Tuesday, January 20, 2009

TEACHING FELLOWS CASE SHOWS WE LACK A NO-LAYOFF AGREEMENT

The UFT has been telling us since 2005 that the Absent Teacher Reserve clause, that replaced the seniority and SBO transfer plans, guarantees excessed teachers the right to a full time Absent Teacher Reserve position and is therefore a de-facto no layoff agreement (unless the city declares a financial emergency). This turns out to be another myth.


ICE grows weary of being proven right over and over again about our warnings concerning the giveback laden 2005 Contract. The latest example is the teaching fellows (RTRs) who were forced to sign a pre-employment letter saying they would obtain a permanent position by December 5, 2008 or face termination. The UFT grieved saying there is a job security clause in the Contract that supersedes the pre-employment letter. The arbitrator has made a decision and the UFT could only win to the extent that Article 5C3 prevents the Board of Education from terminating the fellows in the middle of the semester. As of February 3, any newly hired fellow who has not yet obtained a permanent position is gone. Scores of newer teachers could be impacted.


In a letter that UFT President Randi Weingarten sent to the fellows earlier this month. she said the following: "We contended that the job-security clause in the UFT/DOE contract protected teaching fellows from layoffs, but the arbitrator rejected that argument. You now have until Feb. 2 to secure a permanent assignment."


Although we have not seen the full decision, it appears that ICE is correct again as this blog has been saying that the UFT no longer has an ironclad job security clause in the Contract like we had in a 1991 agreement and the 1996 and 2002 Contracts. We are not trying to panic anyone. We are fully aware that layoffs would have to come in reverse seniority order by license citywide and we don't think massive layoffs are coming right now, but without a real no layoff agreement like the one we gave away in 2005, layoffs are always a possibility.


The following two paragraphs were taken from our October 2008 DA report on this blog.


Footnote: Randi's President's Report was quite detailed but when she talked about job security she again made what in my opinion is a great mistake by referring to the provision that ended seniority transfers and preferred placement for educators if a school closed in exchange for the ATR provision as an iron clad job security agreement. It is not better than what we had in the past. She said we only had job security clauses in 1991 as part of a mid-year loan to the city and 1996. This is not true. The ICE fact meter researched previous contracts.



We discovered that there was a provision in the 1995 Contract that was Article 17F, "Job Security." It stated that "no employee covered by this Agreement shall be displaced or involuntarily separated from service except for cause or reason related to state civil service law (e.g., the movement of appointment lists and/or requirement to hire certified teachers, if available)." This job security provision lasted from 1995-98. The Tentative Contract at a Glance for the 2000-2003 Contract continued Article 17F. The UFT stated at the time: "No layoff agreement. For the duration of this contract, no UFT member shall be terminated except for cause." Article 17F was removed from the giveback laden 2005 Contract and its successor agreement and replaced by the ATR provision. I wish the UFT would just once admit that it made some mistakes in the past and stop trying to spin the terrible 2005 contract into something that it is not.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

I
C omplain
E verytime


It's Deja vu all over again.

Anonymous said...

What a disgrace that you complain when teachers are fired. If Unity lets teachers be fired, it must be OK.

Anonymous said...

Are we supposed to celebrate that teachers can be terminated Mr. Unity?

Anonymous said...

Something else that needs to be paid atention to is that Randi has said that she has no trouble taking the 150 minute weekly extended time and spreading out evenly, making it part of the regular school hours. Every day will be 6hrs 50min. This we MUST fight!

Anonymous said...

In many schools it is 6 hours and 50 minutes every day. What's the difference between 6 and 50 each day and 6 and 57.5 four days a week and 6 and 20 on Friday? It should be up to each school on how they use the extended time or it should be rolled back but politically I don't see that being possible.

Anonymous said...

The extended time is supposed to be with a group of 10 kids. This will make you spend the time with your whole class, as extended time will cease to exist.

Anonymous said...

And you would also get extra time for your prep and lunch periods.

Anonymous said...

A half hour more per day added to 6 hours and 20 minutes means about 4 minutes more in each period. That adds up to about 20 more minutes in the middle and high schools with the kids and 24 more in the elementary schools. That's still less than 37.5 four days a week. Add it up yourself; it's a better deal.

NYC Educator said...

Actually, in extended-day schools like mine, we spend the extra time with our classes, which are extended five to ten minutes.

What the half hour and extra days really mean is that Ms. Weingarten's boast of percentage increases in salary are bogus. People who work extra time at Burger King get paid more money than those who don't. But most of them, unlike those who pretend to believe Ms. Weingarten's claims, are well-aware it doesn't constitute a raise.

Anonymous said...

NYC Educator that means you also get extra time added to your lunch period and prep period.

Anonymous said...

The children are supposed to receive small group instruction as part of NCLB. To get rid of the small-group instruction would not only take away from NCLB requirements, it would also be a pay cut for us, since we will be working with more than double the amount of kids over this time.

Also, Anonymous 10:29, your math is fuzzy. According to contract, lunch is 50 minutes. This will not change. Also, instead of 37 1/2 minutes for four days, it would be 30 minutes a day for five days. This would be absorbed into the schedule, and you will still be teaching FULL classes for 150 extra minutes a week.

Anonymous said...

The guy before me can't add. Lunch is a full period. If the period gets longer, then lunch gets longer too. Find something better to fight over.

Anonymous said...

A quote from a Unity Chapter Leader in the Village Voice. ICE has been saying all along that Unity is not against closing schools. Read the following excerpt please.

Sloves (DOE official in charge of schools that are closing)recalls a visit to Brooklyn's Lafayette High School earlier this year. When the DOE announced in 2007 that it would close Lafayette, teachers and students went to the press with their protests. So when a teacher identified Sloves as a DOE emissary earlier this year, saying, "You're from Tweed, aren't you? I have something to tell you!", Sloves says he wasn't prepared for what came next.

The teacher, Rick Mangone, wanted to tell Sloves that the DOE's decision to close Lafayette had brought about major improvements at the school. Those efforts, he says, include a special program for students who need only a few credits to graduate, something that Sloves encourages as schools near their final closing day. Mangone, the head of Lafayette's teachers' union, was initially one of the most vocal opponents of the school's closure, but now says, "I think this was a winner for the DOE.

"I didn't agree with it initially, and I was hurt, but now I truly understand why they wanted to do something," he says. "It's a healthy environment, even though it's a sad one."

Anonymous said...

Could anybody please let me know about this question -- If there is a layoff it will go by seniority in the licence area. What could happen to those teachers that have seniority but never worked under their licence?

JW said...

Possible answer: I never heard of the unused license accruing anything for you. I've always been told you get credit for working in a certain license, and if you change to another license and complete the probation period, you get "traveling seniority" - which means all your years get attached to the license you're working in when the layoff situation occurs.

Anyone else want to give this a try?

Anonymous said...

JW Thanks for the answer. This is the case. A teacher has an ESL Licence however he always told computers in the elementary school. There is no licence for computers. So what happens to this teacher if we have a layoff?

Anonymous said...

That person is probably teaching on an ESL line and would be grouped in that category.