Monday, July 10, 2017

MULGREW'S LATEST ATR EMAIL ON DOE POLICY CHANGES

This morning in my inbox was an email from UFT President Michael Mulgrew on Department of Education policy changes concerning Absent Teacher Reserves.

This line on the DOE policy changes concerns me:

"...if an ATR is assigned to a school and rated Effective or Highly Effective by the school administration, absent extraordinary circumstances, the ATR will become a permanent member of the school community."

It sounds good on the surface. However, it seems to me this sentence will be used by some principals who feel control is more important than anything to rate teachers forced on them Developing or Ineffective to make sure they do not get stuck with ATRs they might not want, particularly veterans who will cost them more on their budgets. Maybe I am just too cynical.

What do you you think of the latest  DOE "policy changes"?

Yesterday, I wrote about the open market system and senior teachers. The bottom line is seasoned teachers cost too much on school budgets. That must stop. The answer to all of this is to fight to take back the givebacks from 2005. Incremental changes will not succeed.

Mulgrew's email in its entirety is below.


Dear James,
I am writing to you to let you know that the DOE has made changes to the way it will place members of the Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR) pool in schools. These changes reflect the UFT’s conviction that members of the ATR pool provide needed services to schools and that their work should be respected. While the DOE and the UFT have long sought to reduce the size of the ATR pool, we are pleased that the DOE is now looking to do this by matching educators and schools rather than through time limits and attacks.
These changes are policy changes — not contractual changes. First, the DOE has informed us of their commitment to fill positions that remain vacant on Oct. 15, 2017, with educators from the ATR pool. This is in contrast to the hands-off approach that the DOE has taken with principals in the past. As you know, this spring’s ATR agreement continues the agreement from the Memorandum of Agreement in 2014 that allows educators of the ATR pool to be assigned to schools in their borough. As was the case from 2014-16, ATRs can be assigned to a school in their borough with a vacancy in their license area. This has not changed.
Second, if an ATR is assigned to a school and rated Effective or Highly Effective by the school administration, absent extraordinary circumstances, the ATR will become a permanent member of the school community. This just makes sense. If a principal rates a teacher Effective or Highly Effective, and the match between the member and the school is appropriate, that principal should not send that teacher back to the ATR pool because of budget concerns or for other reasons.
The DOE is changing its own policy, but, of course, it cannot change or violate any of the terms of our contracts. As always, with your help, we will make sure that the DOE follows all contractual rules.
If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your UFT borough office. Enjoy the rest of your summer.
Sincerely,

Michael Mulgrew
UFT President

64 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are not cynical at all. In complete agreement with you. Everywhere you go it's the same. Principals do NOT want a 20+ year staff person in the ATR pool, unless of course, you got into the four year deal and by the time the school needs to pay for your full salary you're planning on retiring. If you told the principal you planned on retiring you were in. Can't believe Mulgrew allowed this bullshit. Principals, assistant principals and their selected soldiers will plan their strategies well to not allow the ATR status person in. Allowing this wording is to put union members to AGAIN be targeted because this is taking into consideration that principals (and their soldiers) will act in good faith. We all know what is going on inside the schools and Mulgrew SHOULD NEVER have agreed to this.

Anonymous said...

There's a lot of questions that present itself from this email. I guess we'll have to wait for one of Amy's annual perfunctory meetings to basically hear 'shut the fuck up'.

Anonymous said...

Principals pull all the strings and are aware of what goes on in their schools through their directions. To believe principals will act in good faith is to believe in CinderFuckin'rella.

Anonymous said...

Reaction to this: Smacked my own forehead. Agree with all above comments. Amy tries to help under the circumstances, but the leader is the issue.

Anonymous said...

Amy isnt in the position anymore. Second, its the same old story, blah, blah, blah. Get abused, tortured, get paid, retire or resign.

Anonymous said...

We still do not know if there will be an incentive to hire ATRS. I heard that principals know what the incentive is right now. Any truth to this?

Anonymous said...

If there is an incentive, wouldn't Mulgrew have mentioned it?

Anonymous said...

So who's the lackey in the position that we can contact?

Anonymous said...

Why tell us? UFT negotiates in secret. Only DOE talks.

Anonymous said...

at least they had the decency(HA)
to tell us before severance package expires.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the UFT knows how to say "Fuck You" in an infinite number of ways.

Pogue said...

"These changes reflect the UFT’s conviction that members of the ATR pool provide needed services to schools and that their work should be respected."

"Needed services"?! If that doesn't reflect leadership's view of ATR's as second class citizens, I don't know what does.

They're your fellow teachers and colleagues, you buffoons! You sold them out, and you're ready to sell anyone out as long as it keeps your own UFT Leadership's selfish gravy train going.

Anonymous said...

This looks like it was planned strategically so as many people as possible would retire by July 12

Anonymous said...

It's not working on me or anyone with half a brain.

Anonymous said...

What the appointed rank and file need to understand is that the ATR club will hit them on the head when they reach the 10 to 15 year mark. They need the scream about this injustice because the same fate awaits them. I saw it two weeks ago - a teacher that treated me, a lowly ATR piece of shit, with utter destain was excessed. Crying her eyes out at the prospect of becoming an ATR after 12 years in the only school she has ever worked because of school budget cuts. Well, get ready for it baby because it's coming for you.

Anonymous said...

Yes, eventually all teachers will become ATRs when this plan to excess expensive teachers is taken to it's natural end. Everyday you teach is one day closer to becoming expensive.

Anonymous said...

Agree 5:59PM, but that is only IF staff last. There is a lot that is not good about this profession, but I love my profession if only I could work without all the DOE/education politics which has worsened and created a fantasy in regards to there being improvement in terms of passing grades/graduation rates.

Anonymous said...

Mulgrew's email stating 'that their work should be respect' says it all. It implies that ATR status staff are not respected and have been treated as second class. Not only has the DOE and school sites treated those in the ATR pool with disrespect, but the UFT as well in many ways. This is a step in the direction it should go. The next step is to eliminate discrimination based on salary. We should all be able to work together with one goal in mind - the students. Unfortunately, it's not about the students.

Jonathan said...

I don't think there really is a genuinely good agreement coming, short of James' point about undoing 2005 and the Open Market.

So I'm not asking if this is good. I would like to know if this will make things worse, better, or have no net change?

Are there principals who kept an ATR a full year this year, and didn't hire them (but clearly were fine with their teaching), who next year would keep them, and rate them D to avoid paying their salary?

And on the other side, are their lazy but not malevolent principals who wouldn't have requested an ATR, but being assigned one, and finding nothing wrong, will leave them in place?

Jonathan

Anonymous said...

The New York Post has this article: http://nypost.com/2017/07/10/city-halls-rush-to-put-bad-teachers-back-in-the-classroom/ Mention that the City Hall is putting bad teachers back into the classroom in which principals do not want and that ATRs should be fired. Of course, salaries were not mentioned.

Anonymous said...

The Daily News also has an article on it, but not quite as harsh as the New York Post.

Gladys Sotomayor said...

I agree and it is also discriminatory practices on the basis of age race gender and experience. Teachers in the Absent teacher reserve are stigmatized by the UFT leadership who set the tone and agenda allowing the NYCDOE to break the contract as well as break a whole host of laws or creating MOA to creat a two tier class of the rank and file, Further, Randy Weingarten withdrew a lawsuit addressing these issues. This action added on to the national agenda to privatize schools vía charters and the beginning of "fair student funding " formulas for school budgets which in reality was under funding of schools citywide.

Gladys Sotomayor said...

School administration are trained and NYCDOE lawyer up to target a group of teachers who are over 40 and over 8-10 years experience. Teacher's practice that was Satisfactory or effective for years are all of a sudden for the most part are a not good enoughor are too out spoken about the abuses against children and perhaps colleagues.These discriminatory practices are on the basis of age race gender and experience in the guise of evaluating and measuring of teaching practices. Teachers in the Absent teacher reserve regardless of how or what brought them into this position are stigmatized by some of the UFT leadership who set the tone and agenda allowing the NYCDOE to break the contract as well as break a whole host of laws or creating MOA's that creates and perpetuates a two tier class of the rank and file, Further, Randy Weingarten withdrew a lawsuit addressing these issues. This action adding on to the national agenda to privatize schools vía charters set up the beginning in NYC the creation of "fair student funding " formulas for school budgets which in reality was under funding of schools citywide.

ATRS have yet to organize and advocate for themselves because of a lack of understanding of these issues its impact personal agendas and fears of reprisals.


Anonymous said...

The DOE wants to place the ATRS but have lots of pressure from negative press. ATRS are vilified and the DOE backs down. UFT has not been effective in changing excessing rules.

This ATR system has caused turmoil with staff moving constantly. The school community, parents, and students lose out by not having school stability.

The money is there to pay for competent certified teachers. The money is misused period!



Anonymous said...

The first thing the UFT needs to do, before implementing anything else, is that salaries come from central, not the principals. Without this all staff, whether or not in ATR status, will be targeted - PERIOD. The UFT should be fighting to oppose this new ATR agreement. By agreeing to this, the UFT is putting it's members in danger AGAIN of discrimination. Our union president knows exactly what is going on and has sold out every single union member. There should be a survey people could take online in the union's website to report incidents of harassment. Workplace environment needs to improve in the DOE. I was just at a site that was toxic to its staff. Due to this, morale was very low. There needs to be leadership from the top to say all employees must be treated with respect and good manners must be utilized. There is no reason to make people suffer and put their health at risk by how people are treated. What goes around comes around and the people that go around harassing and treating people like dirt will get their day. The union should never have dropped the lawsuit against the DOE years ago.

Anonymous said...

The union is expert at sweeping incidents of harassment under the rug.

Abigail Shure

Anonymous said...

There are those that fear becoming an ATR because they understand what is going on while there are those that think it cannot happen to them ever became look at me I am wonderful. Just smile because you know you've seen it all and those that think it cannot happen to them are delusional.

Anonymous said...

Money is not the issue. Age discrimination is at the crux of the matter. The current class of administrators is light on experience and intellectual prowess. They are easily intimidated by teachers who possess knowledge, credentials, experience and institutional memory. Administrative insecurities are to be managed without regard to the costs to the students' academic achievement.

Abigail Shure

Anonymous said...

The UFT is not taking steps to eliminate discrimination against ATRs. The UFT is part of the problem.

Abigail Shure

Anonymous said...

Karma!

Abigail Shure

Anonymous said...

stop with the karma nonsense,
it's justfeel good bs.
we all know that most principals are going to live a happy life.
why should they not?
they have support from 2 unions and the system behind them.

As an atr I am mentally ready for whatever they throw at me next sept.
being a atr means we came out of a hell hole school at some point in our careers.

We can either keep whineing or actualy do our jobs.
and no principals fear our knowledge, most atrs I meet are unkempt- whetere on purpose or not it paints an image

Anonymous said...

That's bullshit. Most ATRs I know are professionals and dress accordingly. Look at the young staffs wardrobe if you want to get an eye opener. The young women all wear black spandex and the guys don't even own a
pair of shoes, but I'm not criticizing them - everyone has their own sense of style - just don't generalize ATRs that way.

Anonymous said...

Age discrimination is definitely the issue. It is systemic. The UFT should have a survey for this as well. Members should be able to inform the union to the positions applied to and how many years one has worked. The union loves to collect data. The union does not do this because it doesn't want concrete data.

Anonymous said...

The UFT has the data, as does the DOE. They work in conjunction. No one is releasing any of it, even with FOIL and lawsuits from the Sue Edelman and a deformer parent group.

Anonymous said...

Those in the ATR pool going back into a 'permanent position' will need support from the DOE and the administration of the school they are placed in. ATRs have been mistreated. ATRs assigned to offices should be put back in the schools where staff is truly needed. There are ATRs in DOE offices that don't want to go back into the schools - PUT THEM BACK INTO A SCHOOL. There are guidance counselors, social workers in offices. Put them into a school where they are providing services to students.

Anonymous said...

True 12:59PM. Students need school counselors and social workers in the schools, not in a DOE office to be paper pushers and away from students. Some of these people don't want to interact with students on a daily basis and do grunt work. These people don't want to go into a school. They are "getting over" and they love it.

Anonymous said...

ATR guidance counselors and ATR social workers need to be inside the schools. Period! No excuses. They should be placed first. The other ATR guidance counselors and ATR social workers are all ready in schools.

Anonymous said...

Yes ATR counselors should be placed and the schools should actually utilize them! Students, parents, and teachers need these support services.

Many schools are understaffed and need help but the rotation system did not allow counselors to get to know staff and students.

Building relationships and consistency are very important for our students.

UFT currently has a resolution for DOE to consider placing counselors in one school for longer periods of time. In the last several years counselors have been placed longer. More should be done.

Nothing beats having students long term to watch them grow and transform into young adults!

This is true for our teaching staff as well!

Anonymous said...

Check your DOE email for a webinar from Randy Asher; answers a lot of questions that Mulgrew and Amy wouldn't with a meeting.

Anonymous said...

I got the email from mulgrew but not the webinar
why?

Anonymous said...

Agree about the guidance counselors and social workers that are in DOE offices to be placed in schools. No matter what the circumstances, placements should be made in the schools not DOE offices. Teachers have worked in schools through life challenges, such as, heart attacks, strokes, severe arthritis, cancer, mobility issues, etc. You name it, teachers have done it. Services are needed inside the schools, not inside a DOE office. Hopefully we will be treated with respect. Enough of the abuse, micro-aggressions, sarcasm and cyncism. I just want to be able to work in my field and continue to be given the opportunity to do so. This environment of age discrimination is unacceptable. Everyone is going to age. Administrators are not perfect. No one is perfect. STOP TARGETTING senior staff.

Anonymous said...

Chalkbeat makes reference to this issue as well. In regards to the webinar, it made no mention about what will occur if the ATR status person receives a developing/ineffective. That part was not mentioned at all. It did mention that the ATR person would be sent to another school, but what are the ramifications of receiving such a rating from a principal?

James Eterno said...

It's not good to get a developing rating from a priincipal but the student test scores can save you. Ineffective from a principal means even with the test scores doing well, a teacher cannot get higher than an overall developing rating. We need a full scale teacher rebellion against this corrupt system. What is it going to take for people to unite and make that movement happen?

Anonymous said...

Still, what are the ramifications if test scores from the scholars are not favorable. It is always with best intention that the scholars will do well, but........

Anonymous said...

Agree 3:17PM. Mr. Asher should remove all ATR school counselors and school social workers from DOE offices and place them into schools ASAP. Public school students and staff are in need of their services inside the schools. Cannot believe that is even happening. I am appauld. Well, Mr. Asher come October 2017 will find a school for the ATRs in DOE offices.

Anonymous said...

About 70% of NYC public school students live in poverty. Yes, schools need the help of school counselors and school social workers. This is a new era and good faith needs to be implemented by all. With the fight that public schools are facing, NYC in all positions, regardless of title should stick together. Together we can be very strong.

waitingforsupport said...

Gladys is on point!

waitingforsupport said...

I agree. All educators should be using the skills we have to educate students. I believe we will get an effective rating and hopefully a permanent position. Fingers crossed folks. Im ready to get a permanent location for the year--good or bad school.

Anonymous said...

Is Amy still the union ATR representative? Does anyone know? Targetting is definitely an issue and administrators and their followers can be ruthless. A lot of these administrators are not good administrators. They are not good leaders. Everyone should be working inside the schools from all titles, not DOE offices. Mismanagement indeed.

Anonymous said...

The ones that should be at DOE offices are those in the rubber room status and 3020a staff that have won their cases, but became ATRS if not placed in a school. Every other ATR should be placed in a school. NYU has a doctoral program in education history. What is being done in NYC and across the country is not good for education based on research, but it's not about education. It's ageism - discrimination.

Anonymous said...

In agreement, 333 Seventh Avenue and other DOE sites need to get the ATRs out of there and back into the schools to provide services. There needs to be a better understanding of the DOE placements that will be taking place come mid-October. When the climate continues to feed age discrimination as the DOE does, it is not good news for ATRs.

Anonymous said...

Does Amy Arundell and others in the UFT leadership read this blog? Hopefully because many do not want to reach out to the union because the belief is that there is no support.

James Eterno said...

Some in leadership read the blogs including here. Until we have 100,000 readers, I doubt they care much what we say because they think we are not a large enough group to worry about. 50+ comments is nice but not quite a movement. Spread the word please.

Anonymous said...

You got it!

Anonymous said...

The majority of ATRs know about these blog sites. Perhaps the comments are not posted, but ATRs do read these blogs.

James Eterno said...

We post just about everything here in the comments section. People have to really cross the line to be deleted. We are big on first amendment.

Anonymous said...

It's very informative for all those that are in the created label of ATR. It's also informative for those not yet placed in the ATR pool.

Anonymous said...

It's very informative for all those that are in the created label of ATR. It's also informative for those not yet placed in the ATR pool.

Anonymous said...

Any word on all School Guidance Counselors being placed in schools and not in DOE offices? This should not be occurring at all. School Guidance Counselors should be placed in schools, not in DOE offices. School social workers have been placed in DOE offices as well.

Anonymous said...

Teachers should be placed too. The whole ATR thing is stupid.

Anonymous said...

According to an entry, there may be grounds for a class action lawsuit. Check out Chaz site as well.

Anonymous said...

Let the courts decide.

Anonymous said...

If an ATR status person cannot or does not want to be inside the schools to provide services to the students of NYC public schools, they should find another profession/job or retire. Why would a person not want to be inside the schools to provide services needed? Teachers, guidance counselors and social workers belong inside schools. If ATRS do not want to be inside the schools, those people should leave the DOE. Perhaps those ATRS in DOE offices will want to retire soon if placed in schools. Am sure these ATRS want to work in an office to last forever in the DOE and not retire. They do not want to be around students which they should leave. Agree, they should be placed whether in a vacancy, leave or just to be placed in a school. Those with disciplinary reasons that are in DOE offices do not have a choice and I wish those the best. Stand united.

Anonymous said...

Definitely some of the ATRS in offices will retire soon when placed in a school. The DOE is only prolonging their stay. Lol. Am sure before being placed in a DOE office were stating they were going to retire in 2-3 years. After being in an office without having to deal with students, which that is what they are supposed to do, am sure they have changed their minds and want to work more, more and more. DOE can accommodate everyone inside a school. Those DOE ATR placements inside offices is not good. They are not administrators. New school year coming up and these ATRS should be placed inside schools. In complete agreement.