A close-up look at NYC education policy, politics,and the people who have been, are now, or will be affected by acts of corruption and fraud. ATR CONNECT assists individuals who suddenly find themselves in the ATR ("Absent Teacher Reserve") pool and are the "new" rubber roomers, and re-assigned. The terms "rubber room" and "ATR" mean that you or any person has been targeted for removal from your job. A "Rubber Room" is not a place, but a process.
The noble Philip Nobile writes Howie a love letter in response to Schoor's actions at the Brooklyn ATR meeting and former NY Teacher ace reporter Jim Callaghan chimes in with his own Howie Schoor story. But one would expect Howie to try to keep ATRs from organizing since the UFT pays him 200 grand to do that
Howie, I have criticized the UFT for its anti-democratic tendencies and contempt for free speech. Shameful examples: the censorship of NEW YORK TEACHER and EDWIZE, the strangulation of the Executive Committee's open mike, the Bolshevik regulation of the Delegates Assembly, and the refusal to grant ATRs the same level of representation as rubber roomers of yesteryear. But at your ATR meeting last night you and the union reached a new low when you and your representatives tried to sabotage my attempt to organize ATRs. Since you have refused to share the sign-up list with us, I started one of our own. I passed around a pad to gain signatures and contact information. While I was focused on Amy's spirited presentation from the front row, one of the ATRs in the rear, probably thinking that the list belonged to the UFT, handed it to Ellen Driesen who was walking the microphone around the room during the Q & A. Driesen knew purpose and the provenance of the list since she saw me bring it to the back rows. A teacher named Vincent DeSiano kept his eye on the Dreisen. He told me that she delivered the pad to you while you were was standing off to the side at the front of the room flanked by some reps including John Capuano, a new special rep but apparently apprenticed in the union's dark arts. Capuano retired from the conference room and proceeded to trash the list out of sight in the corridor. He ripped off and crumpled the the top sheet. Before he could swallow the evidence, DeSiano intervened, retrieved the sheet and the pad, and brought it to me. I immediately confronted Capuano in the corridor. He declined to state his last name or position, which I learned later from another rep. Not yet apprised of your hand-off to Capuano, I complained to you. You said you would look into the situation, but I sensed no indignation. When I learned of your role, I confronted you. "I know nothing about it," you said, none too convincingly. I demand a written apology and full explanation from you, Dreisen, and Capuano regarding your dirty trick, a squalid attempt to prevent ATRs from organizing. Bad enough that the UFT denies good standing ATRs the same level of representation once afforded to bad standing rubber roomers of the past. Philip
Ask Howie about a bigger dirty trick:
When I was investigating shakedowns by Allied Barton guards at the Staten Island rubber room- including demanding-in writing--- $20 for a holiday party from the detainees, Howie told me to lay off. (I have the photos of the sign put up by Allied Barton).
Howie then sent my emails to him and his emails to me to the D.O.E. official in charge of the Staten Island rubber room.
The "official" catering menu had 20 mis-spellings and used the rubber room phone number as its "business phone.
There wasn't enough food at the party and members felt ripped off. Ellie Engler and LeRoy Barr then had me transferred out of the Staten Island room- 2 train stops from my house and sent Ron Issac from Queens to Staten Island. (Issac has been putting on a great act for five years of complaining about not getting any work to do on the three days he shows up at the office and leaves at 2:00 every day. So why did Randi hire him at $80k, plus a five year pension which is vested this year?). Ask the ICE caucus.
As punishment, I was re-assigned to the Manhattan and Brooklyn rubber rooms, where all I was allowed to do was listen to members vent- with good reason. I was not allowed to help them, write about them in the NY Teacher or improve their conditions. (Park Place in Brooklyn at one point had 24 people in a 500 square foot room). I have copies of Schoor's quisling letters to the DOE officials. -He was trying to show them how he had "ordered" me off the corruption story. The D.O.E. official had a legal responsibility to report the corruption to Condon. We will see what happened as my case winds it way through the courts and we get to depositions and discovery. (Mulgrew has spent over $100,000 fighting my case using Randi's old firm).
FYI: Allied is owned by a close pal of the mayor-Ron Pereleman. (not that Randi or Mulgrew would protect the company for that reason). Feel free to re-post or circulate.
Tensions ran high at the United Federation of Teachers
Brooklyn office on Tuesday, as union officials volleyed questions,
demands, and some cries of exasperation from nearly 100 teachers without
permanent positions. The union office was hosting the second in a series of meetings for members of the Absent Teacher Reserve — the large pool of teachers whose jobs were eliminated when their schools closed or cut costs. The union is holding the meetings to explain changes to the way
teachers in the ATR pool are deployed, based on an agreement struck this
summer between the UFT and the Department of Education that stipulates
that ATRs must travel to a different school each week. The first weekly
assignments are set to start going out today. But union officials spent much of the meeting deflecting criticism
from teachers who charged that the constant upheaval would not make use
of their expertise and make them less likely to land permanent
positions. Amy Arundell, a UFT special representative, told the roughly 100
teachers at the meeting that the point of moving teachers weekly is to
position them for jobs that could open up at the schools where they are
temporarily assigned. The previous arrangement, in which members of the
ATR pool often stayed at one school for an entire year,
allowed principals to use them as free labor, she said, without
necessarily incentivizing them to offer the ATR teachers permanent jobs. Above frequent interruptions from the standing-room-only crowd,
Arundell told teachers they must report to their new assignments next
week, even if the principals at the schools they were assigned to for
September tell them to stay put. She and several teachers in the room
said some principals are asking ATRs to ignore their DOE placements and
stay on, in violation of the agreement. She encouraged the teachers to “be proactive” with the principals and
press them to find money in their limited budgets to create permanent
positions. “Otherwise, you can’t stay,” she said. “Unless a principal tells you,
‘I hire you,’ Central DOE won’t know that a principal wants to keep
you. You know that saying, ‘Why buy the cow when you can get the milk
for free?’ That’s true here.” That logic sounded hollow for a Manhattan-based teacher who said
after the meeting that the normally “pro-teacher” union had agreed to a deal that does not put ATRs’ best interests first. “This weekly assignment nonsense is meant to aggravate people so they get disgusted and leave,” she said.
During the meeting, attendees called on the UFT to create a chapter just for ATRs and to file
a discrimination lawsuit against the city on their behalf. But the
union officials present, which included LeRoy Barr, the UFT staff
director, rejected those requests, arguing that discrimination is
difficult to prove and that chapter leaders at the schools where ATRs
are temporarily assigned are equipped to advocate for them.
Arundell (pictured at left) urged teachers to contact their temporary chapter leaders
with complaints about hostile principals or requests to teach subjects
out of their license. But several teachers complained during the meeting that they had
reached out to the UFT and the DOE with complaints, and received no
response. “It may be news for some of you, but there is not union
representation in every school,” one teacher called out from the
audience. “I was at one school that had no chapter leader.” Several teachers complained about being assigned by their new
principals to lunch duty or clerical work, which Arundell said was not
part of their contract. Others spoke of being asked to take on subjects
they are not licensed to teach. One Manhattan-based librarian, who came to the Brooklyn meeting
because the Manhattan meeting is not until next week, said her current
principal is using her as an assistant to two kindergarten teachers at
an elementary school because the school’s library is closed. “I take the kids to the bathroom every period. That’s about all I do.
My principal said to me, ‘I don’t want you here. You’re not going to
work anyway.’” She paused for emphasis and whispered, “I think it’s
because of my gray hair.” Teachers throughout the room clapped when one attendee called on the
union to file a class-action lawsuit against the city. Union officials
shot down the idea, saying that courts require a high burden of proof
for discrimination suits that the union would be unlikely to meet. “But it’s happening everywhere,” another teacher called out. “Stop the shell game that’s taking place.” Several teachers in attendance said they would like the union to
create an ATR teacher chapter to represent them — something the union
officials said was not likely to happen. As the 2.5-hour-long meeting wrapped up, Vincente DeSiano, an
elementary school teacher in the ATR pool, collected names and contact
information from the roughly 40 people still present, after union
officials said they would not provide information about who had
attended. “We have power that we don’t realize,” DeSiano said. “I want us all
to be able to share information with each other and see how we can help