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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

ATR CONNECT Press Release

Press Release

Betsy Combier
Polo Colon

Betsy Combier 212-794-8902
Polo Colon       917-696-7967

A new advocacy group for New York City employees has been created:
which you can access at
We hope to make this a hub for information on what is happening in the universe of those individuals who are now known as "ATRs."
The ATR  - "Absent Teacher Reserve" - pool is not referring to absent teachers at all, but a newly created group of professionals who are assigned a different school on a weekly basis and could be called teacher nomads. Any teacher, even recognized "Teachers of the Year", can  become an ATR at any time if a NYC Department of Education Supervisor wants this individual off of the school payroll.
We are making a call to all ATRs to (1) organize and create a chapter to obtain union rights; (2) be alert to the danger of his or her precarious position and plight; (3) open his or her eyes to the reality that there is a blacklist for nomads now coded within the NYC public school system; (4) recognize that all rights under the Collective Bargaining Agreement have been taken away. 
ATR CONNECT  will connect all people currently working as "ATRs" into a single, cohesive entity which can bargain and negotiate for rights currently not available. It is only through unifying efforts to gain leverage that the current and future concerns about imperiled careers can be handled appropriately. 

 Furthermore, we want to highlight the stories, and policy concerns which have arisen since this new migrant labor force was officially created, in the April 15, 2010 agreement between the UFT and the NYC DOE, with the "closing" of the infamous "Rubber Room" warehouses.This agreement was made without any input from ATRs or other members of the UFT and has not given any fair right to representation to those who were most directly affected by the further changes to their careers as duly licensed and displaced professional educators.
The absolute menace to the livelihood and future of the vast majority of ATRs has been proven time and again, and now we can only expect more of the same if we do not start to proactively gather together all our resources and change the cycle of harm.
We are now connecting by networking in the Virtual Rubber Room by compiling telephones and email addresses for a listserve connection and setting up proactive meetings and actions. Any and all names will be kept confidential and your privacy will be protected.
The email address for connection, comments, stories, assistance, suggestions, and any other respectful post is: 
Please be advised that any unsupportive and disrespectful comments will be disregarded and deleted, as we expect enemies of our cause to attempt to disrupt and destroy the solidarity we have and plan to protect.

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