We read multiple times in the past few weeks that the so called open market hiring system had no vacancies listed. The delay was confirmed by Gene Mann who reported in this week's Organizer, "The transfer plan had a delayed opening this year, but when spring came, it really burst into bloom: there were 160 vacancies in Queens high schools alone on the first day."
UFT members can transfer to a different school without permission from their current principal between April 15th and August 7th. The effective date of the transfer is the September term.
Anybody who believes the open market hiring system is on the up-and-up surely must be smoking, drinking, snorting, inhaling or injecting something because this totally subjective system has turned hiring in many schools into principal's patronage that has hurt higher salaried senior UFT members. The old seniority, SBO and integration transfer systems that the UFT gave away in the infamous 2005 contract were fairer as they were based on much more objective criteria than just principal's discretion.
When the UFT touts that more people transfer under the current system, they only do comparisons with the old seniority system which had dwindled down to a few schools in its final years. They don't compare open market with how many transferred under all three of the old transfer systems.
Stories of experienced teachers sending out dozens of resumes under open market and not getting one reply are heard regularly. Meanwhile, finding out about someone's relative who knew the principal or assistant principal being hired at a school as veterans are passed over is as common as the common cold in the winter.
Our advice to people who want to escape their current school is to network. You need to talk to contacts who know someone in administration in a school you might like to work in and play the game. I know that goes against what many feel is right.
The current system certainly does not keep in the spirit of unionism or merit based civil service hiring that goes back to the 1880s Pendleton Act, which this blog has referred to on several occasions in the past, but open market is what we are stuck with as long as Michael Mulgrew's Unity party controls the UFT.
Demanding an objective transfer system is one more reason to get out the vote for MORE-NEW ACTTION and to convince everyone you know to do the same. We will push for a fairer hiring and transfer system.