Know your rights


There are times when a school reduces the size of its faculty, such as when it experiences an unexpected drop in student enrollment, loses a budget line or is being closed, redesigned or phased out. This is called “excessing.” It is a displacement, but it is quite different from a layoff or a firing.

Principals decide in which license area there needs to be a contraction. The teacher with the least seniority within the license area will be excessed first. Probationers are excessed before those who have completed probation.

Those who are at risk of being “in excess” at the commencement of the following school year should receive written notification no later than June 15 (Article 17B, Rule 12 of the UFT contract). Excessing should occur before the 15th day of the term.


Job security guaranteed

If you are notified that you will be excessed, you can avail yourself of the opportunity that all teachers have to apply for any or all citywide vacancies in your license area. Vacancies are posted online through the Open Market Transfer website from April 15 through Aug. 7. We encourage you to apply.

If you do not secure a new full-time school assignment, you will be assigned to the Absent Teacher Reserve pool in your district/high school superintendency.

According to the June 2011 Memorandum of Agreement between the Department of Education and the UFT, teachers who remain in excess (in the ATR pool) who are not utilized to cover leaves or long-term absences or are not hired provisionally to fill a vacant position will be assigned each week to a different school within the district.

You cannot be involuntarily assigned to a school outside your district. As a member in excess (in the ATR pool), you will continue to receive your regular pay, accrue seniority, and enjoy health and pension benefits.

If you have been repeatedly unsuccessful in obtaining a transfer or a regular teaching position after being excessed, you can receive, upon request, individualized assistance from the DOE’s Division of Human Resources on how to maximize your chances of success in being selected for a transfer.


Pedagogues in closing schools

If you work in a school that is closing or being phased out, you have the right to apply and be considered for positions in any new schools in the same building. Under Article 18D of the UFT contract, a minimum of 50 percent of the positions in the new schools are reserved for the most senior applicants from the closing school who meet the school’s qualifications.

Any remaining vacancies at the new school are to be filled by that school’s personnel committee from among transfer applicants, excessed staff and/or new hires. Candidates must hold appropriate credentials.


Rule 3

Rule 3 is an excessing rule for common branch teachers working in junior high and intermediate schools, or high school-licensed teachers working in junior high and intermediate schools, or secondary teachers working in elementary schools.

Under Rule 3, if the common branch teacher has been teaching the same subject area for three years in a row, he or she is entitled, for excessing purposes only, to be grouped with the probationary teachers licensed in that particular subject area (for example, math, science, social studies or English).

They do not become probationary teachers; they are just grouped with the probationers for excessing purposes.

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