As you may or may not know, my current status with the DOE is as an ATR. That stands for Absent Teacher Reserve and I’m basically assigned to schools on a temporary basis and rotate to different schools every few weeks.
I know what you’re thinking “Wait, they decided you should have more exposure to UFT members and schools?” Yes, after the UFT leadership decided to not file a grievance returning me to IS 49, I was placed into this position.
As ATRs we lost our battle to have our own chapter leaders and delegates, like 40 other non classroom teachers. The UFT leadership declined to give us elected representation. What they did do was to allow ATRs to run in elections at the schools they are temporarily assigned to.
I’ve had my eye out for a school that had a union vacancy. I came across PS 18 in Staten Island. Their UFT delegate had to step down, so I threw my name in the ring. After a few days of being unopposed, two permanent, and very qualified, teachers also put their names in.
Being the stranger and underdog in the building, I placed this flyer in mailboxes before the election.
We had a democratic election and I was elected their delegate. I’m honored to be chosen and will work hard, even while I’m reassigned to another building. As promised in my flyer, I started a PS 18 UFT page that I will improve and provide communication from the UFT to the chapter leader and chapter. This
I basically followed UFT Solidarity’s chapter leader guide videos to create a simple website. Chapter Leader Guide
Friday October 14th is my last day at PS 18 for now. They are a great bunch there. I could tell the staff and admin care about the students. I hope I was able to make a small, but positive, mark while there.
Since the ATR pool is full of experienced educators and union activists, I urge more to run as they see vacancies open.