Tuesday, October 27, 2015


The email below was sent from UFT personnel specialist Amy Arundell to an ATR. As some of us have said in the past, the reason ATR's are not hired for permanent placement, particularly in smaller schools, has much to do with most of us having seniority so we would have bumping rights over junior teachers in an excess situation.  Our high salaries are not added to school budgets as Amy illustrates. An ATR who is hired at a school still costs more than a new teacher, who would lower the school's average salary, however the difference is not great.  In the end, many veteran ATRs are not getting regular positions because we have institutional memory.  To put it another way, many of us won't say how high when asked to jump by administrators.

The ATR agreement in the current contract expires after the 2015-16 school year ends and must be renegotiated to continue.  I would argue that the UFT should let it expire to get rid of the provision that says that an ATR who misses two mandated interviews has automatically resigned.  Tenure is irrelevant and interviews can be missed for legitimate reasons.  I heard of someone who was sick for one recently.  If that person misses a second interview, is that teacher out?  This provision has to go. Also, the weakened tenure hearings for certain ATR's also needs to end.

The UFT could just sit and allow the 2014 provisions to sunset by doing nothing. We would revert to the previous contract. I predict they will continue the 2014 agreement and keep treating ATRs like third class UFT members. I hope I'm wrong.  I would like for the union's leaders to at least ask the ATRs how they feel about their contract.

Meanwhile, I spoke at length to Department of Labor Investigator Robert Rennard last week about our ATR election complaint.  It is now up to the ATRs to tell the DOL their stories about how they could not vote in Chapter elections in the spring.  Please email me at ICEUFT@gmail.com for more information on moving ahead with this.

Amy's Email

As I explained in the meeting:...
If a school hires an ATR permanently, the MOA states that any school that selects an ATR for a permanent placement will not have that ATR’s salary included for the purpose of average teacher salary calculation.

If a school utilizes a person from the ATR pool to 1) fill a vacancy as a provisional hire; or 2) cover a long term leave or absence for someone who is not on payroll, the school must staff the person, which means the person costs the school the average salary for the school for that fiscal year.

If a school has a long term leave/absence and the person who is being covered is using his/her days, the DOE allows a person from the ATR pool to remain at a school and cover that leave without the person from the ATR pool having to be staffed at the school (without going on the school’s Table of Organization.)

Everything you have listed below are the typical types of misinformation and “urban myths” out there around school budgets. What I have provided here is the policy of the DOE (in alignment with our MOA). Anyone who is told something other than what I have detailed are welcome to report this to my office and we will follow up and clarify with the school.


Amy Arundell
Director of Personnel and Special Projects
United Federation of Teachers


ATR 25/55 said...

Once again you've hit the nail on the head concerning ATRs and their lack of permanent positions. Even if the DOE reverted back to its previous funding of teacher by Central principals would still prefer non-tenured teachers, as well as those who don't understand the contract (such as it is.) While many on this site and others rail against the UFT concerning age discrimination, they miss the obvious point. The DOE is circumventing civil service laws (although not blatantly) by filling open positions with new hires rather than using teachers already on the payroll. In fact, many schools, if they cannot find a "newbie" will simply use ATRs to cover classes, whether or not they are licensed for the subject covered, even for the rest of the year. This is the legal avenue ATRs should pursue, as well as the UFT.

Anonymous said...

Your complaint/lawsuit will be successful against the UFT.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with your upcoming litigation. I hope there is justice and we have an ATR Chapter.

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