Friday, November 21, 2008

The ATR "Side" Agreement: for your comment


Absent Teacher Reserve and Vacancies

Memorandum of Agreement entered into this _______day of November, 2008 by and between the New York City Board of Education (hereinafter “DOE”) and the United Federation of Teachers, Local 2, AFT, AFL-CIO (hereinafter the “Union).

All terms and conditions of the current collective bargaining agreements between the parties remain in full force and effect. This side agreement assists in using talent and resources more effectively:

1. In recognition of the realities of the evolving budget situation and a pool of available qualified, experienced teachers, the Chancellor will convey to principals that though they continue to have final say over teacher hiring decisions it is his clear preference that the Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR) pool be used as the first option in filling new and existing vacancies. Towards that end, the Chancellor will send a letter to principals strongly urging them to consider and interview members of the ATR pool to fill vacancies before considering other candidates, explaining the significant financial incentives created herein for them to do so, and underscoring that, as the city confronts the current fiscal crisis, responsible management principles require a commitment to actively and in good faith pursue hiring ATRs prior to filling open positions.
2. The DOE will also send principals lists of ATRS and their license areas and district/superintendency.
3. “ATR” refers to all UFT-represented titles.
4. When a centrally-funded ATR is hired to fill a regular position in a school (other than the school from which the ATR was excessed), on or after November 1st of the calendar year in which they were excessed, central DOE will pay the difference between the actual salary of the teacher and a starting teacher salary, and then, in subsequent years, will continue to pay the difference between the actual salary and the subsequent steps on the salary scale (for example, in year 2, the difference between actual salary and step 2A on the salary scale). This subsidy will terminate once the excessed employee has been in the position 8 years.
5. Until November 15, 2010 a school that hires a centrally-funded ATR to fill a regular position (other than a school from which the ATR was excessed) on or after November 1st of the calendar year in which they were excessed, in addition to being charged in accordance with ¶ 4 above, central DOE will credit the hiring school’s budget one-half of the starting teacher salary that would otherwise be paid by the school under ¶4 above.
6. After November 1, principals can offer to hire centrally-funded ATRs for the balance of the school year on a provisional basis whereby ATRs accepting this offer can be excessed, regardless of seniority, at the end of the school year in which they are hired, or can opt to be placed in excess again at that time. If the ATR is not excessed again at the end of the school year, and does not opt to be placed in excess at that time, the ATR will become a regularly-appointed pedagogue at the school. The subsidies provided for in ¶¶ 4 & 5 above will not apply to ATRs hired provisionally pursuant to this paragraph, but will apply should such an ATR become a regularly-appointed pedagogue at the school.
7. There will be a city-wide posting consisting of all schools that have a high enough rate of absences to benefit from a full-time ATR and that do not have an ATR already assigned, or have enough students to warrant one or more additional ATR’s. With principal approval of adding one or more ATRs, centrally-funded ATR’s may apply to transfer into the district/superintendency and be placed in the selected school as an ATR up to a limit of one (1) ATR per 500 students, with city-wide seniority determining priority among multiple applicants.
8. Excessed pedagogues will not be separated from other job applicants at job fairs, though they will be given the option to decline to attend briefing sessions for new teachers.
9. ATR’s will be used for classroom assignments, e.g. push-in, pull-out, intervention, remediation, to cover day-to-day and long-term teacher absences, to reduce class size, and other assignments within the teacher job description.
10. DOE will make its best efforts to modify its systems so that, by school year 2009-2010, applicants for specific vacancies in the open market or the excess hiring system will be notified when their application is received, if they are hired and if the position has been filled with another applicant.
11. It is the mutual objective of the DOE and UFT in reaching this side agreement to reduce the size of the excess pool by 1) eliminating any financial disincentives to fill open positions out of the ATR pool; 2) creating a financial incentive for the school to hire out of the ATR pool; and 3) improving processes and procedures that will facilitate the hiring process for ATRs. The UFT and the DOE will review the results of this side agreement after it has been in operation for one year and, on that basis, will work collaboratively to determine if it is necessary to find additional solutions aimed to reduce the size of the ATR pool in a manner that serves the best interests of the students of New York City public schools and reflects the need to address the fiscal challenges we face together.
12. This agreement will expire on December 1, 2010 although paragraphs 4, 5 & 6 will continue to apply to hiring done on or prior to that date, according to the specific terms set forth above.
13. The UFT will hold its arbitration (case number A-079-C16257) in abeyance to allow this agreement time to go into effect.

Agreed to this ______ of November, 2008.

For the Board of Education For the United Federation of Teachers

--------------------------------- ______________________________


Anonymous said...

This agreement is complicated. At present there are many schools who have ATRS for FREE because the ATRS' salaries come from CENTRAL (DOE). = (The salary is not paid from the school budget). Do you think that a principal will hire an ATR that is free?

Anonymous said...

Why would they?

Chaz said...

I believe it is a good agreement for the union and we should give it a chance and see if it really works.

I am suspicious that there may be a hidden side agreement that is not in our best interest but time will tell.

Anonymous said...

To anon. 4:59. "Do you think that a principal will hire an ATR that is free?" NO, NO.
This is my 3rd year as an ATR. My salary is centrally-funded. I am a freebie for the school. The principal does not pay me from her school budget, and she will not hire me because if she hires me, she has to pay one-half of the starting teacher salary. Correct me if I am wrong.
Plus, imagine that another school in my district needs a teacher. I will not be lucky to get that job either because there are many ATRS floating around.
In this agreement Randy should have pushed for the HIRING FREEZE UNTIL ALL ATR TEACHERS ARE PLACED.
Thank you very much to the Ad hoc committee to support the ATRs, ICE members, and especially to Marjorie Stanberg and John Powers for the hard work. See you at the RALLY.

Anonymous said...

If you are currently an ATR in a school and on the school's budget (not central), there is no principal's incentive to be picked up.

How many ATRs fit into this category? Probably more than you think.

Woodlass said...

To Anon 4:59:
Klein's main wish is not to force new hires on any principal. That's one of the reasons the hiring freeze will be rejected. But that KleinDesire is wearing pretty thin. Except in the case of a totally new school, and I know there are quite a few of these but they are not in the majority, what principal new to the job or even long in one has ever had a staff that was totally of his or her choice. It can't happen. That's not the way the system is built.

To Anon. 10:50:
I agree that the memorandum doesn't make arrangements for any of the ATRs that have been excessed out of programs (not closing schools) and thus remain on the school's budget.

Those people are actually a THIRD class of tenured educators that I had not thought of when I posted the following comment on Chaz's blog a few days ago:

"The big negative is in the clauses that creates a SECOND-class of tenure. ATRs can be hired now on a provisional basis for a year. And there's nothing to stop them (except if this memorandum ends) from rotating ATRs. If the principal wants to waive that extra bonus he'd get for hiring them permanently, he can try them out for a year. Where do you see that with normal placements of tenured teachers (as we had before) or normal transfers from school to school?"

I also made these comments over at Chaz's discussion:

"Also, what happens with the accrual of 20 years of appointment, after which you can't be excessed? Each year one of these ATRs serves in a real position but is not really appointed might mean he's not accruing a year of usable service in that goal for 20 years.

"Any dissolution of what constitutes tenure and all the rights that regularly tenured teachers have to do their job in their license is a shot at tenure. This agreement certainly is a shot at tenure.

"Remember the 10 minutes that eventually turned into a whole period of extra teaching time? That is the kind of incremental giveback we've got here. It may take a few years, but this is an incremental giveback in the same way that extra 10 minutes was years ago.

"I do see one little tiny positive, but not necessarily worth signing onto the memorandum for: it seems that those provisional ATRs can opt out of the job if they don't like where they end up. That's good. In the old days, you didn't have a choice: where they sent you after excessing is where you stayed."

Randi, Randi, Randi, where leadest us, thou?

Anonymous said...

I was wondering why Randy decided to have a meeting to discuus this agreement at 4:00 pm. When the RALLY is at 4:30 pm. It does not make sense. In addition, she is always late for the meetings. Is this a kind of boycotting the RALLY?
In my school the chapter leader didn't say one word about the RALLY to the teachers.

Woodlass said...

She never wanted this rally in the first place and has tried several ways to undermine it.
This it the most blatant sabotage, no?

Anonymous said...

It's pretty sad when a union leader treats her constituents like she does management (bargaining).

For example:

I'll give my members a bit off this if I can get that in return.

In other words:

I'll give them a rally but I won't really give them a rally and I'll tell Klein we are having a rally but it won't be a strong rally because that might offend him and our future bargaining efforts.

The great juggler!

Anonymous said...

So f*ck Weingarten and go directly to the rally.