Friday, January 04, 2008

The Future (OF ATRs) According to Klein


I just copied this from Ednotes:

Klein to Go After ATR's Weingarten Says
A correspondent reports:

Randi's visit to the Queens Rubber room

Aside from a lot of useless prattle, she also indicated that Klein was going after ATR's as a form of featherbedding. She, as always, the unsuspecting, unknowing, innocent lawyer, does not seem too sure about her ability to uphold the union's ironclad policy of protecting ATRs. What else is new?


An ATR in my school came to the cafeteria today visibly upset about something. When pressed, she told us that she had been called down to the APO's office. It seems APs, deans and school aides have been complaining about her classroom management. It is interesting that this incident came about today, the day after the above story came out. This woman has been in the school since September and in all this time has only had two classes that she could not handle. The classes she could not handle are classes that give their regular teacher a hard time. Yesterday, she had the class from hell. One AP walked into the room and got the kids to settle down for a little while. Unfortunately, this pompous a** did not show his face until the last twenty minutes of the period and did not stay around for long.

We sat and tried to figure out who could have complained about her, aside from him. He gave her no indication that she was doing anything wrong. No one could believe a school aide would say anything and we are guessing that words were put into some aide's mouth. As for the dean, we have suspicions. There are quite a few young wannabes around.

Someone posted a comment asking me if I knew about the rubber room. My answer is yes. Did I know anyone who is or has been in one of those rooms? My answer to that is yes also. The charges against these people are top secret, sometimes they don't know themselves what these charges are. Teachers fear these rooms as they can languish in them for months. This woman and other ATRs fear for their futures. They fear ending up in these rooms and then losing their jobs. They are being put in impossible situations. They are given classes that are impossible to control and are given no work to do with them. There is nothing they can do. Klein wants them off the payroll and principals will do anything and everything necessary to oblige.

38 comments:

ed notes online said...

Great catch on this one by you and we may be able to build the case that a secret (or not so secret) directive has gone out to start giving targeted ATR's classes from hell and U-rate them. Please keep touch with her and let us know if she gets observed. Maybe we can get the press to touch on this.

NYC Educator said...

And as the ATRs languish in this miserable purgatory, Edwize happily prattles on about the great new open market plan. That plan may serve new teachers, but consigns people like your friend to precisely what you describe.

It's disgraceful.

Anonymous said...

No ATR should ever meet with an administrator unless accompanied by a UFT representative. As a matter of fact, no teacher should meet any administrator without a UFT rep if they have been summoned to an administrator's office. The "complaints" about this ATR's classroom management sound more like a prelude to harrassment of this poor woman who now subs for a career. I would want this "complaint" in writing which obviously was not done since the entire "problem" is contrived and the situation is being choreographed by the "powers that be". Writing it down would expose the administrators' course of action with this ATR, and a lie would be put to paper.

JUSTICE not "just us" said...

Excellent points Ms. T.
You make me proud to call you a colleague along with others on this blog. I don't which is worse the rubber room or being an ATR. I am in neither position but I xpect to be and I think we need to a plan of action against the DOE and the little adminstrators that do their bidding.

We must fight!

Now is the time for people of good will to do say and do something!

Under Assault said...

Two words sum up what I've been doing as an ATR will now be doing more of since I heard about this Queens visit the other day: Document everything.

Document the intruders you've been learning how to catch (those are the kids who enter the room and try to pass themselves off as belonging there - this happens at the H.S. level almost every period, not only if they don't know you, but if they like you and rather be with you than somewhere else)

Document it when they don't leave you substitute lessons, period by period, and document it when you come in with your own anyway.

Document the number of i-Pods they enter wearing, or put on under their hoods: even with scanners, these are all over the place. If anything, it shows they really can't pin it on you when the whole school cannot make the rules stick.

Document the no. of cellphones that are whipped out and used. Same comment. (Actually since I've been writing these up without fail, I haven't seen a cellphone in a classroom for a week; maybe word's getting around)

Document name by name who is working and who is not (sounds like a lot to do, but really it isn't: many will be working on handouts, so you can put a check next to their name - and it's better when the kids see you're taking notes on them)

But after I find out more about this whole issue, I'll probably also be documenting the number of successful classes, not just the bad ones. Because, as in the case of the teacher described above, they'll try to skew the ratio of successful/unsuccessful classes, and it's probably way higher on the successful side.

What a sorry, sorry state of affairs.

Under Assault said...

One more thing, if I may...

You are not documenting to prove you can do your job. You are not documenting to save your job.

You've been put in an untenable postion for which you have never been trained and which you never expected -- the old contract being what it was, the present contract signed onto by an inattentive or collaborative union leadership.

You are documenting for clarity, whichever legal ways the wind blows down the road. Because that's how this union leadership works: whichever way the wind blows. And they'll never come clean with us, whatever they say or do.

17 (really 15) more years said...

Previously, it was the closing down of high schools that led to the creation of ATRs. Elementary school teachers, and to some extent, middle school teachers, were both unaffected and uninterested in the plight of the ATRs. Now that a number of elementary schools are being closed, I'm hoping (a poor choice of words, but you understand my point) that more teachers will become aware of this situation and slowly but surely band together to put an end to this abomination. Up to now, the majority of elementary school teachers never even heard the term "ATR".

Anonymous said...

In '05 I tried to talk to teachers about how the ATR provision in the contract will work against us. Even our new and ineffective CL did know or care when she voted for the last contract.

As for elementary and Jr. HS teachers waking up, I doubt it. I am ashamed to say they are the most self-centered group of people I know. The contract no longer has any meaning to them. They are afraid to grieve and do whatever they can to kiss up--including spying on other teachers.

ATRs need to be proactive in schools. Meet with the CLs, write notes to teachers asking for suggested lessons and/or review lessons just in case they are absent. Be prepared with their own lesson, even if taken off the internet just in case lessons aren't left. These notes will then become part of their portfolio.

I consider myself to be a good teacher, but if I were put in a new school and asked to teach classes that misbehave, I am not sure I would be able to survive.

Under Assault said...

Schoolgal,
two things you've written bring me to write again.

The first is comparing the self-centeredness of one group of teachers against the other. There are some schools where Elem. teachers get 1 prep and 1 lunch a day (unless they're a cluster teacher, who teach 20 and get a PD each day). They're with their classes the rest of the time. The contract says that if they have an 8-per. day, they would do a PD. At the ES school I was in for a while, the regular teachers were free of their classes only for Lunch and that single prep.

In HS, though, and sometimes in MS, that PD period is a grab-bag: there are easy jobs and miserable jobs, there are principals who enforce and principals who don't. If you land right, you can, at the HS level, find yourself with some extra time, in that "easy" PD or with an easy principal.

Saying this: I haven't served as an ES or MS teacher under this contract, so maybe my info is out of date, so please correct me if I'm wrong.

The point is, I never hear any HS teachers demand to be on a par with the ES teachers and be assigned a full 6th-period class per day. In this sense, the HS teachers are as "self-centered" as any other group.


Secondly: it goes against common sense and the political fight if the ATR goes around asking teachers for lessons. They are not supposed to plan lessons, nor are they supposed to teach lessons -- unless they want to! If I come to the class armed with subbing materials in case no one has left anything for me, that's my choice and my business. I personally do it out of self-preservation: easier class management when you give the kids something educational they don't mind doing.

ATRs must not think that that if they are GOOD at what they do, they will be rewarded. One has nothing to do with the other. It's down to the principal's budget and whether the this ├╝beradministrator sees you as an enemy.

Anonymous said...

First I have to tell ya you are so wrong about the 20 coverages for clusters. They get one prep a day, one lunch a day and one professional period a week on an 8-period day. This is true of the library cluster too since my principal and CL changed the name to Literacy cluster so not to give the 20 coverages a week.

Also I am not suggesting the teachers write the lessons for the ATR. Just give them topics for the lessons. After all it is the teacher's responsibility to leave lessons if they are absent, but many times they don't.
My suggestion is that of good public relations so that the principal "may" see you as an asset.

Finally, my feelings are the same as when I commented on Edwize back in '05...ATRs are totally screwed and I do not see Randi protecting them in the future unless you can all get together and file a class action lawsuit against the DoE and the UFT.

Klein will tell admins as he did 2 years ago not to hire excessed/ATRs. I can only suggest you get your resume out to other schools and hope for the best or look into teaching outside of NYC because the union will not be there for you. If you are lucky enough to retire, do it because it seems that ATRs have to take care of themselves.

Personally, I would consult a labor lawyer if I became a ATR.

Under Assault said...

Here's what the contract says for cluster teachers (VII.C.4.d):
(2) The cluster teacher’s program shall include twenty 45-minute teaching periods per week.
(4) The cluster teacher shall have the same number of preparation periods and professional activity periods per week as all other teachers in the school.
(5) The other periods in the cluster teacher’s program shall be devoted to professional activities to be assigned by the principal.

I was doing ES under an earlier contract, which had some differences from this one. I was given 25 teaching/week as a music teacher, and for much of the year, they didn't give me anything else, so I had two time-offs in addition to lunch. I KNOW I was working less during school hours than the regular teachers (I'm not talking about the workload at home -- that goes without saying.) I don't say you're wrong, but I guess if you have such a strong reaction to what I wrote, schools must be following or SBO'ing the contract widely differently.

I never said that you had said, or implied, that ATRs should write lessons. I was specifically commenting on your statement about asking teachers for lessons (your words: "write notes to teachers asking for suggested lessons and/or review lessons").

And I hold to my stance: you do not earn brownie points by doing this, and if everyone did it, then they on high will come to expect us to continue doing it, which is politically daft.

PS: I am not speaking from conjecture, but from experience. I took one teacher's whole program for four whole weeks, took another one's for three. In spite of all the preparation (I wouldn't say real lessons, but preparing somewhat what for what I was going to do in each class each day), all the grading and the report card marking that I did, I am still treated like a feather in the wind and put thither and yon at principal's whim. And she is one whimsical lady.

I don't wish this on you at all, I wish it on no one. But people have to look clear-eyed at the principal's goal (we only don't cost anything for a year: next year they'd have to pay half our salaries, after that the whole salary) as well as Bloom/Klein's goal -- to eliminate us.

And trust those of us who are "of an age" and have done some or all of what the BoE has said to go find our own jobs. In my case, 100% of the ten schools I applied to did not even grant me an interview me. I am positive that this is either age (or salary) discrimination or that principals have been given insider knowledge from the DoE or their colleagues that people like me -- active and outspoken unionists -- are not to be allowed the chance to put even one tiny toe in any door.

And to advise ATRs to retire shows a limitation of vision and understanding on your part, and trust me: I'm very happy that you've not been put in this position.

But why, pray, retire, when another quite viable option is to go with the flow, even if it means rubber room for something trumped up or unfair, as long as salary keeps coming in and seniority keeps growing? A lot of us do not have 25 years in, so every year extra counts pensionwise, even if you don't much like what you're doing.

Parenthetically, I happen not to mind the ATR thing too much, since many periods of each day I do teach quite a lot - e.g., research tools, math, foreign language, current events, writing skills, even penmanship. Some of us are interested in a wide range of subjects, and since we've stayed in the profession for so long, we still like kids enough to want to work with them and feel ourselves of some use, many times even important in their lives.

Pissedoffteacher said...

It is impossible for an ATR, in a school the size of mine, to contact teachers for sub lessons or even be prepared. Besides, I think that no matter what they did, the admins would find fault because that is what they are looking for.

I predicted this would happen is September. I wish I had not been correct.

Anonymous said...

Elementary schools have more coverages than Jr. High school. Most clusters cover 29 classes a week. The contract does not protect elementary school clusters.


I only suggested asking for ideas, that's what "suggested lessons" means. As for retiring, I think my intention was clear that if there were no more protections come the next contract, that may be an option. Your love of teaching, according to this post, could be ended regardless of your love of teaching. At least your principal is utlizing you.

All I can say is that understand your bitterness but not why it is directed at me.

Under Assault said...

I've only heard coverages used to mean "covering classes when someone is absent," so I'm not following your explanation, and it doesn't match the exact wording of the contract I quoted, so let's just leave that for now.

I've agreed with you so many times before, but I don't think we're on the same wavelength this time. I wasn't even on my OWN current wavelength when I began ATR'ing in September. That's before I discovered you could give your proverbial all, do way more than what was required, and still get kicked in the teeth, and before I figured out I'll never find out the real reason I was put in this position, nor how it was not easily winnable at step I (I'm the most senior person in my license for this job).

I'm way past bitter, as you can see from my comments (especially the last para. of the last one) and from my own blog, where I actually talked about the Zen of it all.

And PissedOff is right. In a big school, you walk in the door, get given a program, and you're "on." Even if you wanted to ask someone else for anything, it can't be done on the spur of the moment. You don't know who you'll "be" for the day, and even if you did, where precisely they are in their curriculum.

You're dependent on three things really: whether the school has a policy that teachers leave sub plans (and enforces it), whether the teacher you're subbing for has trained the kids well and has thought about leaving you what you need to have, and an entire array of your own classroom management skills and knowledge.

Anonymous said...

No you haven't agreed with me before (as recently on NYC Ed's blog). You have always attacked my comments.

I am correct about the contract because it is different for elementary school.

Furthermore, if you would rather be in the rubber room so you can continue to receive a salary, be my guest.

I have been against the ATR status since before you became one, but from now on I will let Klein and Randi prevail rather than have someone collect my same salary and not have the same responsiblities (testing, grading, planning, etc. on a daily basis).

I am tired of hearing someone complain on the one hand, and claim they are content with this situation as long as they are collecting a salary. Like I said, if I were in this position I would consult a lawyer and use every ounce of my energy to make the staff and principal see me as an asset rather than someone who is just using up the budget, even if it means volunteering my personal time. If they don't, at least I tried to fight for my dignity because the rubber room would not be an acceptable alernative for me.

My heart does go out to the ATR at POT's school, but she also has to look into alternatives because Suit already has taken steps to kick her out the door.

Under Assault said...

What I post is not the totality of my thoughts on what you have to say.

And I'm sorry I have to disagree with you again. I have never thought that these back-and-forth discussions with you or anyone else on various blogs -- with the exception of the ones I've had with Unity Hacks -- are "attacks."

I save all, and I mean ALL, of my anger for 3 individuals: the billionaire who thinks he owns this city and has no interest in the common man, the unqualified chancellor he installed, and the Janus-faced leader who has run this union into the ground.

I value discussions with educators in the trenches, even though I sometimes disagree with them.

Anonymous said...

"They are not supposed to plan lessons, nor are they supposed to teach lessons -- unless they want to!"

Can you please explain this statement of yours because you make it sound as if ATRs call the shots.

Under Assault said...

I didn't make that up -- either I saw it in a Q&A or a Know Your Rights thing, maybe even heard it at a meeting for ATRs. (Perhaps someone can jump in here and remind me.)

That document, or message, said ATRs could only be observed on classroom management, not content of the lesson.

ATRs are supposed to hand out or assign what the teacher has left, take attendance, and deal with normal issues, etc. That is not calling the shots, it is doing a series of duties. It's also learning a whole lot of techniques that you don't really need as a regular teacher: like dealing with the intruders and other kids who don't know you and who may misbehave more dramatically because they know you're not going to be grading them.

If, as happens all too frequently, the teacher has left nothing for you and the A.P. doesn't see fit to leave anything either (or is otherwise unavailable), it's best to be prepared with something -- for your own sake. It's easier for classroom management if you have something at hand or can wing it from the existing textbook before the kids come in. Wait, I take that back: you can't do that until you ASK the kids where they are in the textbook. You could do it for the later classes, but not for the first one.

But anything lesson-wise that you do on your own is not required. It's not your subject, after all. In fact, it might even be grievable if you're forced to do a lesson plan, and possibly be judged on one that's not in your subject.

Anonymous said...

I agree that no one should be judged on lessons outside their subject area and that should include classroom management (but not sure it does).

I too am trying to remember where I read that ATRs will be observed.
That said, I can't imagine any ATR filing grievances against these observations when it was their own union who set them up for failure.
That is why I would consult an attorney.

If you recall, the original negotiation was that if an ATR did not find a full time job within a certain time frame, they would lose their jobs. While the UFT hailed it a victory that ATRs would still be paid, Randi has been known to sell out her members.

There are so many other (younger) bloggers who are putting in resumes to charter schools or schools outside NYC because they can no longer teach effectively.
I wonder if the UFT charter schools and Green Dot schools will hire ATRs???

ed notes online said...

I wanted to chime in on the elementary cluster contract "Clusters shall 'include' 20 periods a week." There were usually 5 lunch duties too.
The key word here is "include" - one of the usual loopholes the UFT gives the DOE. That is interpreted to be a minimum, not a maximum. Since all elem teachers get a lunch and prep, the school admins can fill up a cluster schedule to the max.

At one point in my school clusters had a lot more free time than self-contained classroom teachers. And no matter the difficulties of clustering no one contends it is harder than the regular classroom. That is why senior teachers usually grab these positions.

But at some point my principal started packing some clusters to the max. That allowed them to save a teacher by having them do 30 periods a week. However, lunch duty was the rub since the contract states all teachers in the school, including classroom teachers have to do it equally and the clusters used that as a wedge - we take duty off your hands and don't file a grievance in exchange for time.

When I became chapter leader the principal "punished" the staff by making every classroom teacher do duty in what became an enormous scheduling nightmare.

But the next year came the 1995 contract which was a watershed in that the school totally rejected all duty and the admin was left to deal with it (one of the givebacks in the 2005 contract). Some clusters weren't happy - lunch duty was a break from teaching to them and one guy had worked out a sweetheart deal where he did all the duties but could leave much earlier.

Classroom teachers at my school voted down duty partially in response to the "deals" clsuters and out of classroom teachers where getting with the principal who had been giving lots of time off -- they didn't pick up their groups all the time. There was always this 2 class system in elem schools where classroom teachers got the short end of the stick but there was always the hope for many to get out of the classroom at some point so people shut up.

Under Assault said...

Thanks for the effort to clarify. I couldn't understand why we had such different views of the contractual obligations.
(Just to confirm, the contract bits I quoted up above were taken from the Elementary School section, at d. Cluster Teacher Program.)

Anonymous said...

As I read the comments made by schoolgal, I am amazed that this woman is a teacher--is she perhaps an administrator pretending to be a teacher? I am an ATR and I want her to understand that there are so many forces working against you from the minute you walk into the school on any given day. I will not go off on a rant, but I will say that like Miss Woodlass I applied to MANY schools--I have an excellent resume and credentials--but was not granted an interview with anyone. I even walked into some schools to ask for an interview with a principal or AP--no one would see me. I networked, I called friends, asked around, did my darndest and best to find a position, but guess what--no one would even cough in my direction. It sounds as though Schoolgal who really DOESN'T GET IT is just as ignorant as other teachers who think that ATRs and RR people deserve to be where they are because they are not trying hard enough. Get a fricking clue! You may be in this position, too. As for getting a lawyer, it isn't such a cut and dry case as you suggest. Believe me, many of us are smart enough to think about going this route ourselves--things are not as simple as you think they are, Schoolgal.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you go back to the '05Edwize archive and see all the arguments I made against taking away excessing rights. But many teachers still went and voted for the contract. And everything I predicted you said. All I am saying,if you are able to read, is that don't expect this union to protect you in the future.

Btw, how did you vote in '05?? Did you email Randi as I did about taking away senority rights? Just how proactive were you in trying to stop this disaster???

Pissedoffteacher said...

I don't know Schoolgal but I have been reading her posts. She is totally pro teacher.

The problem I have found with blogs is that it is easy to misinterpret the written word.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Pissed Off. I appreciate your comment. As you know I fought against taking away excessing rights and voted NO to the '05 contract and our current one even though the raise would make my pension benefit better--which is I am glad to say-- is soon to be a reality.

I wonder how the ATR in your school voted. I also wonder how most of the ATRs voted. Not only was I excessed 6 times and laid off twice in the 1970's, I took advantage of the UFT seniority transfer. I more than anyone know the importance of protecting seniority. And I stand on principle when I say I would pay the price and consult a labor lawyer. That's pretty cut and dry.
With the use of the internet and blogs, it's beyond me why no one out there is trying to mobilize the ATRs.

According to Maise, the Unity Hack on Edwize, the ATRs are very happy collecting a salary without the stress a regular teacher has. I was hoping that was not true.

proofoflife said...

School gal...I hope you never find yourself in ATR status. Schools are closing left and right and I would say it is the lack of leadership that causes school closure not incompetent teachers! If I lost my job after 20 years youre damn right I would collect my salary.Why should anyone be forced to retire? There are people fighting for the rights of ATR's .There is TAG, and people like myself who voice my opinion at chapter leader meetings. I am one of those unforunates with a big mouth. I know I would have big problems in the "open" transfer market. I am outspoken, and a senior teacher. It never fails to amaze me why a group of people with Master Degrees.. and more continue to hide from their own shadows. This is why BloomKleinRandi are able to treat us like shit. Dangle a few bucks in front of us and we would drink the kool aide. As for the rubber room I hope I never get sent there.However, I would show up each and every day while you were grading and planning your lessons!

Anonymous said...

Do you really believe the Rubber Room is Klein and Randi's plan?

I doubt it. I think the next contract will go the way Klein wants it to go. So unless you are planning on knocking out an administrator in the near future, the Rubber Room may not be an option.

Getting a U rating on an observation will not send you to the Rubber Room. But I believe (but I will have to check it out),that 3 U ratings can get you the sack.

Did you see the graphic POD used?
It's a warning.

btw, I hope you voted against the
'05 contract because I have a feeling tenure is the next thing to go.

Anonymous said...

This ATR from POed school voted "no", and as Chapter Leader at the time, encouraged my colleagues to vote "no" as well. It's funny how everyone I spaek to says that they voted "no" too, but the contract passed by such a large margin.

Pissedoffteacher said...

Like Proof of Life, I would be an ATR if my school closed. It doesn't matter how well my kids do or how much I am liked, I have a big mouth and I am not afraid to use it.

Anonymous said...

By the way, there are some ATRs who are happy to be ATRs, but I believe they are a minority. It's no fun to babysit other teachers' students, and even less fun to lose your dignity, especially when you worked so hard to obtain some sense of it. If other ATRs enjoy ATRing, then perhaps they should consider retirement, or a change of career. All I know is that I am furious that I have been demoted to this status, and I miss teaching--especially since I was good at it.

Anonymous said...

Justice not Just Us, thanks for your words of praise. Yes, I'm sure that if we were in the same school we'd be speaking in person about all these issues....I'm honored by your kind words to all of us colleagues writing and commenting on this and all the other blogs. By the way, your Rio pictures are superb....I hope this wonderful vacation gave you new found strength to fight the dark powers of Angelet, Slim Shady, and any other petty tyrants.

Under Assault said...

8:44, I find your comment weird and kind of callous: "If other ATRs enjoy ATRing, then perhaps they should consider retirement, or a change of career."

Why?

If you enjoy doing it, or at least find being an ATR acceptable, why should you retire or change jobs? For what? Real estate? Office manager? Truck driver? We've put our life into teaching and it's what we are trained to do. More the better that we still like doing it, even in someone else's class.

Subbing in "normal" size classes of 34 (I say that with tongue in cheek) feels much lighter and easier to me, since I was a music teacher before all this, with the possibility of 50 on register up to 5 periods a day. Of course, they didn't all show up at once, but they could have, and there was always 1-1/2 times as much paperwork as everyone else (grading included), and the marking! Wow. And the class management! Double wow. Everything I'm doing now is easier than it was in those gigantic classes. I also like the challenge of a different subject every day. I don't feel I'm in a rut, I feel it's like a crossword puzzle: how to get the most out of the kids and the most comfortable situation in the room. If nothing else, it's interesting.

It's easier when you dump your ego at the door. It's like a grunt in the army: you go where you're told to go, but at the same time you're very grateful that your life is not on the line for your salary. The kids don't mind, they know 2 of the 3 music positions were cut, and they accept that. The faculty whom I respect respects me back -- and they know this is a political fight.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Leaving this aside, I do want to tell you that I spoke with Michael Mendel about that original Queens rubber room rumor. He said in no uncertain terms that RW did not say what was reported -- he doesn't know what she said, or how it got misinterpreted, but there's a no lay-off clause for two more years and it is something the UFT will continue to hold firm on.

I just want to go on record that he said this today, Jan.7, 08. If it turns nasty for the ATRs and doesn't work out the way he says, Unity will just be perfecting its extraordinary and inexplicable record of horrendous givebacks.

Anonymous said...

Norm,

Thank you for clarifying cluster coverage. I knew I was right. Most of the clusters with the exception of the Tech and Tag have full schedules. But in the past many clusters had "admin" periods until the budget got in the way of those perks. Even though the contract still states that every Spring the chapter meets to discuss cluster programs, our CL took away our right to discuss options and vote on cluster positions since she feels the principal has that power. As a result, the library program was lost without any input from the staff in favor of a program that no one applied for and the least senior teacher had to take.

Getting back to ATRs. When I commented how demoralizing it would be to lose my classroom position to some new comer if I became an ATR, Maise replied that ATRs got a great deal since they would still get paid for not having the same “stresses” we go through. I remember telling her that was lousy PR on the part of the union to praise the fact we have over-paid subs. Papers like the Post and News would have a field day.

Now, I am getting 2 kinds of feedback here. Some like being ATRs because they get paid and ride this wave for the next 2 years without having the same responsibilities, while others like the one who works at POT’s school don’t. Either way, I can see both points of view. But for those who are unhappy and voted Yes to the ’05 contract, they need to take responsibility for approving this measure.

As far as people saying they voted No, yet the contract still passed, I have to agree. If I had a dime for every person who told me that never voted for Randi, I would be rich. And no one in my school cared about the ATR provision as much as I did. But they were never excessed or laid off the way I was. Nor can teachers ever again take advantage of a seniority transfer. They have no idea of the value of what was lost by their YES vote.

Mike is right about being protected for this contract. That is exactly what I already stated. It's the next contract that may do away with tenure, and ATRs would be the first to go as a cost-saving measure. However, we have seen Randi make changes to the contract without going to the rank and file as she did with the sign-up bonuses for new teachers from other states and cities. She can also negotiate deals that will increase our health care contribution without going through rank and file. She has changed the way the union operates with a swift vote from her controlled Executive Committee. For $750, we have seen teachers sign away rights. All she needs is one loophole or a payoff to get what Klein wants.

I agree with Woodlass' last statement..

"If it turns nasty for the ATRs and doesn't work out the way he says, Unity will just be perfecting its extraordinary and inexplicable record of horrendous givebacks."

Anonymous said...

PS

Speaking of the contract, the mayor is reducing parking permits which is a violation of our contract.

Randi wrote him a nice letter asking to meet with him.

There is a group of people, including the mayor, who believe teachers, cops and firefighters have no right to parking.

Un-freaking-believable!!

ed notes online said...

Schoolgal
The contract doesn't do away with tenure. That is state law though a contract can supercede it. And this has happened as James has pointed out at some point how the contracts signed by the UFT has weakened the tenure protections we had.

FYI - tenure has existed for well over a hundred years I believe - way before the UFT. It was a reaction to the political nature of hiring teachers by people like Boss Tweed - a nice touch.

Tenure is becoming somewhat irrelevant in some ways as Klein has found ways to circumvent it by using pressure on teachers to force them out of teaching. Even if they have to pay 700 people in the rubber room it is worth it to them as an example to the rest - keep them in fear. That has basically destroyed the union at the ground level in the schools.

People I speak to who are active in the school and known as pro union are talking about backing away - if their school closes, will they ever be hired? A chapter leader who is stealth anti-Unity explained it this way when I asked why the opposition got a lot more votes against Shanker than Weingarten. "The union is so weak that everyone is afraid to be active. A strong union even with Shanker, at least it was perceived as being able to protect you even if you were opposed to Unity."

I don't know if I agree with all of this but it is an interesting point in explaining how things have gotten so bad. Conspiracy people might even see this as part of the Unity "plan" to weaken the body so no opposition can ever get started but that gives them too much credit.

Anonymous said...

The Pols want to do away with tenure, so the state law can easily be changed.

I did feel protected under Shanker until the layoffs. But, I think my old DR was much stronger because he was not "appointed" by the Great Randini and worked hard to please us to keep his job.

How is it that Bloomie can take away parking priviledges so easily?

How is it that schools can be closed with a snap of a finger even when they are showing improvement?

Do you really think Bloomie wants to pay 100s of ATRs? Something is cooking and it doesn't smell good.

Pissedoffteacher said...

The ATR in my school just got a letter for her file.

She's smart. She confronted the APO who gave it to her, told her that she knew ATR's were being targeted and will speak to union before she signs it.

it's interesting that no one ever gets a file letter without warning and this woman did. Coincidence, I THINK NOT!

Anonymous said...

Aren't we lucky we lost the right to grieve letters.