NYCATR recently published a report from an ATR teacher in the Bronx who was removed from the classroom and relegated to office duty after he was "implicated" in an "incident"; the "implication" consisted of a parent's complaint that her child had been pushed (but not injured) by another student while standing on line, an "incident" that was neither observed by nor reported to the ATR teacher at the time of its "occurrence."
We have often complained that the UFT pays little attention to the misery of ATR teachers. In this case, at least, we must admit our error. Less than 24 hours after the posting of the aforementioned report, NYCATR received an email from Amy Arundell, the UFT's Special Representative who has addressed ATR issues a number of times. Here is Ms. Arundel's message:
I was very concerned when I read the post named above. I have never received an email from any member describing anything of the sort that is described here. It is a very disturbing anecdote and I would like to assist the member. Although the school is named, there are four schools - PS 153, one in each borough except SI.
If you can contact the person and make sure she/he has my correct contact details, I would appreciate it.
NYCATR responded with appreciation for the concern; we also took advantage of the opportunity to whisper a few sweet somethings into the ear of a well-placed UFT representative. Here is NYCATR's response:
Dear Ms. Arundell,
Thank you for your concern about the ATR teacher who was removed from his teaching post after being "implicated" in an "incident." I have forwarded your message to the teacher.
I am glad to hear that you are not satisfied that ATR teachers "have a job," regardless of how demeaning that job might be. Just yesterday, a UFT representative visited the school where I now have (after three years in the ATR) a provisional position. When I raised with him the ATR issue, his response was that the UFT saved their jobs. When I countered that being shifted from school to school on a weekly basis is a miserable existence, he simply repeated that the UFT saved their jobs. When I asked if saving jobs was the sole reason d'etre of the UFT, he repeated, once again, that the UFT saved the jobs of the ATR teachers. I hope you understand why I was extremely disappointed with this gentleman's responses.
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