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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

UFT refuses to help ATR teachers organize

On September 10th, NYCATR posted an open letter from an ATR teacher, Philip Nobile, to the UFT's Staff Director, LeRoy Barr. In the letter, Mr. Nobile requested that the UFT form a special chapter to represent ATR teachers. 

Mr. Nobile never received a reply from Mr. Barr.  Instead, he was referred to Elizabeth Perez, a UFT Special Representative. Below is an exchange of emails between Nobile, Perez, and yours truly, this time going by the name of Joseph Moses.

  Sept. 12, 2011
  FROM: Elizabeth Perez, UFT Special Representative
  TO: Philip Nobile, ATR Teacher

It is my understanding that the UFT has no plans to create an ATR Functional Chapter. All ATRs have Chapter Leaders with whom they can speak with, in the schools/buildings they are assigned.


  Sept. 12, 2011 
  FROM: Joseph Moses, teacher and publisher of NYCATR
  TO: Elizabeth Perez, UFT Special Representative

          Dear Ms. Perez
I understand that ATR teachers have chapter leaders with whom they can speak. However, when these teachers begin to be shifted about on a weekly basis, they will not really have access to a chapter leader who can help them. Perhaps a special chapter of ATR teachers could be formed before October 9 when the weekly reassignments are scheduled to begin.
          Joseph Moses

  Sept. 13, 2011
   FROM: Philip Nobile, ATR Teacher
   TO: Elizabeth Perez, UFT Special Representative
Hi Liz, 
Good to hear from you, though I am surprised that LeRoy deferred to you.Surely, he could have said the same thing himself. 
Naturally, I am disappointed by the news that the UFT is denying meaningful representation its neediest members. As you know, ATRs, like rubber roomers of yesteryear, are prime DOE targets. With the connivance of Tweed we are routinely kicked around in the press as no-good, unhirable teachers draining the city of $100 million a year. On top of this revolting predicament, and with UFT agreement, we are condemned to wander the wilderness of new schools every week punctuated by occasional mandated fairs for jobs that are rarely consummated.

Clearly, we nomads have special needs and interests that cannot possibly be satisfied by quickie conversations with ever shifting chapter leaders and DRs. Consequently, I do not understand why the UFT would not show ATRs, numbering around 2000, the same solidarity shown to 700 rubber roomers who were likewise separated from meaningful representation. Further, regular meetings at 52 or borough offices, would advantage the UFT as well. We can provide you with direct feedback and the informationgained would inform your negotiations on our behalf. A win-win situation, as they say.
ATRs are the least of the union brethren, and the pool is expanding every year. How will it look if the membership comes to believe that you do not care enough to recognize us via a functional chapter? Do you really want that fight? At the least, the UFT owes us an explanation as to why we don't count enough to meet with union leaders. 

Thanks for your consideration,



  1. This is almost Machiavellian. Horrendous. This needs to be remedied at once.

  2. Face it! The UFT is satisfied that they have saved our jobs and paychecks as baby-sitters.....and ultimately tenure. They have no thoughts, plans or bargaining tools beyond this. They are meek in the face of a weak President and a stronger Mayor and neighboring Governor in NJ.

  3. I don't want to be a babysitter! I want to teach. It is boring!