Wednesday, July 26, 2017

AMY ARUNDELL TAKES OVER AS UFT QUEENS BOROUGH REP

I recieved the email below from UFT Staff Directors Leroy Barr and Ellie Engler announcing that Rona Freiser is retiring and Amy Arundell is taking over as the Queens Borough Representative. Amy will be the leader of the Queens UFT office.

We wish Amy and Rona the best.

Dear James,
We hope you have been enjoying your summer break. We wanted to let you know about a staffing change affecting the UFT Queens Borough Office.
Rona Freiser, who has been serving as the Queens borough representative, has retired. Amy Arundell, the UFT's director of personnel and special projects, is assuming the role of Queens borough representative. We wish both of them success.
We look forward to seeing you in September!
Sincerely,
LeRoy Barr and Ellie Engler
UFT Staff Directors

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

Who will be the new go to person for ATRS?

Anonymous said...

Joel Klein

Anonymous said...

The Peter Principle.

Anonymous said...

Is this a step up or a step down for Amy? (In regard to salary) As much of a clam that she has been to many teachers she did help me out once a long time ago in regard to a certification problem that I had to deal with. So to me at least, I give her props for her help.

Anonymous said...

I wish Amy Arundell good luck in her new position. Queens is lucky to have her. Question: Who will replace Amy at the UFT to represent those in the ATR status?

Anonymous said...

Interesting...could her switch in positions have any correlation to the fact NOT every ATR was invited to tomorrows job fair? In regards to the fair, why were some people invited, some not? FYI...I do wish Amy well, but now whose in charge of us? Randy I assume?

Anonymous said...

What job fair tomorrow? How many years in the system did the people that get the notice have?

Anonymous said...

Job fair?! For ATRs?! I don't know anything about it. Make sure they don't put you all in a locked room. If the music gets loud and the air gets thin - you know you're in trouble. Be safe, don't go.

Anonymous said...

no joke, job far tomorrow, grand ballroom, in Manhattan. I was not invited, BUT it was supposedly sent to ALL eligible candidates including ATRS

Anonymous said...

I didnt get the info either...Schools from all 5 boros?

Anonymous said...

yup

Anonymous said...

what does ALL eligible candidates mean (including ATRs)?

Anonymous said...

Yes...supposedly

Anonymous said...

I don't know one ATR invited and I know at least a hundred ATRs.

Anonymous said...

UFT President Michael Mulgrew issued the following statement in response:

Our recent ATR agreement generated its share of teacher-bashing editorials. Whether the media will print any of our rebuttals is an open question, but what is not up for debate is the UFT’s conviction that members of the ATR pool provide needed services to schools and that their work should be respected.

Teachers whose schools have been closed or downsized will fill vacant classrooms in their chosen subjects this fall. Members in the ATR pool will also continue to play a valuable role in schools by filling in for teachers who are sick or on another form of sick leave.

The real problem facing New York City schools is the thousands of teachers in good standing who walk out the door every year for other systems or other professions because of large classes, lack of supplies and managers who do not support their efforts to help children learn.

Perhaps one of the editorial writers will accept my offer and join me on one of my school visits. Facts and time spent in the city's public schools would make for more accurate editorials.

Anonymous said...

Where is Mr. Mulgrew's statement?

Anonymous said...

It's right above.

Anonymous said...

@9:50PM - Is it in writing somewhere? By the way, there is an article on the Daily News today, Wednesday, July 26, 2017 titled: Parents protest de Blasio's plans for unassigned city teachers. The article even mentioned that a parent feared sending their child to school. Can you believe this? Fear. So when companies eliminate positions are those people supposed to be feared? This perception has been created by administrators fearing a dent in their budgets.

Anonymous said...

This is why this agreement about force placing ATRs is very rocky and will bring many problems and who is in the middle, those placed in the ATR pool and due to the many years of service, especially the veteran ATR status staff. It does not matter if there will be assistance, if one will be provided eventually. The majority of principals don't want veteran ATRs - period. American society does not have respect for the ageing employee. It's in all sectors. Add pensions and healthcare to the equation and there is more aggressive targetting like what is being done in the NYC DOE with these administrators.

Anonymous said...

I have had the feeling for years that Amy Arundell would be more agressive for the rank and file if she was not tethered to the unity caucus. I thought that she should have been chosen to head the UFT, instead of Mulgrew. That said, she is a unity oath signer. Rona Freiser was a complete sell out. Queens is lucky. I would think that this is a very big step up for Amy.

Bronx ATR said...

Hey Mike,
Why wouldn't a newspaper publish a rebuttal from the UFT president? How about writing a lengthy one in the UFT's NY Teacher - that paper that went at least a year without ever mentioning the term ATR. We got a paragraph blurb towards the end of last one concerning the buy out. If you wrote a rebuttal publish it there.

Anonymous said...

Do you mean Amy "ATRs are lucky to have jobs" Arundell?

Anonymous said...

Good riddance, Queens can have you. I guess we'll have to have someone else ignore us and tell us we're lucky to have a job and should get a bathroom key. Who cares, anyway? If it wasn't announced no one would one would know until next March.

Anonymous said...

@10:34PM - We are fortunate to have our jobs. Mr. Mulgrew fought for the ATRs to not be fired after a certain period of time. Our union did good for that. That being said, the union and its members need to step up to stop discrimination, harassment, etc.

Anonymous said...

NYS LIFO saved ATRs not the UFT. Mulgrew fights for nothing but a seat at the buffet table.

James Eterno said...

It was Shelly Silver who saved the ATRs by not bringing up the bill the state Senate passed to let principals layoff teachers out of seniority order in the State Assembly. We made so many phone calls at the time to the politicians that our fingers hurt at Jamaica. The UFT did hold out on a time limit for ATRs when Bloomberg was mayor but the entire labor movement in NYS was telling the UFT to hold out on seniority. Other unions would not accept the precedent. The UFT also saw the disastrous results in DC and Chicago of giving teachers a time limit to get a new job after a school is closed or a program downsized. They get credit for standing up to Bloomberg but the UFT created the ATR mess in the first place by agreeing to the expansion of the ATR pool in the horrible 2005 contract.

Anonymous said...

So the UFT agreed give up our seniority, over other unions objections, create the ATR pool and then get kudos for standing up to Bloomberg who wanted LIFO thrown out to get rid of us? That bill would not have passed the State Assembly because no NYS union would allow that precedent for its members. The UFT created this mess and want thanks for saving our jobs - they're the entity that put our jobs in jeopardy.

Anonymous said...

This is very educational. All I remember is a speech Mr. Mulgrew gave at a workshop many years ago. He had said that the union will not give up the ATRS. This was at a time where there were negotiations going on for a new contract which he said he preferred not to do because of this give back that was put on the table.

Anonymous said...

Well, I am sure in retrospect the union leadership knows this now.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the typos. Don't want to be like the Bronx principal.

Anonymous said...

I get the same impression of Amy. Queens is lucky to have her.

Anonymous said...

Why did the UFT agree to the expansion of the ATR pool in the 2005 contract?

James Eterno said...


Exactly 11:17pm. In 2005, Joel Klein got much of what he wanted. We screamed and yelled and even pleaded with Randi Weingarten to resist. She ignored us. The early 2006 contract gave Klein very little more (PIP + and voluntary ATR buyouts). 2009 Klein went for the to complete the kill based on 2005 as the starting point. I specifically told Randi at the Executive Board she was moving the center of gravity way over to management's side in 2005. The ATRS were a huge giveback. 40% of teachers said no in 2005 to contract.

Delete

Anonymous said...

Amy was mulgrew's mouthpiece. Both wish ATRs went away

Anonymous said...

As a chapter leader, I have mixed feelings about Amy Arundell. A couple of years ago she was of great help getting a leave expedited for a young teacher at my school who was dying of brain cancer (well, after I sent a long, heart-felt email directly to the Chancellor who got personally involved and started the process) and she did come to my school in January to speak with teachers who were extremely upset about receiving unfair developing ratings (well, that was after she said the scheduled was full for the year and I then wrote a scathing letter saying the UFT had gotten several dues increases recently and should re-allocate resources to address members concerns). Because of my persistence she had some extremely inappropriate words to say about my use of emails to get things done ... but she did show up and she did try to "rally the troops" so I'll live with the personal attack. I didn't take on the role of chapter leader to become best friends with high-ranking people in the UFT, I accepted it in order to stand up for the members in my school.

I'm thrilled that Rona Freiser is finally out as Borough Rep. In my opinion, Rona was quite useless and she hired some completely incompetent people to work at the Queens office. It wasn't just a matter of hiring talented people who were Unity faithful, it seemed to be that it was faithfulness to Unity above all else that qualified them for their positions. While there are some good people working at the Queens UFT office far too many of them seem to feel they're above the rank and file. They also seem to want to do as little work as possible for members i.e., not following up on grievances; misinforming members about the contract; and Queens maternity rep. speaking AGAINST a DA resolution to give members on leave retroactive salary payments. (I was furious with her about that and even though I was chastised by Mulgrew for calling out that she was being condescending during her "magical piggy bank" rant, I went right up to her after the DA to let her know that I thought it was terrible that she killed the resolution that may have helped our sick and dying members and asked how greedy were we that we wanted a little more for ourselves at the expense of union brothers and sisters who were the most vulnerable).

Anyway, my District Rep. recently sent an email advising us that there will be a chapter leader meeting on August 30th and encouraging us to attend this revamped training and meet Amy. I can't make it because my summer school gig doesn't end until August 17th and then I'm finally able to go to Ireland for a couple of weeks but I hope Amy kicks some life into the Queens office and reminds everyone there who they're being paid to represent.

So, I guess I remain cautiously optimistic.

Mary Ahern

James Eterno said...

Rona gave Jamaica HS the UFT phone banks and we were given the entire list of UFT members who lived close to Jamaica HS so we could make calls to mobilize people around the school closing fight. The Queens office under Rona took every Jamaica grievance at least to step 2 and many were won. Rona did the same for my wife's school. She probably did the most to keep the peace when I got in John White's face back at that school closing hearing. She had a major role in keeping me out of jail that night. We also worked together on the walkout at the PEP meeting in 2011 where Jamaica was being closed.

Amy helped a colleague stay on payroll who could have been deported. She helped me personally in a couple of ways. She returns my calls and emails. We don't always agree but she has no problem talking to me and others in the opposition. I actually respected that she would spend time on the phone to argue with me on a couple of occasions.

Anonymous said...

I remember the discussions about the 2005 contract. That was when school secretaries lost their sabbatical. That was shameful. Very disrespectful to them. Also, there were five extra days on the calendar. They were trying to do the same to the cops, but the cops wouldn't put up with that. Some people were just greedy for that top pay, they didn't care about their fellow union members. Those discussions really disillusioned me.

James Eterno said...

At least 40% of us had the guts to say no in 2005. If only we convinced a few more people, who knows what might have happened?

Anonymous said...

Any information on who will be replacing Amy at the UFT? Who are ATRs supposed to reach out to at the UFT from now on?

Anonymous said...

Jesus Christ would be your best bet.

Dr_Dru said...

Along with this move, Analia Gerard DR of D75 was moved to Staten Island, David Doorga becomes the new D75 rep.

Always interesting to ask if there was any input by this, “member-driven organization” into how these changes are made and why.