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Sunday, September 25, 2011

ATR Non-Negotiable Demands

Our intrepid contributor, Philip Nobile, has suggested three non-negotiable demands that ATR teachers should present to the UFT when they meet with them, borough-by-borough, next week.  (Click here for the schedule of meetings.)

We take charge. We run the meeting.  After all, it was our idea. We asked the UFT for a sit-down and Mulgrew said no such luck. What was good for rubber roomers--monthly meetings at 52 Broadway with liaisons from each room--was not on the table for us. We were told by Brooklyn special representative Elizabeth Perez on September 12th to be satisfied with tracking down a strange chapter leader week by week for representation of any kind.

Mulgrew changed his mind, one can speculate, not because we were right but because we are potentially powerful. We are 2000 (and growing) discontented teachers, victims of a Gentlemen’s Agreement between the DOE and UFT. And we have nothing to lose but our weekly rotations. 

Organizing ATRs is a problem. But the UFT has done the favor for us. Most of us will meet for the first time on October 4. That’s our moment of conception. We will politely inform the borough reps that we want to meet for a half hour among ourselves. They will not say no. Then behind closed doors we bond and work out our agenda for the meeting. It should be brief with short-term and long- term goals. We should also drop a list of questions to be answered in writing within 5 days.

Accordingly, we must turn the meetings to our advantage by making non-negotiable demands that will establish us as a genuine constituency with special needs requiring full court representation. The UFT helped to create our class, so let the union recognize us as a chapter.

Unless we organize and force UFT recognition, we will have wasted our best opportunity to begin to correct the wrongs against us, which leads to the suggested Non-Negotiable Demands. The rest is detail.

Here are the demands:

1. The UFT agrees to an ATR chapter, giving us direct representation at chapter leader meetings and Delegate Assemblies.

2. The UFT agrees to monthly meetings with ATRs or their representatives.

3.  Mulgrew agrees to welcome all ATRs to 52 Broadway just as Randi did with all reassigned members in October 2007.


  1. Perfect suggestion. Should be the starting point at minimum.

  2. I wish all of you the best of luck and am sending my blessings. I have such admiration for your strength. You have touched many lives in your years of teaching, and deserve better than the insult, the indignity, and the stark unfairness of the ATR. GODSPEED!!!!

  3. Re ATR Non-Negotiable Demands

    Colleagues, we have to think outside the box as well. UFT was also misled by Tweed in the ATR matter.

    DOE has a track record of stating one policy and pursuing an altered one. And within that kind of culture no wonder why some principals can’t handle the truth. Yes, principals are made to be evasive by Tweed leadership.

    A bigger picture has emerged it is that mayoral control removed all checks and balances in the NYC school system.

    Regrettably when it comes down to schools Tweed has at times perceived the Union as part of our school problems rather than real partner for comprehensive change. We are under the influence of a media tycoon who spent a fortune to become the head of the executive branch of our city government. And that is problematic in that we are facing a political problem than anything else.
    So until this mayor and his cronies check out efficiency may not prevail. Then we have to explore within todays political climate what the UFT leadership can do to resist this mayor in this city.
    One of our goals should be to communicate to the Union that enough is enough and that DOE starts the ATR out of tenured educators and that DOE has to stop it. Furthermore, when DOE issued waivers to principals for hiring new teachers that for all intents and purposes reversed any agreements put into place then and now and that practice has increasingly demoralized our educators. You can not turn a tenured teacher into a sub is a violation of his/her due process right...Cease and desist…the shifting of ATRs has no legal standing.


  4. May I suggest that you identify any Unity caucus members that are ATR's. This will move things forward.