Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Layoff Deal

Is it, or isn't it?

Obviously, averting layoffs is a good thing. No one can argue with that, except perhaps Mayor4Life and his minions. In fact, it's probably good for him too, as layoffs would prove yet another PR disaster. Should we allow him to endure that at the expense of the teachers who'd be sitting on pins and needles waiting to be called back? That's a tough call. I've lost my teaching job several times, excessed when there was no ATR to fall into, and I wouldn't wish it on anybody.

Now if this simply called for ATRs to be placed in regular teaching positions, that would be a no-brainer. But Gotham Schools says otherwise:

The second concession is that teachers in the Absent Teacher Reserve, or ATR, will be redeployed to fill substitute teaching positions, which are currently filled by teachers who work on a per diem basis. The daily rate for substitutes is approximately $180, according to the city aide. That money would be saved because the ATR, a pool of teachers without full time positions who remain on payroll, would be able to replace those spots. Under the agreement, each week teachers from ATRs can be sent to a different school in their district.

It's that last sentence that's got me nervous. Given the history of the DOE, I fully expect them to consciously and methodically work on making these 1,200 teachers as miserable as they can. This week you're here, next week you're there, no long-term connections with anyone, no being a role model for kids on any regular basis--in essence, you are not really a teacher.

I cannot describe how miserable I would be under such an arrangement, and it's hard to know how anyone could vote to put teachers through this. On the other hand, would voting against it entail voting for 4,000 layoffs? The UFT is going to put it to the DA on Tuesday, yet no one has seen any document containing precise details.

The results of the vote are a foregone conclusion--it will pass by a massive margin.

Nonetheless, I want to hear from all comers, pro or con.

What do you think?
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