place to store their belongings? Most ATRs never meet the Chapter Leaders unless the ATR actively seeks them out to complain about not being treated like other teachers at the school. In this semester, I have been sent to three schools and have not met any of the Chapter Leaders. Only one school offered me an elevator pass and a bathroom key. None of the schools offered me a safe place for my belongings. No wonder the UFT newspaper never mentions the ATRs or their issues it just reminds the teachers of how shabby the ATRs are treated.
The union leadership can continue the fiction that the ATR is a temporary condition but some senior ATRs have been one for over a decade, that is not temporary and depriving them of their own chapter and Chapter Leader is a disservice to the ATRs since the school Chapter Leaders and the ATRs are, as South Bronx blog points out is like two ships passing in the night when it comes to properl representing the ATRs.