Sunday, July 03, 2016
The DOE's Evil Empire Continues.
It was only two years ago when Carmen Farina was made Chancellor and UFT President Michael (don't call me Mikey) Mukgrew claimed there was a new tone at the DOE. However, we now know that the evil empire at the DOE did not change but continued as the Chancellor kept 80% of the Bloomberg policymakers in place at Tweed. Under Chancellor Carmen Farina, she has maintained large class sizes, a bloated DOE Central, froze already tight school budgets, kept the destructive "fair student funding" and refused to remove the incompetent and vindictive Leadership Academy Principals that she promised to do. Read about the latest Leadership Academy Principal with no classroom experience who's in trouble for alleged grade fixing and cheating on the Regents.
Worse, was the requirements imposed upon the ATRs under Chancellor Carmen Farina. First there were the field supervisors who were supposed to assist the ATRs to get positions but in reality they were used to help terminate the ATRs. Then there was the 2014 contract that made ATRs second class citizens and some became untouchables, Finally, the DOE decided to abuse the ATR Agreement by misapplying rotating ATRs into temporary provisional appointments simply for the purpose to terminate them in a one day expedited 3020-a hearing.
It now appears the disconnected union leadership has finally realized that the evil empire still exists and has refused to extend the ATR agreement after they saw first hand how the DOE was abusing the provisions. What is really disturbing is that the union was willing to extend the ATR agreement, with minor changes, until the DOE overplayed their hand and systematically was abusing the temporary provisional assignment simply to terminate ATRs under the ill-defined "problematic behavior" clause.
Some people speculated that the union's silence on the ATR agreement extension was due to their embarrassment on the DOE actions concerning the abuse of the ATR agreement but I believe that the union leadership kept silent because they were hoping to negotiate a continuation of the ATR agreement with some minor changes that protected ATRs from further abuses. When it was apparent that the DOE's intent was to terminate as many ATRs as possible, the union had no choice but to let the ATR agreement sunset and revert back to the 2011 agreement which you can find Here.
Whatever the reason why the union decided to sunset the ATR agreement and revert back to the 2011 provisions, its still far preferable than continuing the terrible 2014 ATR agreement that has caused many an ATR to face 3020-a termination charges. Maybe our union leadership will now do the right thing and fight to help the ATRs regain their rightful place in being appointed to vacancies permanently and not provisionally. That means eliminating the DOE's discriminatory listing of ATRs who won their termination hearings and the elimination of the scarlet letter on their files even when an independent arbitrator found that the charges against the teacher was found not to be true,