Civil service newspaper The Chief Leader has an in depth article on a discrimination complaint filed by multiple Absent Teacher Reserves.
From the Chief:
ATR Instructors Claim Age, Pay Led to Bias
By CRYSTAL LEWIS
More than two dozen educators in the Absent Teacher Reserve pool have filed complaints with the state Division of Human Rights arguing that they were discriminated
against because of their age — and the seniority and higher salaries that come with it.
The complaint argued that the Department of Education’s Fair Student Funding budget system, which was implemented in 2007, was discriminatory because it determined how much money schools get (including for hiring new Teachers) based on how many students they have, and granted Principals control over hiring.
High pay a Drawback
Teachers in the reserve earned a $94,000 salary on average, with those at top salary earning twice as much as new educators.
Teachers in the ATR pool typically had 18 years of experience, greater than the average Teacher’s 10 years on the job, according to the DOE.
Last month, 27 Teachers filed age-discrimination claims to address the problems plaguing the 1,202 educators in the reserve.
"It appears that there is an agenda to rid the employee pool of veteran, high- salaried educators,” according to the complaint by attorney Bryan Glass. “The means to do so are through unjustified excessing in violation of the ‘last in, first out’ method where veteran Teachers are pushed out before younger and less-senior Teachers.”
Similar complaints were filed by 13 educators over the age of 50 who worked in the DOE’s troubled Office of Adult and Continuing Education. The veteran Teachers claimed they were targeted with poor ratings and discipline because of their age.
ATR Teachers have previously decried the stigma of being in the reserve that has contributed to the difficulty of being hired permanently. The complaint noted that
ATRs also lose financial opportunities, such as after-school work and teaching summer school.
The article continues by quoting some of the teachers involved including Francesco Portelos, one of the founders and leaders of an opposition group called Solidarity.
We believe this case has merit. Let us see where it goes. The only real question is why didn't the UFT file this complaint instead of members having to pay a private attorney?