New teacher articles

The UFT is here to provide wide-ranging support

When you join the United Federation of Teachers, you become a vital part of a union with a long and proud history of protecting members’ rights, providing learning opportunities and standing up for social justice. The UFT is here to help you in your new career, whether you have a specific issue to resolve or seek broader support.

Employment issues. Unsure of your salary step? Have questions about licensing exams? The UFT has representatives who specialize in issues such as certification and salary. You can contact the UFT’s certification department at 212-420-1830. You can also call your borough office and ask to speak to an educational liaison or a salary representative.

If you identify as LGBTQ and have concerns about discrimination and harassment, you can call the UFT’s confidential help hotline at 212-598-9279, Monday through Friday, from 4 to 6 p.m.

If you have questions concerning a disability, you can call 212-598-7981.

Concerns regarding students. The UFT is here to help you provide the best possible learning experience for your students. If you believe one of your students is not receiving the appropriate services for special education or English language learners, the UFT can work with you to help resolve the issue. File a confidential special education complaint or an English language learner complaint.

Tell your students and their families about Dial-A-Teacher, the UFT’s homework help hotline, which can be reached at 212-777-3380, Monday through Thursday, from 4 to 7 p.m. You can also make use of resources from BRAVE, the UFT’s anti-bullying initiative, whose confidential student hotline can be reached at 212-709-3222 or by texting BRAVE to 43961.

Health benefits. While your medical benefits are provided by your city health plan, many of your supplemental benefits — including your prescription drugs, dental, optical and hearing benefits — are provided by the UFT Welfare Fund. For questions and concerns, call the UFT Welfare Fund at 212-539-0500 or ask the Welfare Fund a question online.

Professional opportunities. Need help with classroom management? Want to learn more about the Danielson Framework? Looking to network with other teachers in your content area? The UFT has a class for that! See the latest workshops — including ones specifically for newer teachers — and join the UFT’s professional committees.

Health and safety. If you experience an incident regarding safety or discipline at your school, you should file a UFT incident report in addition to notifying your principal. For concerns about environmental health at your school or other health and safety issues, you can contact a health and safety representative by calling your UFT borough office.

Personal support. The UFT’s Member Assistance Program provides confidential services from trained professional counselors. You can turn to MAP for short-term counseling, bereavement support groups and referrals to programs for substance use, eating disorders and mental health support. You can contact MAP at 212-701-9620 or mapinfo@uft.org.

Activism. The UFT and its members take a stand on important social issues, from immigration to health care. Get involved in important union campaigns.

You can also reach out to your school’s chapter leader for guidance about these and other issues — and when in doubt, call your UFT borough office or ask the union a question online.

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