Saturday, June 25, 2011


It is very hard to comment on the UFT agreement with the City-DOE that was announced last night. It is certainly a very positive development that over four thousand teachers won't be laid off. On the other hand, the teaching force will be reduced by thousands through attrition, while student enrollments are increasing; this will invariably result in larger class sizes which is educationally unsound to say the least.

It is also not so good that we gave up sabbaticals for 2112-13, which will save pennies, while nothing has been done to control ballooning administrative costs within the DOE.

However, this sabbatical concession is not my central concern. We live in the real world and the national and state political climates are definitely anti teacher and anti union. We know that the sabbatical giveback for a year is not a fundamental loss.

It is the ATR part that concerns me. Absent Teacher Reserves are teachers who have been excessed because their school or program has been closed or downsized. They are in that position through no fault of their own and policy now is to usually send ATRs to a school for a year so at least they have some certainty in their lives.

ATRs at my school are currently utilized to cover classes for absent teachers on a daily basis before any day-to-day subs are called. If through this agreement the DOE is truly going to be compelled to deploy ATRs into vacant positions, then this is a positive development. If, however, the UFT just gave the DOE license to shuffle ATRs around on a weekly basis to different schools within a district, then ATRs who already are treated like second class citizens will have become third class UFT members.

Until I see the language of this agreement, I will reserve judgment. Yes, the devil is in the details.

I would hope that the UFT would send out the actual agreement before Tuesday's emergency Delegate Assembly meeting so we can discuss it with our members before we break for the summer.

For a detailed analysis, read Perdido Street here.


I'll Buy that Bridge. Is it in Brooklyn? said...

The actual agreement? Are you kidding?

Anonymous said...

The first reports state that atr's can be used as day substitute teachers within their district. Which district the pre reorganizations or the present district that few know the actual geographic location of many schools. How does this effect per diems? Many questions need answering and previous last minute agreements have harmed members rights as the UFT has been played by the department. Bloomberg & Quinn & Mulgrew??????

Anonymous said...

Judging by past history is not always a good guide as to what is going on now. I'm skeptical but until we see what the agreement says, it's tough to be overly critical.

Anonymous said...

It would be better to give the ATRs permanent assignments to replace those retiring, and allow them to switch licenses while keeping their seniority and completion of probation status.

If Randi were still in charge, the ATRs would be gone, as well as LIFO.

Anonymous said...

Why did DC 37 hold out and why will they get layoffs? So much for union solidarity.