Know your rights

Know your rights | March 5, 2015 >>

As spring approaches, it is time for your school to review and discuss school-based options that you would like to create, renew or rescind for the 2014–2015 school year, based on the needs and philosophy of your school.

Know your rights | February 5, 2015 >>

Teachers and other pedagogues are credited with one day of “sick leave” on the 16th of each month of the school year, or 10 days for a full school year of work.

Know your rights | January 8, 2015 >>

Your salary is calculated based on your level of education and your years of service. The Department of Education/UFT contract for your title contains a listing of salary schedules that take effect with each negotiated pay increase.

Know your rights | December 4, 2014 >>

Accidents, playground scrapes, bloody noses, fights, athletic injuries and violent episodes all have the potential for exposing you to a 

Know your rights | November 6, 2014 >>

A contract is only as good as its enforcement. That’s why we have a grievance process.

Know your rights | October 2, 2014 >>

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That’s why the UFT demands that the Department of Education requires all schools to have a comprehensive safety plan.

Know your rights | September 4, 2014 >>

As we enter a new school year, teachers should be aware of the rights of their students to instructional materials and reasonable class sizes.

Know your rights | June 26, 2014 >>

The UFT’s Safety and Health Department can work with you and your school if you encounter environmental health and safety hazards.

Know your rights | June 5, 2014 >>

Pedagogues — teachers, guidance counselors, school secretaries, psychologists, social workers and lab specialists — injured or made sick on the job are covered by the Injury-in-the-Line-of-Duty provision of the UFT-Department of Education contract.

Know your rights | May 15, 2014 >>

Several years ago the UFT Guidance Counselors Chapter negotiated a way for counselors to resolve workload disputes.

Know your rights | April 17, 2014 >>

UFT members have specific rights regarding program preferences and professional activities. Here’s what you should know before you make your requests. Each spring (or each term in some high schools) you may request an assignment for the following school year (or term) on a preference sheet that your principal will hand out.

Know your rights | March 27, 2014 >>

Unfortunate though it is, at times UFT members report being harassed or subjected to intimidation by their supervisors.

Know your rights | October 17, 2013 >>

Has your car ever been vandalized when it was parked near your school while you were at work? Have you had a personal item stolen in school? Were you pushed — on purpose or by accident — while in a hallway or stairwell?

Know your rights | May 30, 2013 >>

Looking ahead to the summer season, many UFT members apply for per-session positions. For school psychologists and social workers, Article 7 of the Department of Education contract covers, among other things, the rules governing the selection and retention of all per-session assignments, including after-school, weekend and summer work.

Know your rights | May 16, 2013 >>

The life of a school extends past regular classroom hours. Students can get extra academic help. They can create senior yearbooks, join debate teams and perform in school plays. They can participate in team sports. Teachers can apply to become instructors, coaches or leaders of these per-session activities that take place either before school, after school, on weekends or holidays, or in the summer.

Know your rights | January 31, 2013 >>

If you are a paraprofessional, have you ever wondered what your rights are in terms of leave time and absence from work? You earn one sick leave day for every month in which you are in service for at least 16 calendar days. The maximum number of sick leave days earnable in a school year is 10 for September through June.

Know your rights | December 20, 2012 >>

In the event of exposures to human blood or body fluids, there are a number of steps that a school should take to safeguard staff and students. The principal is responsible for the implementation of a bloodborne pathogens program that includes a site-specific Exposure Control Plan.

Know your rights | June 28, 2012 >>

A student with a disability engages in behavior that warrants a superintendent’s suspension under the discipline code. You write up the infraction and send the student to the office. The student is back in class the next day. You ask why. You are told, “You can’t suspend special education students.” Does this sound familiar? In fact, long-term removals are sometimes permissible for students with disabilities — but it’s important to know the rules.

Know your rights | June 13, 2012 >>

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.”

Know your rights | March 8, 2012 >>

According to the New York Civil Liberties Union, students with disabilities are four times more likely to be suspended than students without disabilities. Yet members consistently report that they have been told that students with disabilities can’t be disciplined. So does the Discipline Code apply to students with disabilities?

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