We Are ATRS: Absolutely Teaching Ready –
but denied the opportunity by the Department of Education.
They’ve closed our schools, reduced the student population through charters, excessed us through outrageous budget cuts and made it illogical for a principal to hire us because we are experienced, well trained adults who insist on respect and are more than a few steps up the salary schedule from new graduates.
Demand Respect & Justice for ATR Teachers
The "hiring" freeze was not a freeze at all: ATRs must be placed before any new teachers are considered with no salary penalty to the school: The DOE claim to lift the hiring freeze this summer was bogus as principals were only required to interview 2 ATRs and then were free to hire newbies and less experienced teachers. Ex: one large HS in Queens has 5 newbie math teachers.
2,000 excessed teachers have swelled the ranks of the ATR- teacher pool as ATRs are obligated to waste time at Job Fairs that for the most are exercises in futility. This is an injustice that:· Is unprofessional, disrespectful, demoralizing and humiliating to teachers who have dedicated years of satisfactory service to our school communities. Both a “no layoff/firing guarantee” and a permanent classroom job are what all teachers deserve.
· Is an unconscionable waste by the DOE of taxpayer money in these lean budget times, costing the city from $80 to $100M yearly.
· Discriminates against students, parents, and schools by denying adequate quality staffing.
· Foments larger class sizes and a deterioration of the quality of teaching.
The attitude that "We are lucky to have a job" is not acceptable
ATRs demand that the UFT:
· Insist on no new hiring until all ATRs are placed.
· Call for ATRs in "obsolete license areas" (like Reading) to be allowed to recertify in a new license or get the summer crash course that TFA and TFs get to allow them to fill vacancies shortage areas.
· Create ATR Chapters with elected CLs in each borough to provide fair representation: ATRs shifted from school-to-school do not have a permanent Chapter Leader to represent their interests.
· End the agreement that forces ATRs to be wandering substitutes at different schools each week: parents, especially women with young children will face child care issues due to unpredictable assignments. The UFT must recognize that the DOE aim is to drive many to the brink of quitting.
· Publicize the plight of ATRs to all teachers and the general public in all media.
Every teacher is a potential ATR through excessing, closing schools and charter school growth. We refuse to be swept under the rug by the DOE and the UFT. We need to organize ourselves since the UFT refuses to do so. We need an outreach campaign to our fellow teaching non-ATRs (but possibly soon to be) to get them on our side.
Our strength is growing. The bigger we get the better the chance the DOE and the UFT will be forced to respond in a positive manner.
What you can do: Attend meeting we are calling for ATRs on Oct. 20, 5PM at Skylight Diner (34th St. and 9th Ave)
· Attend one of the UFT borough office meetings and distribute this leaflet and ask people to join this committee.
· Join the GEM ATR Committee sponsored by the Grassroots Education Movement: Email - firstname.lastname@example.org.
· Support and sign the resolution at the UFT borough ATR meetings (see reverse side on some leaflets or check the blogs).
· Restore rights of excessed teachers lost in 2005 UFT/DOE contract when ATR pool was created: bring back guarantee of right to vacancy in license area at another nearby school. Put an end to current open market "principal choice."
· End fair funding formula: schools get charged for teacher salaries giving principals incentives to NOT hire higher salaried/senior teachers.
· Protect LIFO (Last In First Out), seniority and tenure contractual rights: Privatization advocates are pushing hard to eliminating tenure/seniority rights guarantees as they've done in Chicago (ATRs get 9 months) and Washington, DC (ATRs get 6 months) before they are fired.
· Fight for a diverse teaching force: ATR ranks are filled with a high proportion of Black and Latino experienced teachers. Last year, the UFT passed a resolution to protect and promote “diversity in the NYC teaching force”. Ensure that the UFT uphold the spirit and letter of that resolution.
· Stop the charter-privatization of our schools: The nation-wide and local City drive to dismantle, close public schools and replace them with non-unionized charters helped precipitate this massive ATR pool. End mayoral control of schools: none of the above happens without turning the system over to the mayor.
NEXT STEPS: ATRs will gather October 20 at 5PM at the Skylight Diner (34th St and 9th Avenue)