Members who feel they are at risk for excessing can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will check the Seniority List for to determine if you are being notified in the proper order.
Basic Information on Excessing (from The Organizer by Gene Mann)
People are usually informed that they are in danger of being excessed in June in preparation for the next school year. Teachers must be informed in writing by June 15 if they may be in excess for the next school year, but it is still possible to be excessed after that date due to changes in enrollment or the budget. This year in particular, it is possible that schools will get budgets late.
When a teacher is notified that they are in danger of being in excess, they must register on the Open Market System for purposes of providing updated contact information and checking their status. All excessing decisions must be approved by the DOE. So even if a principal tells someone in June that they are in danger of being in excess, that doesn’t mean they will, in fact, be excessed. The Open Market system has a tab labeled “My Current Status” which will inform teachers whether or not that are in excess. The Open Market is also the place to find current vacancies throughout the city and teachers have the right to apply to any or all of them in their license area. Teachers can also apply to schools, even if there is no vacancy, using the open market system.
A person does not become part of the ATR pool unless they do not have a position in a school on the first day of school. Once in the ATR pool, the DOE can send a person to any school in their district, first to a school with an open position in license area or to serve as absence coverage. The DOE can send the person in the ATR pool to a school with a vacancy or long-term leave replacement in the member’s license area in the same borough.
Excessing is the process of reducing staff in a particular school when there is a reduction in the number of available positions in a title or license area in that school. Notification of the risk of excessing usually occurs in June in preparation for the next school year. After a principal notifies someone that they are at risk of being excessed, the DOE will review and will either approve or rescind the excess. People who are excessed maintain their full pay, benefits and rights under the UFT contract. Excessed staff may then seek other positions. They do not “automatically” become ATRs.
To see where you stand you need to get key information from your Chapter Leader: The license code under which you are working and the number to the extreme left of your name. If that number is one, it means that you would be the first to be excessed in your license if it should come to that. Excessing is not proportional; the number of positions in each license is dependent upon the school’s character and needs.
In contrast, the term “layoff” refers to a firing when the total workforce must be reduced or there are not enough positions in the entire city school system in the right license areas for the people employed. New York Education Law Section 2588 – “Seniority, retention and displacement rights in connection with abolition of positions in city school districts of cities having more than one million”-defines our rights. If layoffs were to occur-and this hasn’t happened to UFT members since some paras were laid off for a short time in 2003-they would be in reverse citywide seniority order by license. This means that you couldn’t be laid off unless every single tenured person in the New York City Department of Education working under your license code were laid off, AND the city couldn’t make any new hires in your licenses until you were called back to employment.
Gene Mann is a long-time Queens-based UFT rep.
Note: There is a new Memorandum of Agreement between the DOE and the UFT regarding the rights and conditions for teachers who agree to change the licenses they are teaching under. You can read the terms and conditions here.