Sunday, June 04, 2017

THE ATR AGREEMENT NEGOTIATED IN SECRET

Below is the latest UFT ATR Agreement.

Read it and interpret it for yourself. I agree with a commenter from the previous post on this topic who said nothing much is changing because the DOE could appoint provisionally under prior agreements. The only UFT concession is it is now borough wide. Why the UFT concedes on any of this is beyond me.

I would like to comment on the complete lack of any transparency in this process on the part of the UFT leadership. ATR's had no say in any of this as it was negotiated in secret and it will not be voted on by anyone impacted.

I strongly believe this agreement should be voted on by the ATRs, (won't ever happen) but at least by the Executive Board and Delegate Assembly. The 2011 ATR Agreement was voted on by the Executive Board and DA and since the 2014 ATR Agreement was part of the contract, it was voted on by the Executive Board, DA and the entire membership.

If we examine the UFT Constitution closely, it does not give the president authority to make a deal with no oversight. Here is the language of Article IV, Section 8:

 SECTION 8. The officers shall have the rights and privileges and shall perform the duties usually assigned to their respective offices by Roberts’ Rules of Order, Newly Revised, except as otherwise specifically provided in this Constitution or its by-laws. 

Nobody has ever seen UFT by-laws. There is nothing in the Constitution that authorizes the president to negotiate a deal without approval. The Constitution says Robert's Rules is the place to look to concerning the powers of the officers. I think the president would need to appoint a committee, get approval from the Executive Board and DA, and they would report back on negotiations subject to the body agreeing to it.

There is absolutely nothing in Robert's Rules that I can find (I looked) that allows a president of an organization to negotiate an agreement and not have it voted on by elected representatives. ATR's have virtually no representation at the Delegate Assembly but these agreements need to be voted on if we follow the rules.

We know the Executive Board and DA are rubber stamps controlled by the Unity Caucus leadership which dispenses patronage and demands complete loyalty of caucus members. However, the lack of even some semblance of democracy in the UFT is very troubling.

The problem is who do we complain to: NYSUT? The AFT?  The Department of Labor? PERB?

All dead ends as far as I can tell.

Anyone with an answer please step forward.



2017 ATR Agreement
Whereas both the Board of Education of the City School District of the City of New York (the "DOE") and the United Federation of Teachers ("UFT”) have expressed a joint interest in reducing the number of UFT represented employees who are or become ATRs; and

Whereas both parties agree that section 16 of the 2014 MOA (set forth in Article 17, Rule 11 A of the Teacher's contract and other corresponding provisions of the other collective bargaining agreements between the DOE and the UFT) has expired;

Now, therefore, the terms and conditions governing ATRs as set forth in the 2007-2009 collective bargaining agreements and memoranda of agreement entered into prior to the May 1,2014 MOA govern, with the modifications set forth below:

For purposes of this agreement, ATRs shall be defined as all UFT represented school based titles in excess after the first day of school except paraprofessionals, nurses and occupational and physical therapists.
I. Severance Program
The DOE will offer a voluntary severance benefit to all ATRs who have been in the ATR pool for one or more school years as of May 31, 2017, who volunteer to resign/retire and who execute an appropriate release in a form prescribed by the DOE in consultation with the UFT, except those ATRs who have agreed in writing to resign/retire from the DOE in connection with the disciplinary process (the "Severance Program"). (Employees with charges pending are eligible for the Severance Program.)
The period during which ATRs may volunteer to resign/retire in accordance with the terms of the Severance Program shall commence on June 5, 2017 and terminate at 5 PM on July 14,2017. The effective date of separation from service shall also be no later than July 14,2017.
Eligible ATRs who volunteer for this Severance Program shall receive, at the employee's option, a severance payment of either:
1.     $50,000 in a lump sum non pensionable payment to be made within 60 days following the end of the severance period or,
2.     $35,000 in a lump sum non pensionable payment to be made within 60 days following the end of the severance program plus six months of health coverage for the employee including coverage for dependents, spouses and/or domestic partners.
For purposes of determining eligibility for the Severance Program only, time spent as a provisional hire or in a provisional assignment shall constitute time as an ATR. Employees who meet the above criteria who are provisionally hired or provisionally assigned at the time this Severance Program is offered are also eligible for the Severance Program.

In the event that an ATR who participates in the Severance Program returns to service with the DOE, the ATR shall repay the severance payment received, through payroll deductions in equal amounts, within six months of the ATR’s return to service. This provision shall not apply to ATRs who return to service as day to day substitute teachers or on a part-time ("F status") basis.
II. Assignment of ATRs
After October 15, ATRs will be given a temporary provisional assignment to a school with a vacancy in their license area where available. The DOE, at its sole discretion, may choose not to assign an ATR to a temporary provisional assignment who have been penalized (as a result of a finding of guilt or by stipulation) in conjunction with §3020-a charges based on the circumstances of each case.
The DOE shall not be required to send more than one (1) ATR at a time to a school per vacancy for a temporary provisional assignment. These assignments will first be made within district and then within borough. ATRs shall also be given temporary provisional assignments to cover leaves and long term absences within their license area within district and then within borough. ATRs in Districts 75 and 79 shall be given temporary provisional assignments only in the same borough, within their respective district, as the school to which they were previously assigned.
All temporary provisional assignments for an ATR in BASIS will be within the same borough as the school to which they were previously assigned.

ATRs serving in a K-12 or 7-12 license pursuant to the agreement between the DOE and the UFT dated August 25, 2016 (e.g., ATRs serving in Physical Education K-12, English Secondary, Mathematics Secondary, Social Studies Secondary, English as a Second Language, and Foreign Language) will not be sent to schools with vacancies or to leaves or long term absences outside of the division (i.e., Elementary, Middle, High School) which they were assigned prior to entering the ATR pool.

It is understood that at any time after a temporary provisional assignment is made, a principal can request the removal of the ATR from this assignment and the ATR can be returned to the ATR pool and be subject to the terms and conditions of employment then applicable to ATRs pursuant to this Agreement.

To the extent that the provisions above conflict with the provisions of the Memorandum of Agreement dated June 27, 2011, the ATR agreement dated Sept 6,2012 and any provision of Article 17, Rule 11 B of the Teacher's contract and other corresponding provisions or other current collective bargaining agreements between the DOE and UFT, the provisions above shall govern.

This agreement will run through the last day of school of the 2018-2019 school year, at which time the parties must agree to extend the agreement. Absent such agreement the parties will return to the terms and conditions for ATR assignment as they exist in the 2007-2009 collective bargaining agreement and memorandu of agreement entered into prior to the 2009-2018 colletive bargaining agreement.

Michael Mulgrew, President United Federation of Teachers - 6/1/2017


Carmen Fariña, Chancellor New York City Department of Education - 6/1/2017

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

James,

Very well written post.

I believe someone like you or Chaz should formally bring a petition to PERB. Both you and Chaz are knowledgeable and command respect as well as give respect. Plus you guys have good connections and get things right before the Uft does.

This agreement is very vague. It says nothing on rotations, supervisors, rating systems or what exactly the assignment process will look like.

This is why mulgrew needed input.

Either mulgrew is incompetent(I highly doubt that) or he is in city hall's back pocket(a more likely scenario).

His lap dog Amy is no better. A true shill

Bronx Teacher said...

Stay classy and hide behind anonymity. Leave Amy out of it.

Anonymous said...

Great post, James. I disagree with both posters. Mulgrew is incompetent and Amy doesn't need anyone to protect her, she's got the second best gig in the UFT. Calling her a lap dog isn't nice, but she is working for Mulgrew, not ATRs - so I understand the anger some of us have towards her. Some of us will contact the Department of Labor for clarification. This is not union, it's a dictatorship.

Anonymous said...

Why are financial incentives being offered to a very small group of teachers (ATR's)? Why kind of union that says they believe in fairness and equality would leave out 99% of teachers when it comes to incentives? The 2014 contract gave a financial incentives for those eligible to retire to get the lump sum payments upfront while I wait to 2020 even though I worked during those same years when we were without a contract. This union is grossly unfair and if Janus wins this union will go down the drain.

Anonymous said...

ATR's unite..... Class Action Lawsuit......

Anonymous said...

Do not they understand that if NYC DOE offers severance pay buyout to all NYC DOE TEACHERS they could get rid of so many more teachers. any normal person doing this for any length of time wants out.
Hey Bill- offer a 20/50 buy out @ 30% w/ health insurance - and the city will save millions!

waitingforsupport said...

🙌😫 our voices have been silenced

Anonymous said...

File complaints to all of the above and follow up with a class action lawsuit. Eventually you will win. Make sue that the UFT pays for the legal expenses.

Anonymous said...

The principals are refusing to hire ATRs eacept provisionaly. ATR pool remains the same except they are hidden in budget as being hired. They also don't want most of them for more than a week, the good ones no more than a month. It's a charade. They also know no one is taking this incentive - it's just a show. deBlasio thinks everyone is stupid, he's right about Mulgrew though.

Anonymous said...

They are so incompetent and so blind that they are going to have a shortage. They create problems and more probems.

Anonymous said...

But now we are stuck in 1 year placements.

James Eterno said...

It was one year placements from 2006, when the ATR mess really started based on the sellout 2005 contract, through 2011 and the weekly rotations.

Anonymous said...

The broad issue here is excessing and seniority rights. The UFT made a major error when they agreed to change excessing rules. This hurt all members which is clearly seen in the "open market" which is NOT open at all. Principals are often looking for the least expensive hires with some exceptions.

Seniority rights are why ATRS remain on the job! How fiscally unsound to keep them as subs! Anyone can become an ATR! This issue should be at the center of any new contract talks!

Anonymous said...

Excessed teacher rules being changed won't be at the center of any talks because UFT is in DOE'S pocket.

Anonymous said...

I'm really glad for sites like this blog. Otherwise I would have no idea what is really going on. Thanks James and others who post about this.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the DOE leave all ATRs where they currently are for next school year. If the principal or the ATR are not happy at their current school then reassign for next year.
If the principal and the ATR are happy with each other then leave ATRs where they currently are!!! This is a simple solution to a nonsense problem. Remember all, and never forget, the ATR POOL is the creation of non other than the great Michael midget Bloomberg and less anyone tell you different.

Anonymous said...

That is a great idea!

Anonymous said...

This "secret agreement" will be for two yrs? WOW!!!!

Anonymous said...

Like I said, in reality, for ATRs, it sucked before, it sucks now. They could always force place us. We were always subject to a FS walking in on us and telling us we're bad. We never knew how often or where we were rotating. It just seems now we know the buyout sucks, and it seems we are stuck in one school all year and the rotations are gone. We may or may not be under S/U. I prefer the rotation because I would rather get out of a shithole every week or every month over being stuck with the same awful students and admin...And I guess that "list 6 schools and get 1" never came through. Thanks UFT, Janus will put an end to this soon...

Anonymous said...

They plan on rotating many ATRs.

Anonymous said...

But nobody told us that? Portelos said no rotations.

Anonymous said...

The agreement says placed in license, then after oct 15, moved to be placed in license, doesn't say rotations at all.

Anonymous said...

Board retains discretion. They can still rotate us.

waitingforsupport said...

Those with a "scarlet lettee" will be rotated I think ?!

Anonymous said...

The Union is not on our side, open your eyes. They created this mess with the DOE.

Anonymous said...

The buyout shows that everything that these ATR field supervisors told us it was a lie. They told us they are here to help us find a job when their main purpose was to rate us U, or to harass us. Once more our UFT agreed to have ATRs observed in classes out of license, and with students they met for the first time. The observation process is set up in a an arbitrary and capricious way to target ATRs. This is how they pay you back after many years of service while they continue to hire young teachers, and some of them uncertified or less qualified. Does it sound like systemic age discrimination or not?

Anonymous said...

ATR field supervisors are getting ready to deliver many unsatisfactory ratings for the year (between 25 to 30 percent). They have gathered proof that many veteran teachers cannot teach anymore. They have observed ATRs in classes of students the ATRs never met before, they have chosen classes for the ATRs of students that are not well behaved, or they have observed ATRs out of license. They know they have a lot of power, and they know that Mulgrew is happy to have ATRs observed. They now that experienced teachers become incompetent overnight, and this is an opportunity for them to shine.

Anonymous said...

The mayor wants to get elected again. The mayor that promised change to the teachers. It was a good time to get a better deal for ATRs, and it was a good time to get rid of the frivolous observations by field supervisors. They could have done a temporary hiring freeze until all the ATRs would be placed. Again we were sold out like always.
We did not get none of the above. Another shameful agreement achieved.

Anonymous said...

Because our opinions do not count, and the UFT works against us

Anonymous said...

You need to realize that the UFT is not on our side.