Saturday, September 24, 2011


Irma Segovia is a Spanish teacher who recently was improperly excessed from Jamaica High School. It was a wrongful excess because Ms. Segovia has over twenty years as a regularly appointed teacher and shouldn't be excessed. This is what the UFT contract says about excessing twenty year veterans in Article 17B Rule 10:

“Teachers at all levels who have served 20 years or longer on regular appointment shall not be excessed except for those in neighboring schools who are excessed to staff a newly organized school.”

The language is clear and unambiguous. Nobody is being excessed to staff a new school. They are being excessed to become wandering ATRS. The contract says twenty year teachers should not be excessed but Jamaica had teachers with Rule 10 status excessed in June and the grievance process is playing out slowly as usual. To be fair, I have been working behind the scenes with UFT help to try to get Irma back but DOE basically has said that they don't care about no stinking contract. Making matters worse, we have fourteen classes that are still uncovered while teachers who could teach them are working as substitutes in other schools. Frustration is mounting.

Irma is a wonderful teacher and a fine person who I am happy to know. She volunteered to serve on the school's UFT Chapter Consultation Committee for years and she made a diligent attempt to find a job after being illegally excessed. However, getting an email on Friday night for a mandatory interview Monday clear across town is more than she can take. According to the contract, teachers in excess are supposed to be assigned within their district. After the latest email from DOE, Ms. Segovia sent me this email out of utter frustration and agreed to allow me to post it.

Hi, James:

Here is another attempt by the Human Resources to ignore the UFT contract. They are so convinced they can get away with it, like their new twist on Article 17B rule 10:
"Teachers cannot go back to their schools when the school is being phased out"

Now, they want me to interview outside my district and it is “a mandated interview.”

I have had interviews offered via email but I emailed them back saying it was a hardship
because of the commute (Staten Island, The Bronx, Brooklyn).

Do I have to attend if it is out of my district? It was sent today at 5:00pm through the DOE email. I couldn’t even call them to argue my case because it was sent too late.

All these atrocities, the games being played by the DOE, the ignoring of the UFT contract, the rule bending, and all the other things that go on and ATRs are experiencing (that you won’t even believe because they have not happened to you, yet) MUST be reported and the public must hear the truth behind “the no child left behind excuse.”

Let’s get people from “20/20” or from “60 Minutes” It’s time for the big reporters to report what the mayor and his puppets are doing, have done and will rampantly continue to do to the NY children and to the system if they are not investigated and stopped.

Teachers are held accountable for everything the mayor and the DOE deem wrong or bad even when it does not make sense.

When do the mayor and chancellor and even our questionable Mr. Mulgrew get to be accountable or graded for their irresponsibility for the destruction of the school system in New York City and abuse of power? As long as we keep on paying our dues, never!!!

We were sold out! Our rights are being violated and our integrity as professionals is being questioned.




Chaz said...

Does she have to go to a mandated interview outside her district? I didn't see an answer to her question.

FEDUP! said...

All I see are young teachers and young administrators! I think we should file an age discrimination suit against the DOE! They don't want to hire or keep older teachers! Do you see any newbie ATR's?????? This is becoming an outrage!

James Eterno said...

They can't assign her outside the district but I don't know about interviewing. I am emailing the UFT to get their interpretation

Schoolgal said...

The media doesn't care. Just look at what's happening on NBC with their one-sided Education Nation program.

Unfortunately, many editorials have called for massive firings of ATRs.

The only person who can IMHO cover this story correctly would be Michael Winerip. James should contact him first and he will be able to shed light on why this story is not being covered.

Anonymous said...

She should get a lawyer and sue.

FEDUP! said...

I said we should file for age discrimination!

Anonymous said...

The UFT won't sue the DOE. This problem has been happening since 2006 and the UFT ignores the ATRs.

James Eterno said...

According to our district rep, the DOE can send ATRS on interviews anywhere in the city as long as it is on school time. I said in June and I will repeat it here that all ATRs should invest in a good GPS and MTA map.

FEDUP! said...

That makes no sense. I f an ATR cannot be placed in an assignment outside of their district why should they interview for a job that is not in their district?

Anonymous said...

It's the DOE. It doesn't have to make sense. Just shut up and go from Suffolk County to Staten Island and the next day we'll send you to interview in the Bronx. If you complain, the UFT will tell you to be thankful you have a paycheck.

Anonymous said...

The UFT is complicit in these terror tactics, or they are remarkably stupid. Perhaps it's a combination of the two.

From the Teacher Ronin.

James Eterno said...

Heard from central UFT that you don't have to interview outside of your district. This makes sense as a teacher under current rules can't be forced to take a position in another district, so people should not be forced to attend interviews all over the city. The reality is the system created by the 2005 contract is terrible and the old system at least had some stability. We need to push for it for the purpose of sanity.

Anonymous said...

What do you think the odds are of the DOE enforcing this new plan of ATRs switching around every week? I doubt they will end up doing it since it'll be too much of a boondoggle in implementation.

Anonymous said...

They put me in a school in Bushwick Brooklyn. I love on the south side of Staten Island. Can they do that..Please help!

FEDUP! said...

Do you know that there is a new District? District 76 which is on the Excessed Staff selection job list but no where else to be found. ????????????????????? What happened to high school superintendencies?

FEDUP! said...

Partial letter I sent to Mulgrew:
I was excessed from (blank out). I received the phone call that I was excessed on August 30th which was one week before the start of the school year. I found out that the principal changed the codes of my classes to allow someone's husband to take my program. He was supposedly placed under a Social Studies license but the last I heard he was teaching as a day to day sub out of the Business dept. I lost the Step 1 grievance and when Icontacted the union representative I was dealing with for the Step 2 grievance he said he hadn't looked at the paper work yet. (almost 3 weeks later)

Now they are rotating the ATR's and we have no say in our placement. Everyone says that we are lucky to have jobs. They are sending me from the south shore of Staten Island where I live to a school in Williamsburg/Greenpoint. Am I really lucky? I thought they were not suppose to send ATR's out of their district/superintendency but this has become a murky subject with a creation of a new district???? Accroding to the DOE websites high schools are either classified under a superintendency for example BASIS with its own superintendent etc. or a district. Now, because I feel they are urging the ATR's to quit we are being sent to far off places withing these new districts. I don't know what you can do to help but the union needs to stand behind the ATR's. We are nearly 2000 teachers without a voice or a home! The vagueness about the districts is a fight worth fighting!

Anonymous said...

The union has scrwed the ATR's! Thgey are allowing us to be treated like animals instead of tenured teachers?????? How are we allowing this to happen???? We pay dues! These meetings scheduled for next week will be a joke. They will keep telling us we aer lucky to have a job! We need action and we need it now!

Anonymous said...

We should sue the UFT for misrepresentation and breach of promise.....

Anonymous said...

Another week of uncertainty. I hate this. How is everyone else getting through this?

Anonymous said...

Just got this email:

ear Teacher,

You have been identified as a current member of the Absence Teacher Reserve (ATR). As has been communicated, teachers in the ATR may now be assigned to a different school within their district each week. This email is to update you on the next steps for notification of these weekly ATR assignments.

Notification of your weekly ATR assignment

Information on your weekly assignment will be made available through the following mechanisms:

1. Email: On Thursdays after 2:00 p.m. you will receive an email to your DOE email account with your assignment for the following week. If you do not know or have an Outlook email, you may contact the DOE helpdesk at 718-935-5100 to obtain one.
2. Excess Staff Selection System (ESSS): You may view your weekly assignment for the following week by logging into ESSS after 2:00 p.m. on Thursdays. You can access ESSS at
3. HR Connect: If you cannot access your email or ESSS, you may contact HR Connect at 718-935-4000 after 3:00 p.m. on Thursdays for information on your assignment for the following week.

Please note that it is your responsibility to verify your assignment location each week and you are required to report to the weekly assignment listed in notifications above. Any conflicting information from other parties does not override your assignment. Keep in mind that for each day you do not report to your assigned location you will be marked absent. As always, please notify your assigned school’s payroll secretary of any absences - in advance where possible - and submit all associated paperwork to the assigned school site.

The above notifications will go into effect starting this Thursday, October 6 when you will receive notification regarding your new assignment beginning Tuesday, October 11 (Monday, October 10 is a holiday).

Should you have any questions regarding your assignment, please contact HR Connect at 718-935-4000.


Teacher Hiring Support Unit
NYC Department of Education

Anonymous said...

Sue the Union for racketeering!

Anonymous said...

Hasn't it occurred to anyone to get PERB (NYS Public Employment Relations Board) involved in the ATR situation?