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Friday, November 11, 2011

"Demagogic Rant" by Michael Mendel

Marjorie Stamberg sent us a report about the latest UFT Delegate Assembly meeting on Wednesday, November 9.  We excerpted the parts that are of particular relevance to ATR teachers and their supporters. 

[During question period], most of the questions revolved around the delegates’ concerns for the situation with the ATRs. Now, those who are not picked up by a school which agrees to provisionally pay for them, are going from week to week to a different school. This is tremendously stressful.

A delegate from Madison High School asked about the procedure for ATRs in D 75.

Too bad the UFT doesn't protect the voting
rights of ATR teachers, who are disenfranchised
from UFT elections. 

I again raised the issue of the disenfranchisement of ATRs, saying that there are over 1000 teachers who do not now have the right to vote in any union election because they are not assigned to a school and they do not have their own functional chapter election.

Megan Beherent, a delegate from the Roosevelt HS campus put up a motion: Resolution to Solve the ATR Crisis, for a vote at the next DA. This called for:
1) a job freeze in every license area where there are ATRs who could fill the position;
2) for ATRs to be able to certify in new license areas without loss of tenure; 
3) to audit the DOE hiring for age and race discrimination; 
 4) to restore the contractual right of excessed teachers to the closest vacancy in their license.

UFT Secretary Michael Mendel
There was much support as the motion was  read. However UFT Secretary Mike Mendel opened up with a demagogic rant (my description), saying the points in the motion were not true and advising the delegates to vote it down, which happened.

(The points under dispute were subsequently argued in the hallway with Mendel, who then ceded that the contract did in fact specify excessing rights for teachers in closing schools, however, not to the “closest vacancy” but “within the district.” Mendel’s intervention was purposefully designed to “send a message” to the delegates who follow the lead of Unity Caucus to vote the motion down from appearing on next month's agenda, which they did.)

A motion put up by New Action Caucus reasserting “Dignity for all teachers” was passed. This proposed various support measures for the ATRs but did not address the systemic issue that the ATR pool will continue to grow as long as the DOE is on a school-closing campaign, and until the rights of seniority transfer and excessing transfer have been restored.

Photo credits:


  1. What support measures??? I want a teaching position!

  2. UFT Secretary Mike Mendel was a bully when he spoke. He should be ashamed of his behavior. I am not an ATR, but I am a delegate. He should be fired for the way he spoke to the crowd. I do not like that my dues pays his salary.

  3. Are these issues dead now?

  4. [Editor's note: The following comment was edited to conform to NYCATR's minimal standards of clean language and respect for those with whom we disagree.]

    Mendel is just another double pension, pinstripe wearing, blackberry toting, duplicitous thug. Let him have to report to a different school each week. Let us not get too misty-eyed over the prospect of having been rendered a subclass with absolutely no representation and no democratic rights. This has been engineered by those same pinstriped thugs who fleece us and continually sell us out. The UFT is the HR enforcement arm of the DOE, which we pay for. Mulgrew 'won' the election by a similar margin to that of Saddam Hussein's last election. Mendel is selling out the atr pool that any teacher could join at any time. It is very comforting to have a union that put us in to this situation, refuse to give us a voice or a chapter. The atr deal and the last two contracts and its attendant side deals were craven losses for the members,yet Unity spins them as victories. With the new evaluation system, tenure is meaningless. Seniority was disemboweled by Unity. It is merely an academic matter at this point. The profession is in its deaththrows, thanks to those charlatans at the UFT,especially vicious Mike Mendel.

  5. Every ATR should demand their union dues back, with interest, for all the time spent as ATR's. They then should pool their monies to start a class action suit against the DOE, and yes, the UFT for putting them in this horrible situation.

  6. Rotating ATR's weekly for the sole purpose of getting them to retire is a clear hostile work environment. Also this does not provide them with representation at the union. I suggest that you get an attorney and sue the Doe for hostile work environment and the Union for lack of representation. Futher Doe attempts to make things harder was to get ride of parking permit. Once the doe failed to get rid of senority (lifo) they decided to rotate ATR. There are enough articles out there; stop being afraid and sue the SOB's

  7. I second the idea of a class action suit against the DOE and i would urge all ATR's and our supporters to take this idea seriously and make it a reality. The situation has become too absurd, outrageous and deeply offensive and humiliating sometimes. The DOE has been getting away with murder and it's time too stop this ridiculous outrage. No ATR who believes in himself/herself should retire until he/she has completed sufficient years of service. The DOE should also be sued for defamation against teachers with more years of service; many "new" teachers have been brainwashed into thinking that we ATR's are not "good" teachers; new teachers should not be able to have the freedom of telling an ATR that he should think about changing jobs when he has invested his whole life into teaching; there should be only one teachers union for all teachers and not a separate union for "new" teachers. THIS IS RIDICULOUS !!!!! Furthermore we should receive the same kind of professional training that is being offered to the "new" teachers. We are just as capable and "creative" as they are and with a greater work ethic, willing to undertake the new approaches to teaching contrary to what was stated by a "new" teacher who was interviewed by a reporter for 10/10 News a few weeks ago. Let's all get together and SUE THEM.