Thursday, May 01, 2014
Our Union Stabbed The ATRs In The Back.
Well our wonderful union apparently did it again! An inferior contract with raises of 10% for 7 years or approximately a 1.4% annual increase. Worse our retroactive pay for the two 4% raises from the last "City pattern" will be back loaded and stretched out five years from 2015 to 2020 and if one resigns before the end of the contract, they will not get the full "retroactive raises". Further, we get two "zeros" (2011-12), not good if you ask me. Moreover, the union seems to have agreed to a form of "merit pay" by giving bonuses to highly effective teachers and teachers who work in hard to fill schools. However, the worst is how the union abandoned the ATRs to the mercies of principals.
According to the new contract there will be an expedited termination process for ATRs who fail to show up for two job interviews, have time and attendance issues, or are removed by two separate principals who find their pedagogy inadequate. While the union claims the the ATR will still have "due process rights", its greatly weakened and a one day hearing by an arbitrator will decide the ATRs fate, all within 50 days! As for the terrible and demoralizing weekly rotation system? Who knows if it will continue?
Interestingly, the DOE budgeting process appears to remain unchanged which encourages principals to continue to hire the "cheapest" and not the "best teachers" for their students. In fact, principals are not required to hire ATRs for their vacancies until October 15th, by then all vacancies are usually filled. Moreover, the new contract claims that the ATR pool will be drained but under this contract age and salary discrimination will still rage leaving many "highly qualified teachers" languishing in the ATR pool. Of course, the ATR pool will be drained by the proposed buyout and the new expedited termination process for the weakest performers.
The UFT/DOE contract reminds me of the DOE/UFT PIP+ program that resulted in over 90% of the teachers being terminated as our union leadership told the hapless members to take the PIP+ program, knowing that over 90% of them faced termination in their 3020-a hearing. I am uipset that our union sold out the ATRs and stabbing them in the back by making it easier to fire them.
If I'm wrong about the issues than I will apologize but if I'm right, than shame on the UFT leadership who sacrificed its most vulnerable members for a few insufficient shekels.
The complete press conference can be found Here.