Wednesday, June 07, 2017
Our Disconnected Union Leadership Tries To Justify The New ATR Agreement.
I read with amusement the reporting of the UFT Executive Board hearing on the various blogs (ICEUFT, nyc educator, Ed notes online) on how our disconnected union leadership tried to justify the new ATR Agreement. However, they failed to convince the many skeptics at the Executive Board that the new ATR Agreement was what ATRs wanted. In fact, the "Unity"caucus got their loyal troops together and spoke nonsense and outright lies to defend the undefendable ATR Agreement.
The union leadership claims that they negotiated with their DOE counterparts in "good faith" and came up with an agreement that gives ATRs a choice of either taking a buyout or remain an active member in the ATR pool. Moreover, the union leadership stated that the ATRs are excited about the new ATR Agreement. Finally, the union claimed that no vote was necessary since they were appointed to represent the members when negotiating changes. Let's break down each of the union's claims and see why they don't hold water.
First, the union leadership kept the negotiations secret and failed to include the affected members, the ATRs, This, to me, shows "bad faith" and the omission of any ATRs in the negotiations was proof positive of how badly they treat ATRs. Remember, the UFT was a willing participant in the creation of the ATR pool back in 2005 and their treatment of ATRs has been as if they would like the ATR headache to go away and if that means stabbing ATRs in the back, so be it..
Second, I have personally spoke to over two dozen ATRs and not one found the new contract to their liking. In fact the Elementary and Middle school ATRs are quite upset with the possibility of being "forced placed" outside their District and finding themselves in strange neighborhoods and schools across the Borough.
Third, the union's failure to allow a vote is not only undemocratic but is not in the American tradition of good unionism where every member has a voice and affected members get to vote their approval or not.
Finally, the new ATR agreement allows the DOE to continue to discriminate against ATRs by not allowing for "Mutual Consent" and making ATRs who won their 3020-a termination hearing second class citizens by giving the DOE the right to refuse them vacancies,
The bottom line is that the ATRs continue to be unrepresented by our union and abused by the DOE.