Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Let ATR Teachers Teach


TAGNYC was contacted by Marjorie Stamberg, a UFT activist fighting on behalf of ATRs. Make no mistake. All teachers are potential ATRs. A year ago TAGNYC warned that the creation of the Absent Teacher Reserve was a way to remove teachers permanently. This ATR scheme is also known as the "Chicago Model" after the city where it originated . Teachers there are placed in non-permanent - ATR- positions and given one year to find a permanent classroom position. If they do not find a permanent classroom position within that year, they are terminated.

Marjorie's campaign is detailed below. This is not her fight. It is our fight. Randi Weingarten has been a failed labor leader. She must be made to 'walk the walk' and deliver. For those who want to contact Weingarten directly: rweingarten@uft.org


Hi everyone,

I'm working on a petition campaign to the UFT, asking the union to call a rally at the NYCDOE to "Let ATR Teachers Teach." We want to present it at an upcoming Exec Board, and Delegate Assembly.

The last couple weeks, there's been a lot of buzz (from the press, from UFT members) that the union is close to some kind of "deal" on the ATRs. Last week's article in the New York Post that there are almost 1,400 ATRs in the system, and that the UFT and DOE are "talking" is very interesting.

Meanwhile, the situation of teachers in the ATR pool is urgent. Obviously everyone is affected. With classrooms more overcrowded than ever, it is outrageous that some 1,400 teachers are being prevented from teaching. This is a direct result of the union's sellout of seniority transfers in the 2005 contract.

The union must act. Attached is a petition calling on the UFT to organize a mass citywide rally to demand that the ATRs be given positions before any new teachers are placed. I would like to ask colleagues to take this up in their schools and the various teacher groups that they participate in. Let's try to have a meeting of those interested in working on this, quite soon.

I hope people at TAGNYC will be interested in working on this. People can get back to me by e-mail, or cell 917-545-5671. Petitions could be faxed back to me at 212 614-8711.



Let ATR Teachers Teach
As the new school year starts, schools are more overcrowded than ever. State money budgeted for reducing class size is used for other purposes. More than half (54 percent) of New York City schools have seen their class sizes or student-teacher ratios increase in recent years. At the same time, there are almost 1,400 teachers sitting in Absent Teacher Reserve, who are ready and able to teach! These are highly qualified teachers, many with years of experience. They are being prevented from teaching because their schools have been reorganized out from under them, and in many cases principals find it "cheaper" to hire less experienced teachers.

The huge ATR pool is a direct result of the 2005 UFT contract which sold out seniority transfers. Previously, tenured teachers were guaranteed a position; today they’re sitting in the Teacher Reserve. So after the DOE created this mess, now City Hall and the media are blaming the ATRed teachers. The "New Teacher Project," funded by the DOE, calls for ATR teachers to be put on unpaid leave after a year – in other words, that they be fired. The DOE says it is talking with the UFT leadership about this. Others are floating the idea of "buyouts," in which teachers will be forced out with minimal severance pay. (Even if they are supposedly "voluntary," many will be pushed out the school door.)

This issue affects all teachers. If tenured teachers can be forced out on a large scale, what job protection is left? And it’s bad for students and parents. When the DOE refuses to reduce class size while keeping qualified teachers out of the classroom, kids suffer. The United Federation of Teachers must speak up and insist that there be no firings, no concessions on the no-layoffs clause, and demand that all ATR teachers who want them be given permanent assignments to classes.

We the undersigned call on the UFT to organize a mass citywide rally calling on the NYC Department of Education to reduce class size and give assigned positions to all teachers in the Absent Teacher Reserve who want assignments before any new teachers are placed.








Fax petitions to Marjorie Stamberg at 212-614-8711. PRINT NAME E-MAIL SCHOOL

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