January 2, 2009

REVISED: The error was at TRS

SUBSTITUTE POST: Originally I called this blog:
"BloomKlein computers that get it wrong."
That's because I was told by TRS (Teaches Retirement) a couple of weeks ago that the DoE computers had changed my status from "Active" to "Inactive" on October 31st.

In fact, I found out today that TRS got it wrong. 

The UFT acted very quickly to help sort this out, and it seems my change of status was the result of a TRS employer error. Moreover, efforts were made to ensure it was not done to a lot of members, particularly ATRs as a group. 

I was tempted to remove this entire post, since I was given the wrong information as to who created the error and went after BloomKlein. Then I thought perhaps it would be better to leave most of it, so that people can see that problems like this occur from time to time over at TRS and payroll and you should be aware of them. So, here's the revision:

Still unable to spend a lot of time on the computer as the result of a back injury, it's worth mentioning the following. Consider it an alert.

With my retirement age fast approaching, I got to daydreaming this morning whether I'd have enough money to live on a NYC pension and a couple of annuities. I remembered that on the TRS website, there's a nifty little Retirement Allowance Calculator that could possibly make all one's dreams come true.

Strangely enough, I couldn't find it today, so I decided to give TRS a call. Maybe it wasn't working in the holiday season. The phone was answered by a nice gentleman who found my account and quickly told me that TRS doesn't offer that Retirement Calculator to "inactive" members, which according to his records, I have been — since October.

This news horrified me, since apart from Nov. 4th (which I spent at the Protect the Vote offices down in Manhattan) and the 8 days I was laid up in excruciating pain, I've been quite an active member of the workforce. In fact, restored to the music position I was excessed from a couple of years ago, I have resumed a program of five classes a day with 50 kids on register each. This regimen is not for dawdlers or for the faint of heart.

[Here is where I removed my sarcastic comments on BloomKlein's fake accountability, fake computers and fake expertise, because the DoE was not the culprit in this case. But, it's not to say I don't still loathe them for all that. They've been manipulating data since they've been in office, a real threat to both reality and transparency.]

My advice to anyone who reads this blog:   Here's the TRS tel. no. 1-888-869-2877 — in case you want to check for yourself whether your status is as it should be.

Now, see how easy that was? I changed the entire thrust of this blog once I found the error was not made by the DoE or its computers.

Would that principals would change the distortions, exaggerations, omissions, and lies in the letters they write to our files when they find out they've been wrong. Dream on. These days, they're leaving all that garbage right where it is — just in case they may want to build a big case against you down the line.


  1. Glad you are feeling better and have a real schedule. As for the DOE it probably was a mistake because of your changed situation. At least I hope so.

  2. If you saw my real schedule, you'd think I landed in a very undesirable place. It's called "WAREHOUSING KIDS" in NYC high schools, and if I had the health to write about it, it would make people blanch.

    I don't think it was a change of situation, but something possibly even nefarious. I was made "inactive" on Oct. 31st. The restoration of my program happened in December, a month and half later.

    I am just wondering if they did "something" to all the ATRs in October 31st and would like anyone who is one to go and check his status at TRS.

  3. The same thing happened to an ATR in my school. She did not get paid for over a month. It took forever to fix.

  4. Hi, PO,
    Can you be more specific about what happened vis a vis payroll with that ATR at your school? Because in my case, I've always gotten paid, and the salary step increase this year did happen smoothly and on time. It's just the unbeknownst conversion to "inactive" that brought on a severe anxiety attack.

  5. So glad that you are doing a bit better. Hoping for a complete recovery soon. I am no longer an ATR but during my stint as one, my retirement records remained active. (Checking them and dreaming was the only thing that got me through the insanity.) I will contact some ATR friends and have them check to see. Feel better!

  6. The ATR in my school did not receive a paycheck although she was there every day since school began. When she questioned it, she was told that she was on leave. It took numerous phone calls to straighten this out. 'the union was of almost no help. She was not offered an emergency check.

    Luckily, after 2 pay periods, things have returned to normal for her.

    This ATR was on leave last year, but not this year.

  7. Hello Woodlass,
    It is nice to hear form you again. Talking about TRS. I was surprised to see my last paycheck with $350 dollars more than the previuos paycheck. I was so happy to get more money. I though that maybe I reached my aniversary (13 years by now). -- but today I sat down and compared the 2 paystubs and the latest one does not have any deductions for TDA and TRS. Does this mean that I am inactive because I am an ATR teacher? I better call them monday morning. This is my 3rd year as an ATR teacher.

  8. I'm not sure it's related to the ATR thing, but it certainly may be. Yes, I agree: do call them, because at least they will resolve the issue on your particular case, as in mine.

    I will slowly get more active again, but don't want a recurrence of the spine thing, so am monitoring my computer time.
    I intend to write to the DoE today on this issue.
    I intend to write to Weingarten.
    I intend to write a couple of more blogs that I've been storing up.
    I intend to ....
    I intend to ....
    I intend to ....