Monday, May 04, 2015
To Our Union. Treat The ATRs With Respect And Make Them A Chapter.
The union has a chance to right a terrible wrong when they agreed to the Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR) in the 2005 contract. I remember Randi Weingarten saying that the DOE would never agree to pay teacher salaries without a classroom assignment. How wrong she was! Even when the DOE refused to appoint ATRs in the schools that had vacancies in their licensed area, the union believed the situation was temporary. In fact, the union still claims the ATR pool is temporary after a decade of existence and that's why the disconnected union leadership refuses to make an ATR chapter. Since when is a decade old policy temporary?
One of the union's favorite themes was when the Bloomberg administration leaves, so will the ideology and the ATRs will be placed back into the schools. However, with a new Mayor, the anti-Bloomberg, nothing changed. The new Mayor appointed the disappointing Chancellor, Carmen Farina, who was part of the problem back when she was a Deputy Chancellor in the Joel Klein years and not the solution, nothing really changed with the ATR mess. In fact, it got worse under the disappointing Chancellor, the ATRs became second class citizens with diminished due process rights. In other words, the Bloomberg ideology continues and so does the ATR crisis.
Now the UFT's executive board has a chance to partially right a wrong and acknowledge that the ATR pool is here to stay, at least until the end of the current contract (2018) and its time to make an ATR chapter and give the ATRs the representation they deserve. Hear that Unity? New Action? Or are you both deaf to the wishes of over 2,400 of the members.