Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Union Screws The ATRs Yet Again!

It has recently come to my attention that the union has decided that ATRs are required to accept a long-term leave assignment, even if the ATR feels that the assignment is "not the right fit".  This is a change in position from what the union originally told ATRs.  Previously, if the ATR did not want to accept a long-term leave assignment and was waiting for a vacancy, the union told them that the ATR had to agree "that it was a good fit", otherwise, the ATR can refuse the long-term leave replacement position since it did not lead to a permanent position.  However, it now appears that the union has changed their tune on this issue and has told teachers that they must accept long-term leave replacement positions even if they do not want them.

What brought this change on?  I can only speculate that the discovery of the number being 1475 ATRs by Fransesco Portelos at the end of 2012 and not the 831 that the union seemed to claim, has embarrassed the union leaders who have falsely stated that the weekly ATR rotation successfully exposed ATRs to more vacancies.  WHAT A CROCK OF SHIT!  The reality is that the ATR weekly rotation is a farce and the only ATRs getting picked up are the younger and less expensive ATRs.  Therefore, most of the ATRs are older and more expensive and have few opportunities to apply for the vacancies.  To make matters worse the ATR agreement allows schools to ignore seniority issues by seeking younger and less expensive ATRs who were most recently excessed.  The result is that ATRs who have been ATRs for two or more years are not likely to be interviewed for the vacancy.

Finally, the union's failure to include an ATR in the joint oversight committee and their general disrespect for ATRs by not allowing an ATR Chapter Leader points to the union's uncaring attitude to the most vulnerable members of the profession.  I am very disappointed that the union allows the ATR weekly rotation travesty to continue and  not provide the ATRs with their own representatives.  To me, this is a moral failure of our union to the needs and rights of the ATR s which, I might add, was responsible for the ATR crises in the first place. Is it any wonder why I have problems voting for the "Unity" caucus in the elections when they ignore the needs of its members?


Anonymous said...

Two points: 1) Forcing an ATR to take a position that that is not a "good fit" can and will result in many ATR's loosing their jobs once the new evaluation program is implemented. 2) If anything has become apparent it is that anybody and everybody can become an ATR during their teaching career. The fight over ATR's is everybody's fight. This news must be shared with every teacher that you know and is all the more reason to vote MORE!

TeachmyclassMrMayor(andyoutooMrMulgrew) said...

No one should be surprised by this. Mulgrew & Co. screw their constituents again.

Francesco Portelos said...

The union is hiding these numbers and they were released to me by accident. I read about this ATR spike in the NY Teacher last month...oh no wait I didn't. They sensor the union news. Good thing for blogs like ours.

Now they have been hiding the number of reassigned teachers. Both DOE and UFT. My estimates are that they doubled. See email from Leroy Barr:
    Thank you. If I FOIL, I would give them a specific date. There is no centralized database in the UFT that holds the same information for a specific date?  Would it be safe to say about 440? I extrapolated the information from my own rubber room location where we doubled capacity since the DOE gave the 220 number in October. Reassigned teachers are emailing me for advice. I told them to reach out to you and Adam and refer to the 60 day limit. I'm happy to hear some were returned to the classroom.

If the UFT needs me to head a task force to sort through and communicate with reassigned members, I can do that.

I'm at day 420 under investigation with no charges.

-Francesco Portelos
UFT Chapter Leader IS 49
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” -Martin Luther King Jr.
*sent from my Galaxy S3. Please pardon any typos

▼ Hide quoted text
On Mar 25, 2013 11:54 AM, "LeRoy Barr" wrote:
Mr. Portelos,

As the number is constantly changing and the DOE controls who is reassigned, I recommend you submit a FOIL request to the DOE for this information. 
LeRoy Barr

Anonymous said...

What did I personally tell you? This is EXACTLY what I said would happen. That ATRs would be forced to accept the openings in the less desirable schools that no one else wants, and that as a result, they would be U'd out due to the new evaluation procedures and the unruly, do-nothing students in those schools. Problem solved (if you're Doomturd)!

saddleshoe said...


This isn't true. We can be forced to take long term sub assignments. We can't be forced to sign on as provisional hires - not that schools won't try to make us think this. We have to fight the perception we have no control
ATR's work in schools every day. If I have an issue in a school, I want the CL in the school and the District Rep to support me. I want them to br accountable to me. When ppl are in the rubber room they are practically quarantined and they need someone to represent them in their state of isolation. But the CL's in their schools no longer have any connection and sometimes just completely lose touch. The rubber room community has to fight not to be treated like a constituency at odds with teachers at large. The ATR community needs to push not to be separated as well. Teachers need to know who we are and ATR's can't accept being misunderstood or mistreated by anyone. That's why we can't act as if we are in our own separate district. I have had ppl ask me why I am "not allowed to have my own classroom.' I want the CL's in the school to correct that perception and support me and not say, "Well, they have their own rep, let him/her deal."

Anonymous said...

I have been in a similar situation just recently.
Now instead of going to another school, I explain Ito the admin that I don't feel secure with the late nature of the position and the issues the class has. So now what happense? I get my assignment for next week and I see I have to return to the same school next week. Why ? Furthermore, is there any way that you are able to change your assignment after not taking the long term leave and having to remain in the same school? This cannot be toomsafema situation!
Who can help me? I feel this place is out to get me so I do not know who to turn to.
This blog is always honest and useful.
Thank you. An atr in need of help.

Chaz said...


It appears the UFT has decided long-term leave replacements are treated differently than actual vacancies.

Therefore, while an ATR can refuse to sign a provisional position. you cannot refuse a long-term leave replacement. That is just ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

I only hope that the new mayor will instill common sense with regard to ATR, ACR, AAPR _ABSENT APRESERVE

Anonymous said...

Let us set the record straight

The DOE has always had the right to force place people into vacancies but have chosen not to do so for the last 7 years. We have been criticizing this since that left perfectly capable teachers languishing in the pool. (MORE has a demand for teachers to be placed in vacancies but only the vacancies that they want to be placed in... that has never been the case in the history of our school system)

The “good old days” that people often refer back to was solely a system of forced placement. Pre-Klein, when a person was excessed from a school, they were forced into a vacancy in the district. There was no choice.

There is choice now, it is for a provisional hire to fill a vacancy (NOT a leave or long term absence) or to leave one’s district. At the end of the day, if there is a teacher who is out for an extended period of time and there is an excessed teacher in the same district and license, it makes good fiscal and educational sense to place an experienced, capable teacher in that position for the period of the leave. It’s not permanent, so if the teacher does not like the school, he/she will be able to leave at the end of the leave.

You can't have your cake and eat it too. Criticize the union because there is an excess pool and then criticize the union when they try to force DOE to use teachers in license to cover long term leaves…

If MORE were to win the leadership, I guess MORE would have to start complaining about themselves because that is what MORE does best...

complain without solutions.

Anonymous said...

The No layoff agreement requires the DOE to use licensed teachers in district in long term leaves and absences. That was the whole point of the agreement. Teachers in excess should be utilized before per diem subs. It was never the case that a person could refuse such an assignment.

Question: Do you want them to float week to week only or have the opportunity to teach students the subject and grade level that they are licensed to teach?

Anonymous said...

Another reason to vote for the More party.

Anonymous said...

Most of the time, for long term leave positions, the schools really drag their feet and do not want the ATR, they would rather have a vacancy or a per diem do the leave replacement

Anonymous said...

How intensely have you been filtering theses

saddleshoe said...

Leave replacements ARE different. Most are a term or less. It is hard to argue why we can't just sub longer than a week if necessary. I mean we are functioning as subs, for better or worse.

I would love to hand back the 2006 raise - since the city claims this is all about money - and get my seniority transfer back. I don't know why we don't call Bloomberg's bluff on this. But no one is going to be receptive to us refusing to stay somewhere for a term when we receive salaries as if we had all the responsibilities of permanent placement. Think about it. At least they can't make us sign on permanently.

Chaz said...

Let's set the record sraight here.

First, what idiot in the union agreed to this week to week travesty?
They should have called Bloomberg's layoff bluff since he would never agree to lay off the "newbies" or untenured teachers.

Second, the union sold the ATR Agreement by saying that an ATR could refuse an assignment. Obviously, this was a lie.

Third, the union's refusal to give ATRs representation and their secrecy on who is on the joint oversight committee is evidence that they treat ATRs as second class members.

Finally, just look at the ATRs that show up at your school? All of them are over 40 and the majority are over 50! You do not think there is an age discrimination issue here?

Anonymous said...

I agree with chaz here.

Chaz is not complaining without giving a solution. He has been clear that the weekly ATR rotation is a joke and that the union should have never agreed to this.

the ATRs who come to my school are all older and explain that principals don't even bother to interview them for vacancies.

If I am not mistaken, chaz has frequently said that the ATR issue would disappear if the union went after the DOE on the fair student funding issue, which our leadership has ignored.

Chaz has a solution and his complaints are valid so stop criticizing chaz and complain to the union leadership on their failure to put their member interests first.

Anonymous said...

I am a chapter leader and the ATRs that come to my building for the most part report that they do not want to be force placed because they feel that they wouldn't be places in a school that was a good fit. They are happy and satisfied that I represent them and not someone who is unfamiliar with my school and admin. I have yet to meet an ATR who ever mentioned that they want an ATR Chapter.

Chaz said...

Anon 8:48

I highly doubt that you asked them if they want an ATR Chapter Leader. As for engaging them as they travel weekly to your school? You are one of the few. Almost all the ATRs I know, and I know many, complain that the Chapter Leader never, yes never, introduced themselves.

I personally had to seek out the CL and in many cases could not meet with him or her.

Anonymous said...

chaz. Based upon some of the comments it appears you have hit a sore spot in the union concerning the ATR issue. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

I admit I have never asked them if they would want an ATR Chapter. I have mainly welcomed them to the building, told them where and when they can find me, told them about any chapter events going on while they are in my school(chapter meetings, breakfasts,etc), and to please let me know of anything they need while they are working at my school. I have had quite a few in my building and none of them ever brought it up to me. I have had a few teachers in my building that were working in long term leave replacements(for months) and still have one in a long term leave. I have had long conversations with them about their experiences as ATRs. I continue to stay in touch with some of them. I will now make it a point to ask them whether or not they would want an ATR Chapter. I just hope I don't make them feel that I am asking because I don't want to represent them. I value the opportunity to welcome these teachers into my building and hope I can help to make them feel somewhat at home even if it is only for a week. Also, I was always under the impression and it has been my experience that they are represented by the district rep for issues or inquiries they had beyond the scope of my school. I look forward to hearing their responses.

Anonymous said...

I was placed at a school for one of the 3-week placements, as it bracketed one of our truncated "vacations". The other ATR I came in with left the next day on a stretcher, having gotten in the way of a student's punch. I was, during my stay at this lovely school, struck several times in the head with heavy dense plastic bottles of Arizona Tea, struck by paper wads, had the "students" rip up the stack of their assignment sheets left there by their teacher (she was out for surgery for the week), had a "student" try to steal the DVD I was showing out of the DVD player while I was showing the film to the class (oh boy, was he ever surprised when I caught him after a short sprint, held out my hand and told him to hand over the DVD or really REALLY regret it...), had whoever answered the phone when I called for assistance with a menacing student HANG UP on me, etc. Students were wandering the halls by the dozens during class, bouncing basketballs, peeking into classroom windows, laughing, chasing each other in games of tag, etc. NO SECURITY GUARDS seen. The last day of this wondrous tour of duty had a knife fight break out in the school on the floor beneath this one and a lock-down ordered AFTER the last class had let out! The other ATR and I looked at each other, agreed it was time to get the hell out of Dodge, and jumped into the elevator. EMS and police were ringing the block. I told her, "Don't look back lest you turn into salt." I turned into the ATR Assignment person almost a dozen incident reports with a full description of why I feared for my personal safety if ever assigned to that school again. She told me I would not return to that school. Let's see how that works. A gym teacher ATR at that school is absolutely miserable because he's been stuck there for months and doesn't want to be.

Chaz said...

Chapter Leader:

If all CL's were like you, maybe it would not be necessary to have a CL that represents ATRs. However, most CL's are not like you.

I noticed you didn't comment on the weekly assignments or the secrecy of the ATR oversight committee. How come?

Chapter Leader said...

I am not very knowledgable about the ATR oversight committee, therefore i would not comment about it. As for the weekly assignments, many of the ATRs that are a within few years from retiring report to me that they fear being placed in permanent position will put them at more risk of being negatively rated and would rather ride out their last couple of years as "rolling stones". I am not in a high school. So the ATRs I meet are not traveling around an entire boro just around a district. I do not understand why other Chapter Leaders do not do the things I do. I do it because it is the right thing to do, these are my brothers and sisters, but all Chapter leaders have been directed by their District Reps to do these things. I feel the push should be to have Chapter Leaders treat the ATRs this way instead of creating a Chapter Leader for a group of teachers which should only temporarily exist. Although it might not be popular to say this here but I was taught to do these things by my UNITY District Rep. The message from UFT leadership is clear that Chapter Leaders need to step up and take care of the ATRs that teach in their buildings for week, a month or a year.

saddleshoe said...

I would like. to see the UFT go after the fair student funding issue.

saddleshoe said...

Absolutely agree with you. Otherwise we accept a culture WITHIN OUR PEER GROUP that is against ATR's.
I personally believe in having more than one party in government. There are ppl in MORE and UNITY who are exceptional leaders. We should be working together

Anonymous said...

Chaz, why is it that christine quinn is leading in the early voting?? Are new yorkers just a glutten for punishment because quinn is another 4 years of bloomberg

Anonymous said...

How can this mayor live with himself and get in front of the media and claim that the school system is in great shape when the mayor has hundreds of teachers, guidance counselors, social workers and APs not being utilized by schools in a time when schools are strapped for staff, at a time when students need the most help, yet bloomberg chooses to have staff members "rotate" to each school weekly and not be part of the school environment.

Anonymous said...

We need a new mayor!!!!!!!!!!!! Vote for Bill Thompson (who was once President of the "ole" Board of Education" for Mayor. Mr. Thompson or BIll Diblasio or JOhn LIu will make great mayors for us. Whadda ya think ChaZ?? Who is your man? I wont say woman cause you know im just saying

Anonymous said...


I wish the union would put you on the oversight committee. At least we would be represented.