Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What If The UFT Called Mayor Bloomberg's Bluff In Layimg Off The 4,700 Teachers Back In 2011?

Back in 2011, Mayor Bloomberg threatened to lay off 4,700 teachers as the City was slowly crawling out of the recession.  A major part of his threat was to have the law changed on who gets laid off.  However, his attempt to change the "last in, first out" (LIFO) failed and if the Mayor had tried to follow through, the New York City schools would have had to eliminate the "cheapest teachers", the "newbies". Once the Mayor lost the LIFO battle, he was not laying off anybody and most people knew that.  However, our union "snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory" yet again and caved into the Mayor's demands and eliminated teacher sabbaticals for the 2011-12 school year and allowed the DOE to impose the idiotic and asinine ATR rotation system that saves little money and a wastes a lot of talent. What would have happened if our union had called the Mayor's bluff?  Let's look at the two possible scenarios.

Scenario #1:  The City would have laid off the 4,700 "newbie teachers" as the layoffs are by seniority ranking.  The result would be that principals would have two choices.  They could keep the now suddenly vacant positions unfilled but that would severely hurt the students.  Or the most likely effect would be to hire the ATRs and demand that the DOE help pay the cost.  The result, would be the elimination of the ATR pool and the reintroduction of experienced and in many cases, "quality teachers" back into the classroom.  The good part of this is that the ATRs would not be "forced placed" but apply for the positions that they believe they are "a good fit" for as the principals compete to hire the many "quality teachers" to their classrooms.

In this scenario the students win because they are no longer the "guinea pigs" for the many "newbie teachers" who have no clue how to teach and half will leave the teaching profession in five years. Instead the students will thrive under highly experienced teachers with good classroom management skills and deep curriculum knowledge guiding them to academic success,.

Scenario #2:  Mayor Bloomberg's layoff bluff is called and he retaliates against the UFT by reducing school budgets, raises class sizes, closes more schools, and refuses to negotiate a contract. Furthermore, he blasts the union and demonizes teachers by refusing to issue tenure and to implement policies to terminate as many teachers as possible.  Moreover, he would try to eliminate teacher "due process rights" while lowering the already low morale and making the classroom environment as hostile a place as possible.  Finally, he imposes the "education on the cheap "policy that forces principals to hire the "cheapest" and not the "best teachers" for their students.

In this scenario. the students lose because of higher class sizes, lack of resources, and inexperienced teachers who have no classroom management skills or curriculum knowledge. Come to think of it had our union not capitulated to Mayor Bloomberg's bluff, nothing would have changed from scenario #2.. Except we would not have lost our sabbatical rights for a year and the ongoing and ridiculous ATR rotation system that wastes $160 million dollars a year and demoralizes those 2,000 + teachers who must rotate from school to school.

To the union leadership, good job, once again in screwing the members.


Anonymous said...

Being an atr is so stressful it is impacting the very physical health of atrs. I can't sleep every Wednesday because I have to think about where I will get placed the following week - will be be a 15 minute commute or a 2 hour commute. What time will I start - end - How will the kids be - how will the teachers be - Will I be able to put my lunch in a refrigerator - what garbage work will they give me. Then I can't sleep every Sunday knowing that I have to show up as a lowly degraded atr and be treated like garbage. I can't make plans because I don't know my schedule - I barely see my friends and I have trouble making and keeping doctor appointments. All of this stress is leaving me exhausted and I get headaches often. What the DOE is doing to us is criminal - Bloomberg and Walcott should be locked up and the key should be thrown away. You can throw Eva and Michelle in there too they can all rot together. Not even sure what to say about the criminality of our union - it is so sad but mostly it is dangerous.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the UFT leadership is horrible, the DOE is horrible, and the entire ATR situation is horrible. Please let us know more about your story. How did you end up in the ATR pool? How has the application process going for you? Have you met other ATR's during your rotations? Have you met principals who have treated you with contempt? Let us know.

Anonymous said...

Let’s backtrack a bit, to the day before my second trip to the ER at the hands of my middle school students. The day was going like any other typical day here at MS Anarchy and Mayhem. In other words, kids were coming into the classrooms at random to high-five and fist bump friends, responding with “Shut the fuck up bitch”, “It’s ‘cause I’m black, right?” or “Calm your white titties” when the fact that there was a CLASS going on was brought to their attention. Shoes were thrown across the room. Students helped themselves to things on my desk. Hand and body lotion was applied and perfume sprayed during the “Do Now”. Students walked in and out of the room to see friends in the hallway, and opened the doors for intruders to enter and perform obscene dances. Rap beats were drummed using desks and pens, while other students rapped obscene lyrics about me and about each other. I heard the sound of tables and chairs being overturned in the classroom next door twice, along with more rapping to the beats as the teacher next door tried to get the class to quiet down. I encountered running groups of students in the hallway as I walked to the ladies’ room.
It was in this oasis of tranquility that I sat down to check my email on my VERY OWN classroom computer! (Pardon the capitals, but I haven’t had an actual COMPUTER in my room in SEVEN years, so I am just giddy over it. No printer, but hey, these things take time, right? And even if I had a printer, it would run out of toner by Thanksgiving anyway, but I digress). So there was an email summoning me to the principal’s office. Given that I had recently been reporting the violent and threatening incidents happening around me, I wrote back that I would like to have my District Rep, who had been in the building with me earlier in the day, present and could we fine a mutually convenient time. My principal responded that I must come that afternoon and that “union representation is not necessary, as we will be discussing instruction”. Not wishing to be insubordinate, I went.
When I went to the meeting, I was first reprimanded for not notifying my principal of the issues and asked why I did not. I responded that everything was documented with the deans and the APs who are responsible for the classes involved. I also said that I was surprised that none of the deans or APs, with whom I communicate with daily, saw fit to mention this situation in school safety meetings or as a matter of course. We agreed that I will include the principal in all correspondence of this nature from now on. Then the conversation turned to "instruction" - sort of. The principal said that she had to wonder how students "have the TIME to even get into this kind of trouble. There must me some kind of issue with your planning because the students seem to have a LOT of time on their hands and that must be what is causing the problems.” I responded that there is ALWAYS work ready for them to do and that I plan for a full period of instruction, however, when the students enter the room, overturning chairs, fighting, and screaming, and then refuse to leave the room, line up outside, and enter properly, well, it's hard to get things going. She responded, "Maybe you have WORK, but is it ENGAGING? Are you differentiating? Do they LIKE the work you give them? It sounds like they just don't like the work you are providing and are acting out because of that. I think we need to work on your ability to engage students and on your classroom management. It sounds like you have problems establishing routines and norms in your classroom.”

Anonymous said...

On the issues of the bias incidents that I was subjected to, she said, '”You know, I have to say that I don't think our students are astute enough to pick up on that issue. I doubt they even know you are white. I think they just see that calling you 'white bitch' or 'white this-and-that' upsets you, and THAT's why they say it, not because they understand what it means.” She said that "If they see that it doesn't bother you when they call you these names, then it would have stopped, but the fact that it bothers you and gets you upset and running to the deans and THAT's why they keep saying it. It all comes down to engagement and RELATING to the young people, and this seems to be what is causing your problems."

So, now this is all MY FAULT? I brought this on myself because I am not "ENGAGING"???? REALLY??? And the kids can call me "white bitch" and tell me to "move my white ass" or that I "smell white", but they don't know I'm white and don't mean anything by it? REALLY???? I maintain that if the racial makeup was reversed, she wouldn't DARE say these things, nor belittle them to this extent. I feel as if I have been violated again - a classic "blame the victim" argument that is completely FALSE. I am the VICTIM here --the VICTIM of bias crimes and ASSAULTS and I get told about MANAGEMENT? The meeting ended with a promise to come into my classes the next day and discuss “appropriate behavior with the young people”. She showed up once, for the ONE Honors class I teach which gives NO trouble at all, and prattled on about how she has “high expectations for everyone and that no one should allow themselves to be distracted by the behavior of others”. Later that day I left in an ambulance.

Anonymous said...

Pick up your phone and call 911. Then get orders of protection. If your waiting for the union to come in like the calvery, you'll end up like Gen. Custer. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

The DOE is truly a corrupt organization in that they are one of the only organizations I have ever seen that throws their employees under the bus. Think about it, have you ever heard of any organization that trashes its employees?? The fact of the matter is that the current DOE administration is filled with so many yes men and brown noses that the organization has a stench of shit that needs to be removed of the parasites who know nothing about managing an organization that has over 100,000 employees. MIkey bloomshit is so corrupt and miserable he loves making others lives miserable (read blog above). The released emails reveal that the DOE sent emails to kathy black trashing ATRS who so happen to be some of the finest teachers in the world. Well, there is basically only one more week left for the current DOE administration including walcott and bloomshit. So long fellas its time to disapear into the oblivion.

Anonymous said...

I have met lots of great ATRs. I connect with them daily via text. One of the horrible things about being an atr is that we no longer have colleagues = we are strangers every week and very few teachers care to talk to us soI make sure that I make my own friends with atrs so that I don't get lonely. Bloomberg closed my school - we didn't deserve it and we fought hard to stop it - I gave it everything. I have only gone on mandated interviews which is like the process of rounding up cattle for the slaughter not that I would want to work at 90 percent of the schools I have seen. Most administrators are horrible stupid know-nothings.

Anonymous said...

Yo Chaz,

You had a comment from an "Annonymous" earlier this month from an ATR in a DOE Bronx High School, where the principal mandated that there were to be no saftey agents in the school. Furthermore, this principal was disseminating a petition to end scanning on the campus. Iy should be noted that numerous ATR's have felt unsafe in this school.

I am an ATR and I have heard from most ATR's in the Bronx, that there are substantially fewer safety agents in the schools in the Bronx Schools SINCE September. One shrewd ATR suggested that this is an intentional action by Bloomberg to leave the schools in a state of chaos as he skips out the door.

Why don't an article using this headline: "BRONX ATR teachers are concerned about their safety."
You can tie my thoughts above with the article and add your recent material about WINGS ACADEMY to the peice.

***You can also run this survey for Bronx ATR's with 2 questions:
1. Have you noticed a decrease in School Safety agents in the Bronx High Schools since the 2013 school year started.

2. Have you been seriously concerned about your health and safety this 2013 school year.

I'll comment again soon.

Anonymous said...

Ben Chapman's phone at Daily News: 212-210-2100

Daniela Royes of ABC also seeking leads: 917-260-7683

Where are the media on this?
Where are the politicians on this?
They're quick to impose Danielson and Advance on us but what about our safety??????!!!!!!