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.