Saturday, May 19, 2012

Chancellor Dennis Walcott Proposes to Give A Generous Buyout For ATRs. What Does Generous Mean? Not Much If You Ask Me.

It seems that Chancellor Dennis Walcott has finally given up trying to fire ATRs by imposing a time limit on being an ATR.  Since he now realizes that the union has no interest in negotiating a contract with the Bloomberg Administration and even then Michael Mulgrew has made it clear that he has no intention of giving up the ATRs by imposing a time limit in the next contract. So instead of the stick, the Chancellor is offering a carrot by giving buyouts to ATRs.

While the Chancellor is vague on the buyout offer, he did say it will be "generous" compared to other cities buyout offers.  Dallas gave a $10,000 buyout while Washington D.C. offered a $25,000 buyout for teachers in good standing.   The best guess is that the buyout offer will be $1,000 per year of service which makes it somewhat equivalent to but certainly not superior to the Washington D.C. buyout offer.

The proposal by the Chancellor is quite flawed since the only ATRs that will take the buyout offer are those ATRs ready to retire anyway.  One of my ATR friends had her final pension consultation and was putting in her retirement papers next month.  Now she intends to stay until September so that she can get a $26,000 buyout package.  Who can blame her?  Sure, some but not many other ATRs will take the buyout offer because they want to leave the profession anyway.  The vast majority of ATRs will thumb their collective noses at the "generous buyout".

The majority of long-term ATRs (greater than one year) are senior teachers who are highly compensated and therefore are usually shunned by principals.  Remember principals control their school budget and due to the  "fair student funding formula" are very reluctant to hire senior ATRs due to these budgetary reasons. Furthermore, between ex-Chancellor Joel Klein, the DOE, and the media, the ATRs are looked at as failed or burnt out teachers.  Even in today's New York Post editorial the article demonizes the ATRs so why shouldn't principals, especially the "Leadership Academy Principals", believe it?   Despite the demonizing of the ATRs, many of them  are hard working teachers, who, no fault of their own, came from closing schools, excessed due to the elimination of the school program, and a target of phony discipline issues by vindictive principals.

I personally cannot see any teacher under 62 (unless part of the 25/55 program) taking the "generous buyout".  Certainly, any ATR under 55 will thumb their collectives noses at it since they cannot collect a pension or retiree health benefits until they reach 55 years of age.  So just what is "generous"?  I guess it is in the eye of the beholder. I suspect the Chancellor will be very disappointed when he realizes that his "generous buyout" policy will result in few takers.  If the Chancellor really wants to eliminate the ATR problem simply reimpose the requirement that excessed teachers  in their district are placed in the vacancies.  Any other proposal is doomed to fail and a waste of 100 million dollars.


Michael Fiorillo said...

I'm not sure Bloomberg has completely given up on forcing out the ATRs: isn't one of the reasons for closing all these schools to create so many ATRs that the union is under tremendous political pressure to cave? And isn't caving in one of the few things Unity Caucus excels at?

Anonymous said...

Caving in and winning elections.Chaz you should get more involved.

Chaz said...


I may be naive but I do take Michael Mulgrew at his word on the ATR issue.


My blog is my advocacy and I challenge the DOE when I can.

Michael Fiorillo said...


Even taking Mulgrew's statements on the ATRs at face value, will he not be under tremendous pressure if the school year starts with thousands of them? What if Cuomo decides to weigh in? I think the potential dangers are great, even if Unity does intend to hold fast.

On the other hand, September promises to be a train wreck, and there's a fair chance the public will blame Bloomberg, not us. Hopefully, the union is preparing to take advantage of that moment.

Chaz said...


I find myself in complete agreement with you on what you say.

NY_I said...

With the Mulgrew sex scandal story in the Post, it shows his compromised ability to represent the members.
-as I've discussed in my blog, Why Post-Scooped Mulgrew Sex Story has Political Relevance.
His compromised position gives a clue as to why he is weak in his advocacy for the members on many issues.

Anonymous said...

Why not a special retirement arrangement for all ATR teachers with 15 or more years regardless their ages with pensions at 33% of their final salaries? Similar to disability retirement. Maybe some ATR teachers will be so frustrated to go along with. ATR teachers with less than 15 years don't make much and are not expensive to keep.

bizarro said...

I am ready to go too but am not an ATR. My goal should have been to receive U's so as to be eligible for this buyout if it comes to fruition.

Anonymous said...

Count on Mayor Scumberg to press this ATR issue next September on. Why would he create thousands more ATRs if he doesn't intend to exploit the issue?

He will be crying poverty, and bad economy, and all the rest in his personal, toilet paper tabloids next year, and how the ATRs are such a drain on society-while possibly dangling a meager salary raise in the process.

Can you imagine a Mayor so rich that he can personally use the Daily News , Times, and Post to wipe his ass in public whenever he chooses? It's a disgrace to everything the U.S. used to be about.

You KNOW that ANY contract proposal will be linked to an ATR hiring time limit. Really, it's not going to matter that much, since THOUSANDS of pink slips will be given out every June when they start to implement the test data clause. If you don't get the test data right in any given year-you get an "Ineffective." Two, and you're OUT!