I just got home and the monthly UFT propaganda rag was awaiting my perusal. My cats were also waiting for it, as it is their favorite reading material when doing their 'business'. I couldn't help myself and glanced through it. Lots of articles concerning Janus. Lots of feel good stuff about how the UFT is a caring organization for students, family and teachers. There was even an article about CTE (Career and Technical Education). There wasn't a word about ATRs - even in the published letters. No openly critical letter is published that may cast a light on any of the embarrassing inactions of the UFT. The CTE article made me cringe because Bloomberg closed almost every vocational school down in the Bronx and all the CTE teachers I know have been ATRs for close to ten years. The one or two schools that are open are very small and sharing space with charter schools, but enough about the Mulgrew Monthly.
I said farewell to several Fellows today that have been teaching here for almost a year. Wonderful group, very nice, enthusiatic, briefly trained (4 weeks), free workers that aren't UFT members. They get lots of help, but there's a part of me that questions this training, as it thwarts the hiring of a licensed teacher. The average age of the staff here is about 27 years old. The guys I'm closest to are all 25 and I'm older than their fathers. We hang out together and help one another. Problem is I'm a teacher without students or classes - I'm a babysitter ATR. The principal tried to hire me but couldn't because of my salary. You see, even though the city is paying all our salaries, Joel Klien instituted something called Fair Student Funding - an oxymoron if there ever was one. He presented it to the UFT expecting they would reject it, but the UFT agreed to it! (What exactly does this infer? Klein and Bloomy are gone for years, but it still remains.) What this does is it creates an individualized budget for each school, just like a corporation creates a budget for its retail spaces. The average teacher at this school makes $57,000 and I make $119,000. Hiring an experienced teacher means hiring a higher priced one, which is a stab in the heart for the bottom line of every public school in NYC. So almost every teacher here is straight out of college or from a program that pays them a small stipend. It effectively stops principals from even considering an experienced teacher for a prospective position. I love the kids here and would like to spend my final years teaching. I hate being an ATR. It is the most demoralizing, humiliating job I've ever had, and 'No, I don't feel lucky'. I will not quit because I have a family to support and I have earned my right to teach via tenure, education and experience. So why isn't the UFT pushing for an end to Fair Student Funding so principals can hire the candidates they want? The money all comes out of the same pot. I'm sick of hearing about the Janus Meteorite about to hit 52 Broadway and how we have to support the UFT. I'm tired of Mulgrew implying , 'Ask not what the UFT can do for you, but what you can do for the UFT'. It's time for the UFT to start taking some meaningful action for its members, or the only people left when that meteorite hits will be Mulgrew and his cronies.