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Saturday, October 15, 2011

The UFT's silence is deafening re: ATR representation

Philip Nobile, NYCATR's gadfly correspondent, recently canvassed twenty-two UFT representatives in Brooklyn with the following question:

If you were an ATR, would you prefer to have a chapter with a leader and delegate(s) looking out for your interests via regular borough chapter leader meetings and Delegate Assemblies, or not? Explain.

As you will see, the response was underwhelming.  Below is Nobile's follow-up email.

Dear colleagues:

This is your last chance to take part in a survey re an ATR chapter granting full, normal representation. The response so far has been surprising. Not because one of you actually took the survey seriously enough to reply (in the negative of course), but because the rest of you did not bother to render an opinion.

I had hoped that the survey would counter the common belief that UFT reps are Unity zombies censoring all thoughts deviating from the President's office. Surely, some of you have reservations about Mulgrew's policy of denying hundreds and hundreds of ATRs, and maybe in the future thousands and thousands, the same union connection and support that non-ATRs take for granted. Remember, even suspect reassigned teachers, the lowest of the low, had elected liaisons and monthly meetings with Leroy Barr at 52 Broadway.

N.B.: The single rep who had the courtesy to answer the survey did not answer the direct question: If you were an ATR, would you prefer a chapter or not? Here is the response: "Don't make ATRs a permanent, separate group.  Does that mean you would have different rights--a different contract from classroom teachers? Remember what happened to the ed evaluators. It is not a good idea."

And my reply: "Thanks for your reply, and you need not continue the discussion.

But let me comment on your points:

(a) permanent, separate group: no more permanent than the former liaison arrangement with rubber roomers,no more separate than separate chapters in schools already.
(b) a different contract: same contract with ATR provisions maybe, that's up for discussion and ATRS should be part of it. It would be to UFT's benefit to get direct feedback from us, just as it did with rubber-roomers. 

If I understand you, you believe that ATRs are better off with a permanent and separate form of union representation from classroom teachers. Actually, what ATRs want is what all other members in good standing have--full representation. Why are we wrong?"

[P.S.  The Sunday deadline passed without further response from the reps.]

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  1. Never saw the survey! I want representation!

  2. Is that Arundel suppose to be our rep or something cause she is far from helpful!