Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Open Market System - Are All The Vacancies Being Posted?

One of the most contentious giveback of the terrible 2005 contract was the elimination of the "Seniority Transfer System" that allowed senior teachers to transfer to another school and possibly bumping a less experienced teacher. We all now know the consequences of the elimination of the "Seniority Transfer System" . The nearly thousand ATRs that now float from school to school and eat up the DOE budget. Of course the DOE and UFT knew this was going to happen and let it happen anyway. Shame on them. In it's place was the wonderful, or so Leo Casey claims, "Open Market Transfer System" where all the school vacancies must be posted, rather than half of them. No more hiding school vacancies, all vacancies must be posted! Yeah, tight and I am really the tooth fairy.

The "Open Market Transfer System" was touted by the UFT spin mister Leo Casey in Edwize last year showing how well it worked in the first year of operation. Of course it was quite obvious that even using Leo's suspect statistics you can see that senior teachers had more trouble transferring than new teachers. In fact, according to Leo Casey's statistics there were 1,202 teachers who transferred with less than five years of experience in 2005 (there were only 31 teachers who transferred in this experience group under the old system) compared to only 163 senior teachers with twenty or more years of experience. Note, this is for 2006, before the "fair student funding" program and the school budget cuts which will further limit senior teachers from changing schools. I would like to see the 2007 statistics Leo, where are they? Did you forget to post them like you did last May? What is even more worrisome is that the UFT knew that senior teachers would have a tough time finding a new school and agreed to it anyway.

As we progress into the 2008-09 school year there seems to be anecdotal evidence that many of the vacancies, especially in the new small schools and in schools that have Empowerment or Leadership Academy Principals are not being posted in the "Open Market Transfer System". Just to give an example in all of Queens, there are only six Math positions posted for the middle and high schools. The same is true for the Physical Sciences (Earth Science, Chemistry, & Physics) where only five positions are listed. These two subject areas are in great demand and subject to severe shortages. Why aren't these positions being posted? It could be the tight school budgets and the uncertainly it fosters. However, I believe it is much more than just the budget.

In the education blogosphere many teachers post that their schools have vacancies but they are not on the "Open Market Transfer System" why? One teacher blogger stated that the principal likes to hire the two year wonders from "Teach For America". These teachers sign a two year contract and usually leave the system shortly thereafter. Many other positions are saved for the "Teaching Fellows" and newbie teachers at the job fairs. It seems to me that despite the UFT spin mister Leo Casey's claim, all the vacancies are not listed on the "Open Market Transfer System". Is it any wonder that we have a serious ATR crises?

The UFT must ensure that no vacancies are left behind. In other words all vacancies must be posted or take the DOE to court on the violation of the contract. However, our union has shown to be all talk but very little action. Let's see what they dol this time.


Anonymous said...

Great article. You should also include the NEPOTISM that exist in hiring. Most of the jobs in the schools go to the administration's relatives, friends, etc.
Where is the union? ZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Anonymous said...

Great article. You should also include the NEPOTISM that exist in hiring. Most of the jobs in the schools go to the administration's relatives, friends, etc.
Where is the union? ZZZZZZZZZZZZ

NYC Educator said...

In a way, it no longer matters whether they post the vacancies or not, as principals can hire anyone they wish, on any basis they wish. Now that the UFT has endorsed a reorg that encourages principals to consider salary as a factor, there's very little reason for them to hire senior teachers displaced by school closings.

Chaz said...


Nepootism has always been around. Before, after, and present.

nyc educator:

True. However, it still does not give the principals the right to hide their vacancies. In fact, it is a significant violation of the contract. Where is Leo Casey in defending our rights?

Under Assault said...

Really good post, just got to it now.

But I do want to comment on two things in your first paragraph, where you say that the nearly 1000 ATRs "now float from school to school and eat up the DOE budget."

ATRs are attached to a school, their original one or another one. I haven't heard that any are really floating around.

And I don't think you meant to say that we "eat up" anyone's budget — at least, any more than other teachers do. The vast majority are working: many in full programs, others subbing. Like regular teachers, some are content with their fate, others are not.

You've deplored the ATR situation heartily enough in this and earlier posts to lead me to believe you're not harboring negative feelings against ATRs, but this sentence caught me by surprise.

Anonymous said...

In my school they hide the jobs for the adminintrations friends and daughters.

Anonymous said...

The same happens in my school. One of the teacher's daughters graduated and the next day the job was waiting for her. I am waiting for a job in that school for 2 years at no avail. I am still a sub.

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