Sunday, May 11, 2014

How Could The Union Throw The ATRs Under The Bus For An Inferior Contract?


Reading the education blogs, my emails and speaking to many teachers as I rotate through the schools weekly, the overwhelming sentiment is that the UFT negotiated contract is short on money, too much of it is deferred for too many years in the future, and that they feel sorry that the ATRs are being sacrificed.  However, most will probably vote for the contract since they believe that there's too much risk in not voting for it. Almost universally, the teachers are very uncomfortable with this new three-tiered system that the union agreed to that has "special rules" for the ATRs since it shows that our union is willing to "sellout" a group of its members and that with the expansion of charter schools, they can find themselves in the ATR pool sometime in the future.

The union claims they didn't "throw the ATRs under the bus" and in their flyer they state the following about ATRs:

  • "The union stood by its commitment to educators in the ATR pool.  We prevented the DOE from summarily firing ATRs, and we also won a voluntary severance package for ATRs.
  • "In a new two-year pilot, ATRs will get improved access to professional and relevant job placements.  Under the new contract, the DOE is obligated after October 15 to send an ATR to any school in the district/borough with a vacanvy in the teacher's license area.  The Principal retains the discretion to keep a teacher or return him or her to the ATR pool".
What the union omitted in their flyer is that the union agreed to "special rules" dealing with ATRs that no other teachers are subject to.  What are these "special rules"?

  • When an ATR is found to have committed "unprofessional conduct"  (a vague term subject to abuse) by two principals in two successive years, they will be given an expedited 3020-a one-day hearing to determine if they should be terminated.  
  • When an ATR fails to show up twice to a "mandatory interview" in the two year period, they will have voluntarily resigned and taken off payroll.
  • When an ATR fails to appear on the second day of a "forced placement", they will have voluntarily resigned and taken off payroll.
  • The ATR severance package is inadequate as it gives a resigning (not retiring) ATR only 20% of his or her salary with a maximum of $20,000.  Its also deceptive since these ATRs will lose their "retroactive raises" and pay as well that will exceed the severance payment that is being offered.
  • There's no "mutual consent", an ATR must take a "provisional or leave  placement" if a Principal offers it.
  • Allows the DOE to continue the useless and demoralizing rotation system that has proven to be a disaster and a colossal waste of money.  Obviously, its being used as a "punitive practice" by the DOE with the UFT's approval.
Untouchables:
 For ATRs who won their 3020-a termination hearings, no matter how long ago it was, the DOE has imposed "special provisions" for them.   Any ATR that received a fine of $2,000 or more, a suspension of 30 days or longer, or took a stipulation will stay in rotation and the DOE reserves the right not to offer them a mandatory interview or "provisional placement".  In other words, the DOE has decided that these teachers are guilty of their 3020-a charges despite the  findings of an independent Arbitrator that showed that the termination charges were false or frivolous and are now known as the "untouchables" in the the DOE developed and UFT approved, "caste system".  How can the union agree to this is mind-boggling and very unfair system is very troubling.  Combine that with those teachers who were subject to a substantiated corrupt OSI or SCI investigation and "red flagged", the union is allowing the vindictive DOE to unjustly punish these teachers yet again for charges that were found to be untrue in a fair hearing in front of an independent Arbitrator.

When a police precinct or fire station closes or the police officer and fireman is disciplined, they are sent to another precinct or fire station, only the UFT allows their excessed members to suffer the indignities that the DOE has imposed on them.  Please vote NO for this unfair contract that hurts its most vulnerable members.


45 comments:

Anonymous said...

orTo the rank and file....

Once again, Eric condenses the salient points of the ATR issue into a few paragraphs.

At the delegate assembly the other night, the single place this pogrom could have been stopped, I was overcome with a deep sense of despair when the hundreds of trained circus beasts applauded feverishly for Mulgrews warped contract...it truly reminded me of the Nazi propaganda films of the Third Reich. Fascism is not dead.

The contract presented by Mulgrew specifically targets ATRs for expedited 3020A proceedings, and that troll had the audacity to say "this is a good thing, ATRs will get justice quicker", and the trained circus animals clapped.

Mulgrew and Unity have to be shown the door. Our only hope is to vote NO. Speak to your colleagues, make phone calls, hand out fliers (check out MORES website).

WJP

Philip Nobile said...

Chaz,
On the ATR issue you are so right about Cruella de Farina, our painted sepulchre Chancellor who ignores the virtual 3020-a acquittals of framed up teachers like you, me, and brother Portelos. Even her predecessor saw through the corrupt split verdicts of semi-craven arbitrators who condemn vindicated teachers to the ATR pool. Let us not forget what Walcott wrote in a Times op-ed (June 14, 2012):

"An arbitrator knows that if he makes a ruling that disappoints either party he might be barred from future cases. This interest in pleasing both sides can lead an arbitrator to “split the baby,” for instance by offering some punishment (in hopes of pleasing the school district) but also some leniency (in hopes of pleasing the teachers’ union). This can undermine the cause of justice …."

ATRs should band together and march/occupy 52 Broadway to impress on Mulgrew and Unity stooges that solidarity does not stop with ATRs, especially the untouchable kind who won their cases.

Anonymous said...

Yes, although Mulgrew did have his "moment" against Cambell Brown last year when she attacked the union on this issue-this contract agrees with her! All teachers, once accused, are guilty, even if they have been found innocent by arbitrators.

Anonymous said...

Chaz, while many of us agree with you fully, we don't stand a chance unless someone can get mass mailings out to every UFT member. Mulgrew just emailed all members asking us to vote yes. They're doing this quickly to prevent people from realizing what's going on. Doesn't anyone have access to the email addresses so that at least members can hear an opposing viewpoint? Not everyone reads the blogs.

Anonymous said...

Happy mothers day to mulgrew. After all, he is the biggest mutha around

Bronx Teacher said...

So wouldn't the ATR's that won their hearings the safest? No forced interviews, not forced placements, no need to worry about being problematic?

Chaz said...

Bronx ATR

That's not the intent the DOE has in mind. To them its a punitive measure and to punish those ATRs who won their termination hearings.


True, it makes the ATRs who won their 3020-a hearings safer but its still a procedure that's intent is to punish them further.

Bronx ATR said...

Hey, I'm Bronx ATR. The 3rd class members of the ATR pool are actually the most vulnerable. They have been classified as rubber room teachers who've gotten off. They are considered dead weight by the DOE and our union. The other city unions have been given this explanation by our union for why they are not being protected- the other unions think we're all junkies and pedophiles and feel this a reasonable contract in that regard. They don't know 75 % of ATRs are from closed schools. The untouchables will be targeted and worn down until they quit or are terminated.

Anonymous said...

Sure! We can do better and we will! Let's kill this contract! And hey, if we don't like the next one let's kill that one too! Wait!! I got a great idea! Let's see how long we can go without a contract! Five years was no sweat... Let's try eight!, ten!, WHO KNOWS!!! THIS IS GONNA BE GREAT!!
Who needs food anyway.

Anonymous said...


I sincerely think Mulgrew is a shill that's on the take.......or incredibly dumb. Either one is a problem for the rank and file.

VOTE NO on the contract, vote Mulgrew, and his den of rubes, out in the next election.

Anonymous said...

Hey Brother,
None of us are starving. No one is leaving this profession because of the pay. Yet that's what's continually brought up as paramount. When I left real estate in 1990 , I was making 100k. I became a teacher making 26k. I am now making what I did in 1990. I didn't care about the money then and I don't now. I love teaching. As an ATR to only thing left to us is the money. Bloomberg twisted a noble profession into a 99 cent store. The union is telling us to go fuck ourselves. If you vote yes, you'll do just that.

Chaz said...

Anon 6:35


I most certainly agree.

Anonymous said...

Vote no and you are no better off then where you (or you think you are) today, or over the last 5 years.
Perhaps,, you will be worse off if you vote no...

Anonymous said...

3020a is a state law that didn't change. You hear the comment that it is a possibility and you tense up, and rightfully so. But there is more to is that that.
2 principals, only after being placed in a position in your license area in your district. And only if it happens 2 times in a row.
Further this is not a pedagogy removal but that of unprofessional behavior. Teachers appointed to a school on a permanent basis can be sent to 3020a for the same charges. I urge you to really think about if you want to bounce from school to school with no hope of getting placed. All of the ATR's I know want to have a permanent placement, and this contract provides mechanisms to do that.
I am voting YES, in part because it is time to make sure our brothers and sisters in the ATR pool have the opportunity to be placed in full time positions.

Chaz said...

Anon 9:04

Of course most of us want a permanent position but if you can't see the difference between what appointed teachers are subject to and ATRs then you must be blinded by the "Unity pledge". Moreover, what about the ATRs who won their 3020-a hearings? The DOE has separate rules for them.

Anonymous said...



How will the votes be counted when the rank and file go to the poles? Will it be a fair vote?

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon 9:39... Why would the rank and file want to go see Polish people? We already got the kielbasa...

Anonymous said...

You are kidding right?
Dear 9:39 pm

It wil be rigged and corrupt election.

Just like all the other fair and honest elections.
No doubt they will have the same fairness as the last election in Iran.

Or perhaps the last Saddam election where he got a whopping 98%.

The ballot is merely a pat on the head for letting you have the illusion that u have choice.
The truth is that the UFT has given us the shiv.
Vote NO.
Those bloated nonentities can get their undeserving bloated doubled pensioned asses right back to the drawing board..
We are highly educated professionals. And must be treated as such.
They can get the finger out and represent our interests for a change.
This contract is a contract on teachers,schools, students,budgets educational law and nyc public schools.
Unity and it's political conduct resembles The Peoples Democratic Of North Korea.
Show some moxie.
Vote No. They must to better or their out!

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with you, I've met some ATRs that wanted to teach, and then I met others that loved rotating and not having any "real responsibilities"in any one school. Some even told me they're on a tour and a couple of years away from retiring and that they didn't mind doing what they were doing. Those I don't care for and we'll know they're at least I would say 25-40% that are like that. For the other 60% this is going to give them a better chance of landing on their feet at another school. We hired an ATR at the school and he has been great. We also had investigators come in for another, he was horrible, no business being in education. My point is although I'm not happy about all the aspects of this contract, if we wait longer it doesn't necessarily mean we'll gt a better deal. At least with this contract we'll get 2% each yr and some side money to boot, this can only help. I'm tired of been stuck at the same osu level for 5 years while everything's still going up. This contract is over in 4 years we'll love to fight another day.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm Frank, and I'm an ATR.

Sounds like a new group will be formed like AA. There can be weekly meetings in all the boroughs. We can do like bagels/butter and really bad coffee. Hi Frank!

Anonymous said...

I have a family AND I am really sick of waiting for a raise. I see the points being made but I certainly am not voting this down and watching DeBlasio negotiate with 150+ unions for their raises, while we voted ours down. I will take the minimal raise next year plus the corny 1000 and live with it. I will look forward to small increases over a few more years and take the 120K in 18'. As the 120K comes the retro kicks in too. The contract will pass easily.

Anonymous said...

Students just walking all over the place, in the halls hiding out, in the stairwells hiding out and will confront all teachers if you ask them why they are not in class. The kids all laugh at each other, curse each other out and have enormous amounts of hate in them. If you listen to any of the kids conversations you will hear them talking about hate, fighting and more hate. I have never seen so much hate among a generation. and this goes on just about every day. Teachers are so disrespected by students due to the ass hole "reformers" who have taken the respect away from teachers with kids just doing what ever they want. The young teachers are so bad that if you walked into a classroom the room looks like one of those inner city movies about high school that we have all seen in the movies on tv. The young teachers do not stand a chance, the older teachers are too afraid of the DOE citing "non professional conduct" especially the atr pool of teachers....so what you have in our nyc schools is rikers island in non prisoner kids but just a tad difference from the real prisoners of Rikers Island. To top it off, we have people like jenny sidlis of some non profit bull shit organzation that worries about what kind of teachers we have in the classrooms. What a world we now live in - a bunch of goons.

Anonymous said...

Really? What makes you think your principal will not rate you developing, then slide your butt right out the door while you are still trying to figure out where your 120 grand is? Or worse, they can excess your position and do it quickly.

Anonymous said...

Sure! We can do better and we will! Let's kill this contract! And hey, if we don't like the next one let's kill that one too! Wait!! I got a great idea! Let's see how long we can go without a contract! Five years was no sweat... Let's try eight!, ten!, WHO KNOWS!!! THIS IS GONNA BE GREAT!!
Who needs food anyway...

Anonymous said...

Hey Frank,
There should be weekly borough meetings with Amy Arundel going on right now to explain all the bullshit in this contract. You'd have to be a full time drunk to vote for this.

Anonymous said...

Vote up this contract! It provides compounded raises of 19.5% within 4 years plus full retro from 11/2009. The average payout will total $22,000.00! Many will see much larger retro sums. No give-backs!
Vote YES for yourself, for your family for your union!

Philip Nobile said...

To Anonymous 7:30:
There is an all-day Danielson PD for ATRs in the Brooklyn borough office on Wednesday. Mike Sill appeared last month at a similar PD. If he dares to show up, I promise that we will mau mau him with questions about the ATR contact sellout.

For example: "Mike, on a scale of 10, with zero being a total betrayal of solidarity by setting up 3020-a winning ATRs for termination via unprecendented and unexplained charges of unprofessional conduct in unprecedented single-day 3020-a hearings, and 10 being Mulgrew's fantasy claim of greater contact protection for ATRs, how would you rate the contract's ATR provisions? And if you had the slightest reservation about the contract, would you say so, despite your Unity ia always right pledge?"

Suggested questions welcome.

Anonymous said...

Anon 451

Developing is ok I thought,ineffective is where the problem would surface.Isn't that correct?

Anonymous said...

Hey 4:51, my principal is super kool. We are both Puerto Rican. Excess me? Is that a joke? I'm a senior Math teacher with 6 Math teachers below me. To excess me, he'd have to excess 6 teachers first, just to get to me. That was real funny. Besides, all the bottles of rum I've given him over the years has bonded our friendship as we toast often. You sound like you never understood how to get along with people you're supposed to.

Anonymous said...

The teachers need to over throw the union. If people vote against this contract it would send a message to the union that they work for us. Let's not forget that representatives are paid over $100,000.

Anonymous said...

904 Math teacher stick to your calculator..you are not that bright...what goes around comes around...you and your principal should go on a honeymoon to Puerto Rico...take the Bacardi

Anonymous said...

Chaz, my assistant principal told me, "I think you're good for this school. You listen to everything I tell you. But the principal just doesn't like you. I don't know what you can do to make him like you. Maybe you should buy him a gift."

Anonymous said...

Blah Blah Blah. Read the facts. I am the senior math tchr at my school. To excess me, 6 others below me would have to becexcessed first. Are you actually disputing this? Don't be upset that I am in a guaranteed situation within a school that is ranked "A", whatever that means. What goes around, comes around? Really? Any other ridiculous, meaningless quotes? How bout "it is what it is" or "karma' sa bitch". Blah blah blah. The proof is in the pudding. Reality is fact. Fact is, I cannot be excessed.

Anonymous said...

Im sorry anonymous 8:59. Sounds like a hostile workplace. I experienced that years ago with the rat Iris Blige. Don't do anything solicitous for a miserable administrator. Just do your job and get the hell out of that placement asap.

Anonymous said...

anon 9 04
Brown noses like you always wind up stepping in shit unfortunately

Anonymous said...

Start with small things like cigars, maybe dunkin donuts gift card. Don't go for to much $$ in beginning. Slowly beef up the gifts to a watch, maybe tickets to a Yankee game, etc. You will be retained for life. Don't ever ever forget the Xmas gift.

Anonymous said...

Who are the morons making these idiotic comments about giving their principals' gifts? Either they are fakes or imbeciles. Doesn't sound like an educated person to me.

Anonymous said...

WHY CANT THE atrs form there own union.

retiredcteacher said...

Mr. 9:4 p.m. What happens to you when your principal gets promoted out of the school - or maybe they close the school - you could be an ATR.
I wouldn't go around bragging about giving the principal bottles of whatever - one call to the investigations people and you'll have a guy with a nice shiney badge interviewing you at the school.
To quote Bugs Bunny, "Oh I get it. He's a maroon.!"

Anonymous said...

You can be rated ineffective though

Anonymous said...

He can be rated developing very easily. Not much paperwork involved. No union assistance is available for developing. Basically the principals can give developing with ease. You will never see those raises. You will be out the door. An untouchable.

Anonymous said...

He can be rated developing. Not much paperwork involved. Union will offer no assistance as they are not required to do so. Principal can do this with ease. Then he will be out the door with no raise and no job.

Anonymous said...

??? Paying a fine because you were found guilty of something in a 3020a hearing is winning?

Anonymous said...

The math teacher may not be excessed but brought up 3020 charges for bribing his principal with alcohol maybe the .principal could be removed for accepting such gifts

Chaz said...

Anon 10:332


It is winning when you understand that the 3020-a under the DOE is a termination process. Small fines tells most everybody that the DOE's case was weak or bogus.


Read my blog about why arbitrators don't find teachers totally innocent.