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Monday, September 3, 2012

What to do about Hardship Commutes for ATR Teachers

For the teacher who must be mobile,
Here's some advice from Philip Nobile.

Article 18D of the Collective Bargaining Agreement allows grievances for hardship commutes--i.e., one-way travel from home to school via public transportation exceeding 90 minutes.

Unfortunately, the UFT did not put that provision in the ATR agreement. So when I grieved repeated 90+ minute treks from Brooklyn to Staten Island last year, the heartless DOE said tough luck and the Chancellor’s Representative denied at Step 1 and Step 2 (see here).  Showing surprising solidarity, the UFT agreed to take the case to arbitration, which could be months away. 

Pending our sure victory bye-in-bye, you don’t have to lay down and ride out the hardship, especially a six-weeker. Here are some recommended moves that could help.  

►Email Amy Arundell and your District Representative and ask them to call Lawrence Becker, head of Human Resources, requesting a healthier and more humane commute in your case.  Offer Becker, an extreme travel hardliner, a golden bridge of retreat. If Becker says no, you go to the principal. The UFT must get its hands dirty and not leave all the work for us.

►Either the DR or you calls the principal and explains your situation; the principal can overturn your assignment for any reason; maybe he won’t want a tired and possibly resentful teacher in his building. No skin off his nose if you go elsewhere.

►if you prefer less fuss, schmooze the school's ATR person on your circumstances, and say in a nice way that you won’t arrive until second period. At least you won’t lose sleep, the most hateful hardship for me.

Any other suggestions or anecdotes ?


  1. Great post!

    Next question should be to the union and doe is what to do about the ATR supervisors? Although I received an S rating last year, I do not trust the anti-atr supervisors the doe sends out

  2. Just got word that teachers will no longer be sent out of their borough for assignment! This is great news! So maybe the UFT has been fighting for us! Spread the word!