Dignity for All Teachers (Draft Resolution, for October, if necessary)

If June’s no layoffs agreement works as planned, many more ATRs may find regular appointments in the fall. But if in the fall the position and conditions of the ATRs are not improved, then New Action will introduce the following resolution at the October Delegate Assembly:

Dignity for All Teachers

(Draft Resolution for the October DA, if necessary)

Whereas each year for the last several years a significant number of our members have been assigned to the Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR); and

Whereas most teachers who are in the ATR arrived there as their schools were shut down; and

Whereas the teachers in the ATR have been subject to a campaign of media vilification, falsely claiming or implying that teachers in the ATR are less able or are bad teachers, and intentionally conflating them with teachers facing disciplinary proceedings; and

Whereas the teachers in the ATR have been targeted for layoff or termination several times over the last several years, including by the Department of Education during contract negotiations; the anti-union group Educators for Excellence in its seniority reform proposal this spring; and Mayor during his campaign to undo Civil Service law in Albany earlier this spring, thwarted each time by the United Federation of Teachers, and its leadership; and

Whereas teachers in the ATR often are made to feel like outsiders in the schools where they work; and

Whereas teachers in the ATR, in too many instances, are forced to perform inappropriate work in the schools where they work; and

Whereas teachers in the ATR, to the extent they are made to feel like outsiders or feel vulnerable to being moved, are often reluctant to seek appropriate relief; and

Whereas the new budget agreement allows teachers in the ATR to be moved from school to school multiple times each term; and

Whereas the UFT values the dignity of all our members;

Be it resolved the UFT will direct its chapters and Chapter Leaders to reach out to members of the ATR who are assigned to their schools, to welcome them, and to support them; and be it further resolved that

the UFT will educate Chapter Leaders about the rights of teachers in the ATR, and direct its chapters and Chapter Leaders to proactively protect those rights, and to intervene if those rights are being infringed upon by administration, as the ATR may be justifiably reluctant or fearful of speaking up; and be it further resolved that

the UFT will designate a representative or committee Centrally, or will designate a representative in each borough to handle ATR issues; and be it further resolved that

the New York Teacher will run an article on teachers in the ATR, including how teachers became part of the ATR; and be it further resolved that

the UFT has always and will always stand for the dignity of all teachers, including our most vulnerable: probationers, teachers under investigation, and teachers in the ATR.

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