Saturday, September 06, 2014


I spent my first week in the Absent Teacher Reserve pool and I must say I am a pretty fortunate ATR to have been assigned to Aviation High School.

The teachers, support staff, administration and students at Aviation have been fully welcoming. There were no problems covering classes with these amazing kids.

I might have terrible experiences later on in the year but for my first assignment, which is supposed to last until mid October, I feel quite lucky.

As for the so called Open Market and the Excess Staff Selection System, I did my best on the Open Market this summer but the only replies I had were to say a school has received the application and/or that I didn't get the position.  I did manage to secure three interviews for leave replacements but nobody took me. 

Our wonderful union is inviting ATRs to informational Q&A sessions next week.  They will be conducted by union staffers.  We can't choose who will represent us because we have no elected Chapter Leader or Delegates. Did our union ever hear about no taxation (dues) without representation?

The invitation is printed in full below.

Dear James,

As a member currently in excess, you are invited to attend an informational Q&A session on issues pertaining to employees in the ATR pool. UFT representatives will be on hand to answer questions.

Refreshments will be provided.

All meetings will take place from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Please attend at the site that is most convenient for you:
  • Monday, Sept. 8
    UFT Brooklyn office
    335 Adams St., 25th floor
  • Tuesday, Sept. 9
    UFT Manhattan office
    52 Broadway, 10th floor
  • Tuesday, Sept. 9
    UFT Queens office
    97-77 Queens Blvd.
  • Thursday, Sept. 11
    UFT Staten Island office
    4456 Amboy Rd.
  • Friday, Sept. 12
    UFT Bronx office
    2500 Halsey St.


Amy Arundell
UFT Director of Personnel and Special Projects


Bronx ATR said...

If you go to one of those meetings , write your questions. Amy and crew will attempt to focus on trivial matters. The statements you'll hear over and over are that the UFT fought hard for the ATRs, saved their jobs, and that we're lucky to have jobs. Bring a barf bag in case you toss your cookies.

Anonymous said...

Great advice for any UFT meeting.

David Hedges said...

My first week back as an ATR I learned that we are not protected by the OEO and by ADA Law. ATRs with disabilities are flatly denied any and all informal Accommodations and with very few exceptions, denied all formal and legal Accommodations. If you have a disability, as an ATR, that makes climbing or descending stairs slow, arduous, and painful, and an elevator key is all you need, fuggedaboutit, as the sign says. In fact, as in my first week back, the ATR Assignment bureau will put you in a school that is probably the worst fit possible if they think you have a disability.

Philip Nobile said...

Just like last year, Amy has not invited all ATRs to the borough meetings. I asked if she had a master list of ATRs at last October's sparse gathering in Brooklyn and could not get a straight answer. BTW, Amy did not send me Friday's invite. Wonder why.

Anonymous said...

Amy Arundell, if left to her own devices might be decent. But, she is Unity informed and driven, which keeps her from doing anything that in her heart she knows would have more integrity.
Too bad.
Keep collecting those dues UFT club. Yes, it's a club, and only the Unity oath slugs belong.

Anonymous said...

Sad but true.

David Hedges said...

In general, I love the role the ATR plays in the lives of students. We give them kind of attention that only benevolent outsiders can give. The worst part of the job is hunting for a bathroom key or lugging coats, bags, and lessons up the down stair case. What we can't change is pretty much everything. What we can make decisions about our own attitudes, where most regular teachers who are assigned, simply haven't the perspective to do that.