Know your rights

June 6, 2019

School safety

Under the DOE-UFT contract, every school must have a safety committee and a safety plan created by that safety committee. As part of the 2018 contract, UFT-represented members have a new mechanism to report safety violations and resolve safety issues.

May 2, 2019

Workplace discrimination and harassment

The UFT-DOE contracts have contained protections for many years against a wide range of discriminatory or harassing behaviors, including sexual harassment. The 2018 contract contains new anti-retaliation language. Federal, state and city laws also provide protections.

April 4, 2019

School chapters & chapter leaders

The union is ultimately only as strong as its individual chapters. Each chapter leader is tasked with building a strong and engaged chapter that has meaningful input in school-level decisions and participates in union campaigns to protect public schools and worker rights.

March 7, 2019

Programs and professional activities

The UFT-DOE contract’s provisions regarding teaching programs and professional activity assignments give teachers a voice while providing for a fair and objective selection process.

February 7, 2019

Environmental health and safety hazards

You have the right to work in a healthy and safe school building. The UFT’s Safety and Health Department can work with you and your school if you encounter environmental health and safety hazards.

January 3, 2019


UFT-represented employees receive regular pay increases negotiated in each Department of Education-UFT contract as well as differentials, step payments and longevity increases based on level of education and years of service. 

December 6, 2018

Absences and leaves for paraprofessionals

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.

November 1, 2018

Special education

Here are some important things to know about IEPs, IEP team decisions, teacher assignments, ICT classes and self-contained classes if you work with students with disabilities.

October 4, 2018

Preparation periods

Among the many meaningful rights and professional protections that your contract provides is time carved out each day for teachers to do professional work. Teachers are generally entitled to five prep periods per week. Prep periods are self-directed; teachers determine what to do during their prep periods.

September 6, 2018

Teacher ratings

Teachers covered by the DOE’s “Advance” system should have received their final rating for the 2017–18 school year by the start of the school year. Find out how the rating was calculated and what your options are if you received an Ineffective or Developing rating.

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