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Birch Family Services

Dear Colleagues,

The UFT chapters of Birch Family Services came into being with the signing of the first contract at Nazareth Early Childhood Center in 2013. They have grown to include more than 200 members in four bargaining units across four work sites. Below is a list of these bargaining units and their respective chapter leaders:

  • East Flatbush Early Childhood Center (formerly Nazareth Early Childhood Center), Brooklyn: Chapter Leader Ilana Talitian.
  • Springfield Gardens Early Childhood Center, Queens: Chapter Leader Robyn France.
  • Phyllis Susser School for Exceptional Children, Queens: Chapter Leader Ira Kaplan.
  • Soundview Early Childhood Center (formerly Watson Avenue), the Bronx: chapter leader to be elected pending conclusion of negotiations for first contract.

Birch Family Services empowers individuals with autism and developmental disabilities to lead fulfilling lives. The agency supports more than 2,000 individuals and their families each day throughout New York City. The UFT represents teachers, teacher assistants, clinicians and administrative support staff.

Each bargaining unit has its own contract reflecting both the shared and unique concerns of the members at each location. These contracts are now in various stages of negotiation or re-negotiation. At East Flatbush and Springfield Gardens, we are negotiating successor contracts with a focus on updating the existing salary scales to serve as a model for all of the Birch schools that UFT represents. The Birch Susser Chapter’s contract with Birch management has been extended. We surveyed the chapter members about their priorities for contract negotiations to make their voices heard at the bargaining table. We continue to negotiate for the initial contract for the Soundview Early Childhood Center.

If you have any questions, reach out to me, your chapter liaison, at


Ilene Weinerman
UFT Special Representative