Q & A on the issues

Q&A on SESIS work and payments

These questions and answers were created to address issues arising from this next chapter of the SESIS fight.

What prompted the arbitrator to issue a second decision — his clarification — on SESIS?

We asked for a meeting after the Department of Education, in defiance of the arbitrator’s order, issued a directive to principals telling them when people in different titles should complete their SESIS work without first negotiating with the union. The DOE allocated time in the regular workday for some titles, but not others — an approach that the union opposes because SESIS users in all titles need to have sufficient time to complete their work.

What did the arbitrator say in his clarification?

He agreed with the union that the DOE’s directive to principals did not conform with his decision. He ordered that the directive be rescinded. He also ordered the DOE to begin “comprehensive” negotiations with the union immediately. Because negotiations had not yet begun by mid-March, the arbitrator extended the amount of time for which people will receive payment for after-hours SESIS work. The original award ordered pro rata payment for SESIS work done outside the workday through December 2012. Now you can expect back pay through March 22, 2013.

The DOE has not taken down the SESIS notice saying we are not to work on SESIS during our lunch period or outside our workday. What should I do?

As of March 15, the DOE had not responded to the arbitrator’s clarification or rescinded its directive. Until the DOE’s directive is changed, you should follow your supervisor’s instructions. If, based on what your supervisor dictates, you do not have time to complete SESIS-related work, you should email your supervisor and request a written response.

What specifically should I say in that email?

Your email should respectfully say that based on the instructions you were given, you don’t see how you can complete both SESIS and your other work-related obligations during the workday. Ask your supervisor what tasks he or she can remove from your workload, or you can suggest removing duplicative tasks or other ways to free up time in your day. If you wish, you can ask your supervisor for permission in writing to work on SESIS outside the workday with the understanding that you will be paid. The supervisor should specify in writing that you will be compensated.

What if, after all that, my supervisor still orders me to do the work, even if it means completing it after work hours?

As always, if you are given a directive from your supervisor, you should obey that directive and contact the union as to what you should do next.

What happens next?

At the arbitrator’s bidding, the DOE will finally begin negotiations with the UFT. The first session is scheduled for the week before spring break. In those talks, the union will fight for all SESIS users to have the time they need in the workday to complete their SESIS work.

When will we get paid?

The arbitrator granted the DOE an extension because of the huge amount of data involved in generating this payment. The DOE has told the UFT that all SESIS users will get paid in the early spring. As the union gets more specific information, including payroll dates, it will let you know.

What should I do if I have more questions?

The UFT has set up a special online form, www.uft.org/sesis-work, for your questions and concerns related to SESIS. Please be patient as we work to respond to all your questions.

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