Lunch Periods

All UFT-represented employees are entitled to a duty-free lunch period. This was a strike issue for teachers in the 1960s. Duty-free means just that. It’s free of any and all duty assignments.

Paraprofessionals, including one-on-one paras, are entitled to a duty-free lunch period. Special Circular 6R, which is part of the UFT-DOE contract, established that lunchroom supervision may not be assigned to paras. Schools have other school-based personnel, including school aides and supervising school aides, who can be assigned this responsibility.

If a para is asked to be with a specific child during the child’s lunch per the IEP, that para must still have a duty-free lunch period at some other point in the day.

Elementary school teachers are entitled to a daily 50-minute duty-free lunch period. Secondary school teachers receive a full period for duty-free lunch each day. The only exception to these timeframes is when a teacher is conducting school activities outside of the school building, such as a class trip. If a teacher returns from a trip during or before his or her scheduled lunch time, he or she is entitled to a duty-free lunch.

You can see what the contract says about lunch periods by reading articles 7A4, 7B6 and 7C4a.

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