Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Principals Are Hiding & Filling Vacancies With Non ATRs As They Attempt To Circumvent The "ATR Agreement". What Is The Union Doing About It?
There is increasing anecdotal evidence that principals are either hiding or filling their vacancies with substitute teachers or requiring teachers in the school to cover (usually at per session rates) the otherwise uncovered classes. Complaints to the UFT leadership has been met with shrugs and indifference. Instead the UFT proudly announced that 100+ ATRs have been placed into long term positions (vacancies, or leaves).Yes, according to the UFT, a measly 5% of the 2,000 ATRS received a job tryout since the DOE's "ring around the rosy" started, using a selection algorithm that is next to worthless. However, many of the ATRs took positions in struggling schools out of their Borough where there is high teacher turnover rate. Therefore, unless the union publishes what schools and where (by Borough) these ATRs took positions, I am not impressed. I was offered seven jobs, three in Brooklyn and three in the Bronx. The one school in Queens that offered me a position is closing and is not a viable option. Since I am a Queens teacher, I expect to work in a stable Queens school. Therefore, if I was desperate and wanted to work in far and away Transfer schools, or travel for an hour or more, to other Boroughs I could have been part of the 100+ too! I do not call this a victory by any means.
The union inaction is appalling, a real pro active union would file formal complaints and expose the apparent Principal "hi jinks" surrounding the vacancies in their schools. Furthermore, why is the union allowing the principals to bring in substitute teachers to cover vacancies or long term leaves? Granted, the union has lived up to their promise in saving ATRs from the DOE ax. However, many ATRs are "quality teachers" and allowing the DOE and principals to abuse the "ATR Agreement" is unfair to the students who suffer from a lack of these "quality teachers". It is one thing for the DOE to practice "children last" polices but it is another for our union to aid and abed the DOE in this hurtful practice.
The GEM-ATR Committee has a list of proposals that all ATRs support and can be found here.