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.