Here it is December and I finally was given the UFT 2011-2012 teacher planning book titled "We Are One" by a sympathetic Chapter Leader. Reading the UFT's motto I had to laugh since the union Leadership has treated the ATRs as "second class citizens". It is bad enough that the DOE treats the ATRs as some "tool" to be used and abused weekly by principals but it is something else when our union allows the DOE to ignore the ATR Agreement and close their collective eyes to the principals who fail to interview or hire an ATR to cover their hidden or listed vacancies.
Why do I believe the union has treated the ATRs as "second class citizens"? Lets look at what the union leadership has failed to do for the ATRs.
- ATRs must go to 65 Court Street to receive their paychecks, not the school they are placed in.
- ATRs no longer get paper pay stubs.
- The union refuses to give ATRs a voice in determining their future.
- The union failed to place an ATR on their oversight committee and to make matters worse refuses to identify who is on the committee and what has been discussed.
- Many high school ATRs are subject to insane commutes, especially in District 76 and the union remains silent about this hardship.
- Schools continue to treat ATRs differently from teaching staff. No parking permits, no keys, and many of the Chapter Leaders fail to meet with the ATRs.
Remember, it was both the DOE and UFT that caused the ATR crises in the first place and it is time to restore the old excessing rules if the ATR crises is to be resolved and that the ATRs are not treated as "second class citizens". For the UFT to ignore this issue and the only action they do is propose "toothless resolutions" rather than publicly show how the DOE continues to violate the ATR Agreement is unacceptable.
Update: The DOE is setting up a pilot program for the Brooklyn schools to evaluate (terminate) ATRs. You can read the complete letter below.
From: Atrassignment <Atrassignment@schools.nyc.gov>
Subject: Important Update on Supervision
Date: Monday, December 5, 2011, 10:37 AM
The Department of Education is piloting a new model for supervision of teachers in the Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR). This pilot will be implemented for most ATRs assigned to community school districts in Brooklyn as well as the Brooklyn High School superintendency, District 73; you are receiving this email because you will likely be included in the pilot. Under this initiative, you will be supervised by a licensed administrator, called a Field Supervisor, who will periodically observe your practice and provide you with feedback to support your professional development. The Field Supervisors are aware that as an ATR you do not have a regular program and that you rotate school assignments and they will take this context into account in their work with you.
At some point in the next two months, you should expect your Field Supervisor to visit your assignment site to meet with you in person. At this initial meeting, the Field Supervisor will work with you to develop a plan to support your professional growth and job search process. The Field Supervisor will make an effort to contact you via your DOE email in advance of the initial meeting to give you a sense of when you can expect him or her; however, he or she may not always be able to provide advance notification.
NYC Department of Education
Sounds like bullshit to me. What has been the union's response to this outragouis attempt to go after ATRs? Nothing, absolutely nothing. Maybe this is what the union and DOE agreed to in their secret meetings to screw the ATRs,