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Chapter Leader UpdateSept. 22, 2022

Snapshot

Image
A large crowd holding UFT signs marches up a tree-lined street

STANDING STRONG TOGETHER: More than 700 UFT members marched up Fifth Avenue in the city’s Labor Day Parade in a show of union power and solidarity. (Pat Arnow) 

This Week's Focus

DOE-UFT contract talks to begin on Oct. 13

The city has agreed to sit down with the UFT for the first negotiating session on Thursday, Oct. 13. Under state law governing public employees, the terms of an expired agreement remain in effect until a new one is reached. Salary steps and differentials remain in effect, but we need a new contract to secure the across-the-board pay increases we deserve. The current DOE-UFT contract expired on Sept. 13. The union’s 500-member negotiating committee is meeting on Sept. 28 to prepare for the start of bargaining. The results of our all-member survey will direct their discussions. 


Determining your school’s MOSL assessments 

Chapter leaders should form their Measures of Student Learning (MOSL) committee with their principal as soon as possible. The chapter leader should select half the committee members and the principal should select the other half. Be mindful to include a variety of perspectives on the committee. Your school’s MOSL committee will decide on the measures of student learning for each grade and subject in your school. It will also choose the assessments, the target population and the measure. State assessments are not required for any teacher’s measure of student learning, which gives the committee more latitude to choose measures that align with your school’s instructional program. In addition, individual measures are no longer required so consider using grade and school-wide measures. The UFT is holding a virtual MOSL training workshop for chapter leaders and MOSL committee members on Thursday, Sept. 29. The agenda will include MOSL assessments versus screeners, the growth model versus goal setting, the default MOSL assessments, and making MOSL recommendations. Look out for your email invitation. See the key dates for this year’s teacher evaluation system.


Create your team for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks are back this year on three Sundays in October. We are asking chapter leaders, if they have not already done so, to create a team to allow their chapter members to fundraise together and support each other. You don’t have to personally participate to create a team. If someone else in your school community is traditionally responsible for creating your school’s team, please remind them to create it. Every UFT team should have “UFT” in its title so we can compile the total amount that UFT members raise. It’s a great event to build chapter spirit and solidarity. The Brooklyn walk is on the Coney Island Boardwalk on Sunday, Oct. 9. The Long Island, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island walks are on Sunday, Oct. 16, at the customary locations. The Bronx walk this year will be at the Bay Plaza Shopping Center on Sunday, Oct. 23. Read the UFT Team Leader Kit for more helpful information.

Create a team


Oct. 31 deadline for limited waiver on debt relief for public employees

Public employees have until Monday, Oct. 31, to take advantage of the Biden administration’s limited waiver for the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Under this waiver, public employees may receive credit for past periods of repayment that would otherwise not qualify for this program. This waiver is separate and apart from the debt cancellation initiative that the Biden administration recently announced for all student loan borrowers who meet income eligibility requirements. Let your members know they can attend one of the one-hour webinars offered by the Student Debt Relief Program for UFT members to learn more about this waiver and to help them determine if the waiver applies to them.

Register for a webinar


Training begins for new chapter leaders

New chapter leaders are encouraged to attend chapter leader training, part 1, at the Sleepy Hollow Hotel & Conference Center on Saturday, Oct. 15, and Sunday, Oct. 16. This weekend training session, the first in a three-part series, is designed to give recently elected chapter leaders the tools and resources they need to effectively lead their school chapters. On the agenda at the first weekend are sessions on the rights and responsibilities of chapter leaders, the consultation process, teacher evaluation, and filing grievances or operational issues complaints to address contract violations. UFT President Michael Mulgrew will speak at the plenary. Eligible chapter leaders received an email invitation earlier this week. Space is limited so register early. Seats will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.

Chapter Leader Checklist

  • To Do #1: Alert your UFT district rep on Thursday, Sept. 29, about classes that are still oversize
    Thank you for keeping your UFT district representative apprised of the classes that exceed the contractual class-size limits in your school on Day 6 (Thursday, Sept. 15) and Day 10 (Wednesday, Sept. 21). As part of the fast-track process to address oversize classes in the DOE-UFT contract, chapter leaders have 10 school days to try to come to an informal resolution with their principal. Only chapter leaders whose schools still have oversized classes should report class size data to their UFT district representative on Day 14 (Thursday, Sept. 29) and Day 19 (Friday, Oct. 7).  Your school’s RACL (elementary or middle schools) or Master Schedule Final (high schools) indicates class sizes on these dates. 
  • To Do #2: Make sure new members are on payroll
    Check with your school’s payroll secretary to make sure new members of your chapter are on payroll. Newly appointed pedagogues and paraprofessionals who were placed on payroll by Aug. 31 should have received their first paycheck on Sept.15. If payroll processing is completed between Sept. 1 and Sept. 14, these new hires should receive their first paycheck in the Sept. 30 payroll. New H Bank members, including therapists, nurses and supervisors of nurses and therapists, who were placed on payroll by Sept. 2 should have received their first paycheck on Sept. 16. If payroll processing was completed between Sept. 3 and Sept. 19, the new hires should receive their first paycheck in the Sept. 30 payroll. New UFT members who missed the first payroll should contact the UFT at 212-331-6311 regarding the possibility of a supplemental check. 
  • To Do #3: Mentoring for new teachers
    Every new teacher in your school without prior teaching experience is entitled to mentoring. The mentor should be an experienced classroom teacher, coach or lead teacher, ideally in the new teacher’s subject area. The mentor will provide a minimum of two periods a week of confidential, non-evaluative and nonjudgmental support. Consult with your principal for a list of new teachers and their mentors. As a chapter leader, you must be a member of your school’s New Teacher Induction Committee, which ensures new teachers receive mentoring. If new teachers in your school have not been assigned a mentor or if you have questions about the mentor program, contact your UFT district representative. For more information, see the mentoring requirements for certification on the New York State Education Department website. 
  • To Do #4: Hold your first chapter meeting
    By the end of September, please hold your first chapter meeting and invite all UFT members in your chapter. When deciding between in-person and virtual meetings, check with your fellow members to determine their preferences. 
  • To Do #5: Update member contact information 
    Please collect non-DOE email addresses and/or cell phone numbers for all members of your chapter for future communications. Also remind your members of the importance of notifying the union of any changes. Your first chapter meeting is a good place to raise the topic.
  • To Do #6: Organize a Wear Pink day on Oct. 12
    This year, we are asking chapter leaders to invite members on Wednesday, Oct. 12, to wear pink to raise awareness about breast cancer. Post this Wear Pink flier on your bulletin board or share in staff mailboxes. Send a group photo to uftphotos@gmail.com.
  • To Do #7: Fliers to share with your members
    Here are fliers you can print and distribute in member mailboxes or post on your school’s UFT bulletin board.

Hub Highlights

File your consultation meeting summaries on the Hub

Chapter leaders have access to our Knowledge Base, a deep and extensive repository of information in the Chapter Leader Hub. This searchable database will provide answers to many of the questions your members ask about their rights and benefits as UFT members. Whether it’s the process for obtaining a health benefit provided by the UFT Welfare Fund or accessing accurate information about retention rights, the Knowledge Base has the answers. Remember: You access the hub using your UFT website username and password.

Enter the hub


 

Work in progress

The UFT is working on the following issues with the DOE and other city, state and federal-level entities as appropriate: 

  • Ensuring the protection of the contractual rights of members affected by the restructuring of the Division of Early Childhood Education.
  • Convening MOSL committees to make school-level MOSL selections.
  • Streamlining the process for bilingual education certification.
  • Finalizing plans for joint DOE-UFT training with district representatives and superintendents on the paperwork and operational issues resolution process.
  • Lobbying the New York City Council to amend the administrative code to state explicitly that the city must negotiate with the Municipal Labor Committee on all employee health care plans and must allow that city unions may negotiate for employees to have health care plan choices.


 

You Should Know

CONTRACT EMPOWERMENT AND ENFORCEMENT

UFT wins arbitration on shortage pay

The UFT has won an arbitration decision confirming that the Department of Education must pay the shortage rate — not the coverage rate — to any teacher asked to teach an extra period every day as part of their program. While the practice is not widespread, we now have a precedent-setting decision that providing coverage pay for teachers who teach a sixth-period class on a regular basis is a violation of the DOE-UFT contract. A principal may offer a sixth class to a teacher only if they get approval from the schools chancellor and pay the shortage rate. The arbitration began as a grievance filed by an Aviation HS teacher with an aviation mechanics license who taught a sixth-period class every day and received coverage pay. The DOE argued that since the aviation mechanics license is not on its list of shortage areas, the principal had the discretion to offer a sixth class to aviation mechanics teachers at the coverage rate. The arbitrator sustained the grievance, stating that the DOE-UFT contract is clear that the coverage rate is for covering a class on a day when the regular teacher of the class is not available and a substitute teacher could not be hired. The shortage rate is the only rate available in the contract for teaching a sixth class, regardless of whether the class is in a shortage area or not.


INSTRUCTION

Pedagogical support for overwhelmed tenured teachers

Are you a tenured teacher overwhelmed by classroom issues? The Peer Intervention Program is a collaboration between the UFT and the DOE to provide pedagogical and professional support to tenured teachers who want assistance. PIP is a voluntary program that offers confidential one-on-one support from experienced, specially selected educators who will create an individualized professional development plan with you. Over the years, the program has successfully helped thousands of struggling teachers. Teachers can find more information, including an online request for assistance, on the Peer Intervention Program section of the UFT website.


MEDICAL & WELLNESS

Get your flu shot at the Oct. 12 Delegate Assembly

The UFT is bringing back free flu shots at the Oct. 12 Delegate Assembly. The shots will be available from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on the 2nd floor of 50 Broadway, rooms B & C. All in-service, DOE-employed members who have a New York City public employee health plan are eligible.


SALARY & PERSONNEL

Fall workshops on paid parental leave

UFT members preparing to welcome a new child into their lives are invited to attend a virtual Pathways to Parenthood workshop to learn about their parental leave benefits. These UFT workshops are for any DOE-employed member who is about to give birth or adopt a child. Upcoming workshops are scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 29 and every Thursday in October. More will be scheduled in November and December. All workshops are online from 4 to 6 p.m. For more information about these benefits, see the paid parental leave section of the UFT website.

Pension series to begin in October

The UFT Pension Department offers virtual workshops throughout the school year to help members understand their pension benefits. While members may register for individual workshops, the Pension Department encourages members to attend the series. Upcoming workshops include Annual Benefits Statements and Death Benefits on Thursday, Oct. 13; Tier 4 Milestones, Final Average Salary Calculations and CAR Days on Wednesday, Oct. 19; Tier 6 Milestones, Final Average Salary Calculations and CAR days on Wednesday, Oct. 26; Retirement Options, TDAs, SHIP, COPE and RTC Membership on Thursday, Nov. 3; and Health Benefits for Pre-Medicare Retirees on Wednesday, Nov. 9. All workshops take place from 4:15 to 5:30 p.m.


EVERYTHING ELSE

Register middle school students for UFT’s anti-bullying conference

Tell your middle school colleagues that it’s time for the UFT Middle School Division’s anti-bullying conference. This year, on Tuesday, Oct. 25, a terrific group of presenters will give students plenty of information about how they can fight bullying in their schools and turn their communities into safer learning environments for everyone. Here’s the conference registration form for your members. Space is limited so each school is asked to bring a maximum of 12 students to the conference. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Lunch, snacks and giveaways will be provided. Download this flier and post it on your UFT bulletin board.

United Nations’ education summit on World Teachers' Day

Educators are invited to attend an education summit on Friday, Oct. 7, organized by the United Nations in recognition of World Teachers’ Day. The summit, which will be held at UFT headquarters, will educate teachers on the U.N. Transforming Education Summit outcome and provide education and training on the summit’s theme of “Igniting Teachers: Imperative for Transforming Education.” Check the UFT events calendar for the registration form next week.

Teacher Union Day on Nov. 6 back at the New York Hilton

Mark Sunday, Nov. 6, on your calendar! Teacher Union Day is back fully in person at the New York Hilton. The event gives us an opportunity to celebrate the recent accomplishments of UFT members while remembering the brave educators who went on strike in 1960, a job action that led to the formation of the UFT. Each year, we honor UFT members with awards, including Trachtenberg Awards for outstanding chapter leaders. Registration will open soon.

Radio ad: UFT pledges to keep fighting for school funding

The UFT ran a radio ad earlier this month that welcomed students and staff back to school and pledged to keep fighting for more funds for our schools. The spot, “See You in September,” called on New York City educators, parents and community members to remain vocal about restoring money to the city budget. The 60-second ad aired on local radio stations as well as digital streaming outlets. The radio ad ran for 10 days through Sept. 18.

Listen to the radio ad


Contact the UFT

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