Saturday, August 18, 2012

There Are Rumors That The DOE And The UFT Have Reached A Framework For An ATR Buyout. The Question, If True? What Are The Details?

I have heard rumors that the UFT and DOE have reached a tentative agreement for the price of the buyout for long-term ATRS, (more than one year).   The rumor is the amount of the proposed buyout is a less than generous 50% of  he ATR's 2012-13 salary and will be implemented during the beginning of the school year in September.  The question is that knowing the DOE have they demanded that the ATR Agreement  be adjusted to, lets say a time limit?  While I do not believe that the union would agree to an ATR time limit, it was our union that unwisely agreed to the creation of the ATRs in the first place so anything is possible.

The problem is that the DOE and UFT historically negotiate in secrecy and lack transparency while the union continuously fails to solicit input from the affected members.  For example the ATR Agreement did not include input from those affected, the ATRs.  Further, the union failed to include an ATR in the negotiating committee for the ATR Agreement that apparently has never met! Furthermore, despite the many complaints by ATRs about the weekly placements, neither side has responded to these complaints or have bothered to find a more reasonable and efficient use of these experienced teachers. Finally, despite admissions by principals that they hide vacancies and hire outside long-term substitutes, the union has failed to file an expedited grievance to stop this practice that violates the ATR Agreement while the DOE looks the other way when their principals don't follow the rules

For an ATR buyout to be effective, it would need to include the two-year pension credit that all Tier I members receive when they retire.  The inclusion of a tw0-year pension credit is worth between a 4-11% increase in the pension and combined with the 50% salary buyout would encourage many ATRs to leave the system.  On the other hand, the buyout rumored to be given to ATRs will see only a few ATRs willing to take the money and they are the ones that have delayed retirement in the first place after the Chancellor told the press in the Spring of the buyout offer to ATRs.

While the ATR buyout proposal is a start, it must be part of a more comprehensive solution that includes the following::

  • Two-year pension credit with the buyout.
  • No outside teacher can be hired in the District until the ATRs certified in the subject area are placed. 
  • Incentives for Principals to hire ATRs, similar to 2008-09.
  • Disciplining and penalizing principals who fail to hire ATRs for their vacancies.
  • Expedited grievances when the DOE fails to enforce the ATR Agreement.
  • A joint committee that includes ATRs to ensure all the contract provisions are being implemented, enforced,  and the affected members informed.
The bottom line line is that the union has allowed the Mayor and Chancellor to demonize the ATRs as "lazy and bad teachers", while ignoring the age and salary discrimination that is obvious to all intelligent observers.  This must end now and the union must be pro-active in their advocacy of their 2,000 strong ATRs.   Nothing less is acceptable.


TeachmyclassMrMayor said...

Your points Chaz are all good ones, but as you also know, at the highest levels, our union leadership has been just as guilty of screwing teachers as the DOE. I am so disgusted. It is why I never vote Unity.

NY_I said...

UFT members have an alternative to Unity and its policies:

the MORE caucus.
Seek out MORE candidates, or join the caucus, and run as a MORE candidate.

Go to

Anonymous said...

Where did you hear these rumors? Last I heard was that Wolcott was never authorized to offer a buy out.

Chaz said...

Anon 1:57

I heard and was told the same thing as you did. However, two different teachers have informed me that they were told that a buyout will be announced at the beginning of the school year.

My sources at the union and the DOE don't deny or confirm the rumors. Therefore, I do believe something may be up.

Anonymous said...

What I do not understand is how the ATRs are standing back and not taking action. Can't the DOE and UFT be sued in a class action suit for breach of contract and unfair labor practices?

Anonymous said...

R u asking for the same credit afforded Tier 1 and 2, or for all ATRS???

veteran teacher said...

if they were gonna do it, it would've been done in aug b/c august is a slow news cycle. think about it, do you think they want this going down in sept when people start following news cycles again?

Anonymous said...

Leroy Barr was rather unflappable and measured during the memorable borough level ATR meetings last fall.

However, he got forceful and pointed when someone raised the issue of elected ATR representatives, "That's NOT on the table here." (paraphrased)

Arch treachery, the UFT's hostility toward democracy.

Anonymous said...

A two year pension credit would require state legislative approval. Hence, it will not happen. The buyout must be voluntary. It says so in the contract. No time limit will be there.

veteran teacher said...

I was also told that when Randi Weingarten left the UFT it was b/c a contract was already done in 2009, so you never know. And with how the UFT and DOE conduct business, we will be the last who know