Barbra Nahoum, an ATR teacher in Brooklyn's District 21, attended the mandatory job fair that was held at the Brooklyn Museum on September 20th. She enjoyed herself so much that she ran home and dashed off the following letter to Michael Mulgrew, the president of the UFT.
Dear Mr. Mulgrew:
|The parking lot of the Brooklyn Museum|
features a replica of the Statue of
Liberty. Whose liberty, we''re not sure.
Today was a humiliating day for teachers who were mandated to attend the Teacher Recruitment Fair. When I arrived with my ATR friends at the Brooklyn Museum, we received a ticket at the gate and then drove around looking for a parking spot. The parking lot was packed with cars and many teachers had to turn around and look for a spot on the street. When I entered the museum there was a check-in counter to sign in. The room was packed wall to wall with people. Most of the people in the room, I have seen at other Job Fairs in previous years. I also met a lot of new ATR's from my district, and I was very sad to see that they are now going to be joining me as a nomad in a school district. It is very apparent to me that this new teaching position "ATR" is here to stay and the club is growing by leaps and bounds.
The room was set up with long tables all around this huge room and half of the tables were empty, due to no-shows of principals, I assume. After I walked the room and it was close to 3:00 p.m., I was given a letter confirming that I attended this job fair. We then left the building and proceeded to walk to my friend's car. We then had to wait on a long line to pass the front gate. As we were waiting, I saw teachers handing the attendant money. I thought to myself, "Why are they paying when the DOE was sponsoring this fair?" When we reached the gate the attendant said, "You pay $7.00 because your ticket is not stamped." We then asked, "where do we get it stamped?" The attendant said, "I don't know." Why wasn't there a sign notifying ATR's that at the end of the fair you must get your ticket stamped? When we received a letter verifying our attendance at the end of the job fair, the Division of Human Resources staff should have asked for our ticket and stamped it. They did not mention anything about getting a ticket stamped. Many teachers were in a rush to leave because they have families and other obligations after school. The majority of teachers paid the $7.00 because none of them were aware that they were supposed to get their ticket stamped at the Teacher Recruitment Fair. There were no signs or any indication that they had to get their ticket stamped in order to be exempt from paying the parking lot fee. It was very obvious that they didn't want teachers to get their ticket stamped.
This event has turned out to be a money making event for people who own this parking lot. It is bad enough that we had to attend this event that was nonproductive. It is so disturbing that middle aged, experienced teachers are subbing and will probably never be regular teachers again in the DOE. These teachers have many years of public service serving the children in the City of New York and this is the thanks they get. We serve the most important people in the community (our children) and our farewell gift is to be treated with no respect and we are looked upon by our coworkers as if we are rejects in this system.
This job fair was a mockery!
cc: Judy Gerowitz [UFT District 21 Representative]
Howard Schoor [UFT Brooklyn Borough Leader]
Michael Mendel [UFT Secretary]