Guidance on SBOs for chapter leaders

SBOs give your school the opportunity to collaboratively modify contractual articles and/or create positions that the contract does not automatically allow. About half of all city schools used the SBO process last year to make changes that worked for their individual schools.

As chapter leader, you are responsible for shepherding SBOs through the process. All SBOs — except for 7/8 period day SBOs in elementary schools — sunset every year so you need to have the SBO discussion each spring at your school.

An SBO must have the support of BOTH the principal and the chapter leader. Neither you nor your principal is under any obligation to consider, agree to, vote on or implement any SBO.

Please make sure your district representative is kept informed at every stage of the SBO process. If you need the support, your DR can help you prepare for consultation, assist you in preparing a survey and the ballot, and guide you through the entire process.

Here are the steps you should follow:

1) Hold a consultation meeting about SBOs (in March or April)

As chapter leader, you should schedule a consultation meeting for the chapter committee and the principal in March or April with the sole purpose of discussing and reviewing any SBOs either the chapter or the principal would like to see implemented for next year.

At this meeting, you should discuss any SBOs that the school wants to renew or revise for the 2017-18 school year. Either the chapter committee or the principal may propose new SBOs at this meeting.

2) Hold a union meeting to present all SBOs (in April)

After this consultation meeting, the chapter leader MUST hold a union meeting to present all SBOs for consideration.

At the meeting, members should have the opportunity to raise questions and concerns. After the meeting is held, if there are suggested changes to any proposed SBO, the chapter committee should consult with the principal again.

3) Conduct an SBO survey of chapter members (by early May)

If there are no revisions proposed, before there is any type of vote taken, the chapter leader MUST conduct a survey, preferably on paper, to gauge whether there is a will on the part of the chapter to ratify the proposed SBOs. Please refer to the SBO Manual and your district representative for guidance on the proper wording of your SBO. The survey language should be identical to the language that will be used on the ballot.

This consultative/surveying process should be completed by the beginning of May. Chapter leaders MUST discuss proposed SBOs with their UFT district representative before conducting the ratification vote.

4) Chapter leader/committee holds a formal ratification vote (by end of May)

Next, the chapter’s election committee should organize the SBO vote. A principal or administrator CANNOT conduct an SBO vote; that is the duty of the chapter leader or chapter election committee.

An SBO cannot be adopted unless 55 percent of the UFT members who actually vote — not 55 percent of all members at the school — vote to support it.

The voting process and submission of the completed SBO form should be done by the end of May.

5) Fill out the online SBO form (by second week of June at the latest)

Once your ratification vote is held, contact your district representative to obtain the hyperlink for the UFT online SBO form.

Once you submit this online form, central UFT will review your SBO, double-check that your SBO has the approval of your district representative and inform the DOE.

In order for the district rep and union leadership to properly review each SBO, all SBOs should be submitted via the online form by the second week of June AT THE LATEST.

Remember, your district rep is there to assist you. These resources will also help you:

See the UFT’s SBO checklist »

Consult the SBO manual »

Read the Know Your Rights column on SBOs »

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