UPDATE: Agreement here: http://www.uft.org/files/attachments/atr-agreement-2017.pdf
Last night the below email was sent to ATRs and describes $50,000 and $35,000 buyout options. So far, according to group email lists, blogs and social media, many seem like they are staying put. Only the small percentage, who have the years to retire, seem like they will take it. According to ATR Alliance’s survey, the average age of ATRs is 52. You need to be at least 55 to retire. Only 97 ATRs, out of approximately 1,100 took the 2014 buyout.
One roving ATR wrote today:
“The current offer does not consider, nor respect that teachers want to teach, have financial responsibilities and want to have their own classroom.”
Another point that upsets ATRs is this change here: “Starting in the 2017-18 school year, the agreement also permits the DOE to provisionally assign Absent Teacher Reserve members to a school throughout their borough, which is a change that allows for more flexibility.”
As of now it was district assignments. This means that an ATR who lives and works in Long Island City can be placed in the Rockaways for a year. Details on whether or not the ATRs will be placed in their license, and their evaluation, has not been shared yet.
Exercising a contractual right, we have been trying to negotiate another voluntary severance package for members in the Absent Teacher Reserve for the past few years. We are happy to announce that we were able to secure one.
The UFT and the Department of Education have negotiated an agreement for those in the Absent Teacher Reserve that includes a severance package with two options.
In the 2014 Absent Teacher Reserve agreement, the severance package was based on length of service. This time, eligible Absent Teacher Reserve members, including those provisionally hired, who agree to retire or resign from June 5 through July 14 may choose to receive either $50,000 in a one-time payment or $35,000 and six months of health insurance. This money is not pensionable.
To be eligible for the severance package, you must officially have been an Absent Teacher Reserve member on or before June 1, 2016 through today. You have received this letter because you were an Absent Teacher Reserve member in September 2016 and may be affected by this agreement.
Starting in the 2017-18 school year, the agreement also permits the DOE to provisionally assign Absent Teacher Reserve members to a school throughout their borough, which is a change that allows for more flexibility. Since the 2014 agreement expired at the end of the 2015-16 school year, we have been operating this past school year under rules that existed prior to the 2014 agreement.
You should be hearing from the DOE about what to do if you wish to accept the severance package. Use this online form if you have any questions about this settlement.
If you are considering retirement as a result of this agreement, it’s important that you contact a UFT pension consultant in your UFT borough office. Visit the pension section of the UFT website for borough office phone numbers and more information about the pension services the UFT offers.