Saturday, June 13, 2015


The American Federation of Teachers has sent an official response to our appeal about Absent Teacher Reserves not being properly represented by the United Federation of Teachers in the Delegate Assembly.

The next step should be to hear the usual stale answers from the UFT.

We will keep you posted.

AFT A Union of Professionals

Via Electronic Mail and USPS Mail

June 10, 2015

Emil Pietromonaco, Secretary
United Federation Of Teachers
52 Broadway
New York, NY 10004

Dear Secretary Pietromonaco:

My office is in receipt of a challenge to the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) Spring
2015 chapter elections. The challenge was originally sent to AFT President Randi Weingarten. President Weingarten forwarded the challenge to my office so that we can conduct a preliminary review of the matters raised pursuant to Article VI, Section 14(b) of the AFT Constitution, That section allows the AFT president to request that the AFT Executive Council initiate a formal investigation, upon receipt of a bona fide complaint by one or more members alleging that a local officer election was conducted "in violation of the local or state federation constitution, the AFT Constitution, or applicable federal law.. Before the Council considers such requests, the Secretary-Treasurer's office traditionally undertakes a preliminary review to ascertain whether there is in fact a bona fide complaint. The purpose of the initial inquiry is not to resolve all the issues surrounding the election, but, instead, to determine whether the challenge raises material questions that require a hearing for resolution and referral to the Executive Council or whether the election challenge can be resolved based on the complaint and the local's response.

The challenge alleges that the UFT election rules effectively "disenfranchise" Absent Teacher Reserves (ATRs) and thus deny Ă…TRs the right to be represented on the UFT Delegate Assembly. The challenge contends that ATRs will be disenfranchised because some may not be working at the site where their chapter election will be taking place since ATRs are not permanently placed in schools. The challengers also express concern that if elected, ATRs will be removed from elective office as soon as they are moved to a new school location. The challenge was submitted by four UFT members: James Eterno, Francesco Portelos, Al Zucker and August Leppelmeier. As you are aware, this challenge was originally submitted to UFT President Michael Mulgrew. The UFT Executive Board voted to dismiss the election challenge on May 4, 2015.

We understand that the UFT has addressed this issue - that ATRs as well as other union members have the opportunity to fully participate as union members at the school where they have been assigned. Part of that participation includes the right to vote in the chapter elections, the right to nominate and be nominated and the right to cast ballots before the close of balloting. We also understand that Assistant Secretary LeRoy Barr provided a report and recommendation to the UFT Executive Board on the issues raised by the complaint and that report was the basis of the Executive Board's dismissal of the challenge.

As part of AFT's preliminary review process, we ask that you respond in writing to the election challenge by no later than June 19, 2015. A copy of the challenge is enclosed. To the extent that there are documents relevant to the challenge, please include them in UFT's response as well. The challengers should be provided a copy of your response to the AFT. Once we have had a chance to review the information concerning this challenge, we will let you know whether or not there are sufficient grounds to proceed to full Executive Council consideration or whether the challenge may be resolved based on a preliminary investigation.

In unity,

Dr. Lorretta Johnson 



James Eterno
Randi Weingarten 
Michael Mulgrew
Leroy Barr
Adam Ross
Barbara Pallazzo
David Strom
Channing Cooper


Francesco Portelos said...

More and more ATRs are being activated nonetheless. Also, more and more non ATRs are reporting mass excessing at their schools. The ATR pool grows. 2,000 ATRs organizing and rotating around 1,800 schools has to be a concern for the UFT leadership. We know these veteran ATRs are not preaching CC standards, evaluations, Commissioner MaryEllen Elia and high stakes testing.

Anonymous said...

Time to file a class-action lawsuit!

Anonymous said...

Why do we have to pay union dues?

Anonymous said...

Until someone steps up with attorney connections this bull shit will continue. I can truly see a day when all ATRs win a case against the city of new york and all ATRs receive millions in damages. This is not a far cry because nycdoe is absolutely practicing discrimination against senior experienced teachers earning a decent salary and not the entry level salary that the 1 percenters love to see others earning.

Anonymous said...

There are 19 schools closing this month. All the staffs of those schools will be ATRs, unless they're untenured and and low on the pay scale - in which case they'll get a position.

Anonymous said...

The education deformists won' t be satisfied until EVERY NYC is an ATR. And when that day comes, ATR's will finally have union representation.

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