More ATR horror stories direct from the files of "YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS SH** UP!"
My advice in dealing with the UFT when you need help and not getting it. Simple. The greasy wheel gets oiled. Be the biggest pain in the ass you can be. Don't just call once. Just keep on calling. And if after a day this doesn't get you what you want go to the next level. Do the "pop-in." Go to your district office and insist on seeing someone and DO NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER! Or if you have the time go to 52 Broadway and insist that you be taken care of and DO NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER!
If you go to a restaurant and the service is crappy are you going to just say nothing? Will you accept nothing after you speak to the waiter and he/she is not responsive?
But you have to be your own best advocate. Don't rely on others to do the bidding for you. You need to grab the bull by the balls and make your presence known.
If anyone needs any help, advice, to vent, to have a shoulder to cry on, or whatever, email me. Many of you have since I wrote Part 1 on Thursday and still need to get back to more.
Hang in there!
My classroom teaching has been unfairly rated unsatisfactory by a field supervisor named Edele Williams. I seek help from Brooklyn UFT representative Bill Kalogeras, but to no avail. I received a phone call from someone who is supposedly working with Bill and he told me all I can do is write a rebuttal. I was told I cannot grieve. I contacted the UFT chapter leader from the school I was rated in. She was supposed to take a look at my rebuttal report and give me some advice, she never did. I am really being harassed by this field supervisor and feel I have no representation at all. Help please...
My ATR status is wholly due to the UFT's failure to support my case against improper excessing. At a Step 2 grievance the evidence was all on my side. I brought to the hearing an email from Human Resources stating that I had been hired permanently with "all the rights" of a regular member of the school faculty. The excessing letter was given to me in very apparent retaliation for a report about cheating in the school I made the same day. A month later five other teachers gave statements to investigators that cheating in the school was commonplace and involved the administration. My Step 2 hearing took place three years ago. The union has yet to find the case a slot for arbitration.
I have been observed in areas that are not my license area. I am a music teacher and Field Supervisor Kathlyn Layne feels free to observe me and then rate me as unsatisfactory on lessons that have nothing to do with my subject area. Why are we being subjected to these observations? Even if it were in my license area it is very difficult moving from school to school and being observed teaching students we have do not know or have built rapport with. The UFT keeps saying we are teachers and we should know what to do and be prepared with lessons. I have never been provided with any resources such as paper pens, class lists etc. We go to these new schools and we get no bathroom keys, no access to copy facilities, we don't even know the staff. These tactics being implemented by the DOE are designed to harass arts out of the school system and the UFT stands by and does nothing.
I'm constantly assigned past the 90 minute contractual limit. The UFT's answer is there is no remedy even if you file a grievance. I ask "Why is it in the contract?" They say our way to transfer is the Open Market Transfer. I inform them I have applied to 30-40 jobs and can’t even get an interview. I'm told im being ridiculous because it’s impossible to get a job in Staten Island. How can the UFT tell me it’s impossible? Anyway, I then ask about the jobs I applied for in Brooklyn. I am told I can’t get those because they are too close to the bridge. I then inform them I applied for Manhattan as well. No response. Also, in my rotation, I notice there are many schools that have teachers in my discipline with no experience, even in the decent schools.
I was brought up on charges for leaving the building early. Principal Brigit Bye at Pan-American High School had my ATR supervisor and her supervisor, Mark Ryan, convene a meeting in her office. It was never proved that I left the building. Ms. Bye does not want any ATRs to go to her professional development meetings on Fridays. I went upstairs to the cafeteria to speak with my friend who works in the building. Long story short, I had the local UFT rep of the school sit in on the meeting while the administrators attacked me. The result was the UFT rep, who I did not know, never said one word or gave me a response before or after the meeting. It was like having no one there to represent me. In the end I received a disciplinary letter to file and was required to punch in and out in violation of the contract.
I interviewed with the DOE's Office of Special Investigation regarding my school principal's sexual misconduct in the school towards staff. The findings were unsubstantiated and I was penalized with termination. The UFT did not support me at all. They listened and did lip service. He has destroyed the school to the point of it closing in June 2015. The DOE fired him and then rehired him. who does this kind of behavior? The school presently only has 30 students. The union did not investigate. The union representatives fraternized with the school principal. The union was aware of his harassing me and all they told me was to not do anything so he can attack me. How could I not do anything if they targeted me. My school principal wrongly accused me of verbal abuse and the UFT did nothing to stop him.
I'm being assigned over 2 hours away from where I live. I'm covering classes with no lessons left. I can't get through to people in the union. I need a contact person who understands.
I used to be informed about UFT matters when I was permanently placed in a school and/or the UFT Chapter Leader. I used to be sent lengthy Chapter Leader Weekly newsletters with an abundant amount of information. When I was chapter leader I would send the newsletter our to my members. Since becoming an ATR in May 2014, I have yet to be sent or see a UFT Chapter Leader weekly and feel disenfranchised by union. We are treated like second class citizens and to expect a chapter leader in a temporary placement to start adding me to their list is not realistic. If I have an issue, I am not sure who to turn to. I need my own chapter leader and delegate that are familiar with the issues I face.
I was temporarily teaching at a school and was summoned to a disciplinary hearing. The school’s UFT Chapter Leader refused to represent me. The Bronx Office and UFT central office did not return any of my calls or emails. I wound up going on my own without any representation. I had no one to turn to and was given a fictitious disciplinary letter. We need our own elected chapter leader.
I was at a school the first week of May 2015 and the UFT Chapter Leader was giving out ballots for elections. He refused to give me a ballot and allow me to vote. What voice do I have?
One kid told me 'You're just a f'ing sub..you don't have a real job and don't sit in the teacher's chair"
So the first Arbitrator fined me $7500 for 'failing' to meet with a parent and supposedly..'placing a book down 'hard' on a student's desk...The student at first alleged I threw it at him..then changed his story..Never mind the fact it was a computer literacy class and we were using laptops..Like Stymie..said..What books? We 'ain't got no books'...the second Arbitrator said I should get a letter in my file (um, it's already there)..regarding another teacher's allegation that I spoke rudely to him and made him 'uncomfortable' whilst I was assigned to sit in the men's bathroom/lounge at my school all day. It was just he and I in the room.I'm trying to remember if that was before or after he 'peed' and I got to listen to his urination sounds..and of course he's one of the principal's buddies. So throughout the summer pay I will be paying the DOE $833 per check. over $1600 per month..to satisfy their 'fine' by the end of the 2014/2015 school year. Not only am i fined $7500 for virtually nothing..nothing provable..and mostly on the say so of the principal ..(I'm not even going to get into the 'neglect of duty' charges related to ONE lesson review..hey, I thought we got two years to 'improve' under the contract and the binding APPR/3012C agreement...not me..of course there was really nothing wrong with the lesson..identical lesson the year before rated effective)..So I get $7500 deducted from 9 paychecks..which directly coincides with my 'retirement' eligibility date. Age discrimination anyone? In the real world 'debt' collectors have to go to court to garnish your wages..in the real world suitable payment amounts are arrived at between the parties. Of course being fined in such a manner also spells age discrimination. I do believe that my age and retirement eligibility date motivated their calculation methods...as it is not possible under the law to garnish pension wages. So while all my comrades at my former school get to enjoy their raises and look forward to their summer..I at the 'final' summer of my career (technically speaking) am looking at another 5 garnished paychecks..my 'final' paychecks (as it were) after 31 years 3 months and 6 days of service.