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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

ATR Resolution to be introduced at next UFT Delegate Assembly

Norm Scott, the dynamo who founded the GEM-ATR Committee, sent us a resolution that he says will be introduced at the next meeting of the UFT's Delegate Assembly.  Norm is presently traveling in the South Pacific, so it's a bit difficult to communicate with him about his sources, but he has never failed us before.  Norm also wrote that he has good reason to believe that this resolution will pass, unlike a previous ATR resolution that was shot down by top UFT officials.

Resolution on Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR) placements

WHEREAS the Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR) crisis is a clear and direct result of New York City Department of Education (DOE) policies and mismanagement; and

WHEREAS even though efforts to resolve the crisis have been partially successful, the DOE still has not kept its promises nor met its moral and professional obligations to ATRs and has thereby wasted valuable human and economic resources; and

WHEREAS maintaining fairness and increasing productivity in the city’s teaching force require that the talents of all educators be utilized in service to students, parents and school communities; and

WHEREAS solutions to the ATR crisis need to be proposed and implemented without delay in order to maximize productivity, teaching and learning in New York City public schools; therefore be it

RESOLVED that the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) call upon the DOE to create a recertification program for ATRs for designated shortage areas and allow participating ATRs to take the requisite course work at the City University of New York (CUNY) free of charge or be reimbursed for the related costs of attending a private college or university at the CUNY rate per credit; and be it further

RESOLVED that the UFT urge the DOE to require that all ATRs be given an opportunity for permanent placement in vacancies in their license areas in their district or high school superintendency before the DOE approves any new hire in a license area where an ATR has not been given an opportunity for permanent placement; and be it further

RESOLVED that the UFT urge the DOE to place all ATRs into vacancies in their district or high school superintendency after September 15 of any given year on a provisional basis; and be it further

RESOLVED that the UFT urge the DOE to allow principals and ATRs at the end of the school year to either mutually agree to have ATRs as permanent staff members or allow them to return to the ATR pool.


  1. The DOE under this mayor will not help/aid ATRs one bit. This program will be this way until we get a new mayor.

    The ideas are nice in your proposal, but how do you monitor the DOE to own up to it? They do what they want when they want.

    There will be no solution until the DOE takes away the budget from the principals which will be tough to take back.

  2. why would the union support the atrs now when it has blown us off a million times already??

  3. Thnks for posting. Got a bit of internet access - go over to the ICE blog where James Eterno also posted and leave a oomment on now to strenthen the reso - it can be amended.

    Also see some comments I just put up at ed notes in reaction to Mendel's comments about the new supervision plan.

  4. Veteran Teacher is right. As long as principals control the budget ATRs have been given notice that unless they get a job they will remain an ATR until they choose to retire or quit. The UFT's position is that we are on life-support and their role is to make sure we get care until we depart. There is no future in being an ATR. We are subs who work at the convenience of the principal. This week, for example, I am covering for a maternity leave at PS78 ....vacant since the start of the year and each week the principal uses whatever ATR shows up. The kids know it and therefore unless you get a good teachers' class you are in for trouble. The principal knows this but doesn't care about the kids education. At this school conditions are poor and the teachers I have met consider me lucky that I can leave at weeks end. So in the end it's the principals that control the ball. Some are clearly poor managers, yet the DOE will let this school face closure... for what? Face it, we have no leverage unless we defy the Taylor Law. I'm game!

  5. The union is not standing behind us! I hate being called a sub after 17 years of teaching!

  6. The real problem is that the UFT does not care that the DOE is upholding its end of the "bargain", i.e. that there should be no new hires until the ATRs are placed. That went out the window as soon as it was "agreed" upon. I have seen so few senior teachers in all of the schools I have visited. I still do not understand how the Union says age discrimination is too difficult to prove. It's so obvious that age is a factor in the ATR pool!!!!!!!

  7. Not so difficult to prove age discrimination if we get together and file a class action lawsuit. There are @ 2,000 ATR's. HR has a list (they email us once a week with our assignments)so why doesnt our union get a copy, check each person's DOB and years of service? Seems simple to me.

  8. I thought there were now less than 1000. And it would be "work" for the union to have to do that! SILLY!

  9. 1. Next time don't vote for a billionaire mayor. They USURP power.
    2. Stop blaming the union unless they kill the Taylor Law. We get paid to cover the classes. APPR will take care of bad principals.
    3. Have you noticed how these young teachers that have taken over are unable to manage classes? The students at some reasonable high schools are behaving as if they're still in Middle school.
    4. Give this system of hiring kids to teach another year or two. They're going to buckle under the pressure.