September 25, 2008

Weingarten speaks!

This press release just posted on the UFT website (Sep 25, 2008):

UFT urges DOE to save city funds by helping ATRs find permanent posts

I'm going to the theater so I don't have time to comment, but here's her proposals:

Weingarten noted that the union has worked hard to help ATRs find permanent jobs, having filed an age discrimination suit against the DOE as well as a union-initiated grievance that is pending. The union has also sought to negotiate a moratorium on new hires to give the DOE a chance to place ATRs and has cited the funding formula for its negative effect on them. Today Weingarten reiterated her call for the DOE to cover the additional salary costs of ATRs and end the pay disincentive for principals in order to put them on equal footing with new teachers in terms of seeking placements.

She added that in light of Mayor Bloomberg’s latest rounds of budget cuts, the DOE should:

— Establish an immediate hiring freeze at the central DOE and at schools for any license areas where there are people in excess and available for placement.

— Embark upon a redeployment of teachers and other excessed personnel in the ATR pool.

— Develop a program to recertify excessed personnel in additional license areas so that they are available to fill vacancies as they arise.

The last one is new, and pretty interesting . . .

I've been teaching health for a couple of weeks and am getting really into Maslow, Erikson, and Sigmund Freud.


  1. Dear Under Assault,
    I am now an atr. Can I be observed and have to present lesson plans as I normally would as a regular appointed teacher. In addition what are the parameters for being made an atr, other than an arbitrators explicit mention in the decision, or the closing of both the schol and program. I do not fit in to any of these categories.
    Do atr's recieve teachers choice? As an atr who is covering for a long term absence in my license area do I have the same responsibilities about observations and lesson plans? Where in our contract are the terms of this situation specifically mentioned.
    Thanks very much in advance.
    Prisoner 5150

  2. Prisoner 5152,

    You have to do everything as a regular teacher. Lessons plans, they will observe you, etc. You have teachers choice. Be on your toes. You became an ATR because the DOE does not like teachers that are over 40 years old and have many years of service. Your salary is too high. Those are the main parameters.

    From: ATR4EVER

  3. One of my ATR friends was at that news conference. The NY Times changed the stories being told and added their own slants to make the ATrs look bad. The union is still doing nothing to help them. It's all smoke and mirrors.

  4. The UFT does not care about the ATRS. They just care about feathering their own nest.

  5. In answer to your questions, 5150, I'm not sure I agree with everything ATR4EVER has said.

    As to lesson plans, I was told last year that they can observe you on your classroom management but not the content of your lesson. I don't know if this has evolved into some other more dire practices, so I'd say it depends on a number of things.

    If you're in a permanent position for a half year or a full year, then you do a lot of things the day-to-day ATR subs don't have to do (marking, grades, calling parents, and the like). If you're subbing long term in your license, I don't see why you wouldn't be observed. There is nothing in the contract which talks about ATRs and observations.

    If you are the type of ATR that walks in the building and gets handed a different program each day, then it's more difficult for them to observe you, but anyone can be observed at any time.

    As to the "formal" observation: If you're not teaching in your license and they try to observe you, there are some things you can look into. An article in the NY Teacher, Classroom observations, says: "Use the pre-observation conference to clarify what your supervisor expects to see during the visit. " You could try to iron out beforehand what the supervisor will be looking for. I was told last year by the District Reps that ATRs subbing around their school are not being given a hard time with observations, and that is my experience also. That would grossly unfair. You are doing a job for which YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN TRAINED AND ARE WINGING IT.

    As that same article says, ask the Ch. Ldr for contractual options to a bad write-up. Here are some ideas: If it's not your subject, they would be going against the intent of Art. 8.J.1: using a sub to cover a class does not recognize any viable "educational goal" (which is what is called for in 8J1) and 8.J.1.h calls for a "Phase II," which says specific professional dev. activities and opportunities must be provided. So if you're not teaching your subject, you could perhaps grieve that you have not been given nearly enough professional development opportunities in this new subject to give them the right to judge you teaching something that is not in your license. In other words: shift the blame onto them for forcing you to sub when they shouldn't be doing that. Under 8.J.3., you have the right to grieve "the failure to comply with the procedural requirements contained in the plan."

    Remember, the DoE makes things up as they go along, and what's happening in one district might not be happening elsewhere. Weingarten tends to be reactive rather than proactive, which is why I don't like how she runs this union. She's either collaborating with Klein behind our backs or being outwitted by him, and then scrambling to figure out how to help us each time he does something terrible. By now the union could have done a whole lot more to protect our profession and our members.

    People become ATRs when their program or school is closed or the school loses students. But, whose program gets cut may be a political move by the principal to get specific teachers out of the school. Obviously it is easier to cut someone teaching ceramics (where there is only 1 person doing that class in the building) than an English teacher. You'd have to cut many positions before you get to the senior person you want to remove.

    It has already been answered that you do get teacher's choice.

  6. Typical union all talk but no action. Let Randi hold her ground and eventually Kleinberg will give in....Just like Bloomberg did when he butted heads with the police.