News stories

353 secretaries hired using new process

The many schools hurt by the recent critical shortage of licensed secretaries now have relief with the hiring of 353 school secretaries.

A new hiring procedure that was jointly developed by the UFT and the Department of Education and launched in the fall enabled principals to hire as of mid-December: 145 secretaries as full-time appointments, 142 on F status assignments (not full time) and 66 as regular, long-term substitutes.

The new hiring process is based on secretaries’ education and experience and does away with an old qualifying test that included an outdated requirement for shorthand. The test had not been administered since 2009, but when no hiring procedure had been established to replace it, the shortage of secretaries grew acute as many retired or left, and as new schools were created under the Bloomberg administration.

Mona Gonzalez, the school secretaries chapter leader, said the updated process allows principals to restore the essential secretarial support needed to make schools run smoothly for both students and staff. It also facilitates the vigorous enforcement of a UFT arbitration victory in 2008 that forbade schools from assigning unlicensed personnel such as school aides to fill secretarial positions.

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