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September 4, 2013 New York Teacher issue
Members should not work on the Special Education Student Information System (SESIS) outside their workday without written permission from their supervisors. Members should ask their supervisors in writing when they are expected to complete SESIS-related work.
The second payment for after-hours SESIS work completed between Jan. 1 and March 22, 2013, ordered by Arbitrator Jay Siegel in his March clarification award, has been delayed by the Department of Education’s court challenge of that award.
in January, the arbitrator ruled that the DOE violated its collective-bargaining agreements with the UFT by ordering educators to perform SESIS-related duties that routinely required them to work beyond their contractual workday. As a remedy, the arbitrator ordered that the DOE negotiate with the union about SESIS and that educators who used SESIS be paid for work outside regular work hours from September 2011 through December 2012.
Without negotiating with the union as the arbitrator ordered, the DOE issued a memo in February prohibiting staff from working outside their regular workday on SESIS and unilaterally determined the additional time that certain titles would be allowed to allocate to do SESIS work.
In March, finding that the DOE was not heeding his original ruling, the arbitrator issued a clarification of his order extending the time that educators would be paid for after-hours work until March 22, 2013, and ordering the DOE to rescind its February memo prior to beginning good-faith negotiations with the union.
In June, the DOE filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the arbitrator’s clarification award on the grounds that he did not have the legal authority to issue it. The court challenge not only delays the second payments, but also means that the directives that the DOE issued in February on when members should do their SESIS work remain in effect.
Speech teachers should be permitted to complete SESIS-related work during the 37.5 minutes of extended day time; if not, they should call or email Speech Chapter Leader Mindy Karten Bornemann and provide a personal phone number as well as their school and district.
Members are encouraged to continue to keep the union informed if they are not being given sufficient time during the workday to complete their SESIS responsibilities. The UFT has set up a special online form at www.uft.org/sesis-help for members to contact the union about SESIS-related work issues.