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Chapter Leader UpdateChapter Leader Update for Jun 3, 2019

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SPEECH! SPEECH! Speech teacher Sarah Wiesel is recognized with her PS 161, Brooklyn, students during the Better Speech and Hearing Month Celebration at UFT headquarters on May 30.

This Week's Focus

Submit all your SBOs by Monday, June 10

The UFT is asking chapter leaders to complete the SBO process — including the ratification vote and submission of the SBO certification and ratification form — for all SBOs by Monday, June 10. The DOE deadline for submitting DOE-approved extended-time SBOs that affect student arrivals and dismissals and changes to the 155 minutes in single-session schools is June 10 as well. Since all SBOs sunset every year, with the exception of the 7/8 period day SBOs in elementary schools, you must conduct a new SBO vote for all other SBOs for the 2019–20 school year. Single-session schools can use the SBO process if they want to vary their session time from a standard 6-hour and 20-minute day followed by 80 minutes of professional development on Mondays and a 75-minute block of Parent Engagement and Other Professional Work time on Tuesdays. Multi-session schools, District 75 and District 79 have a 6-hour and 50-minute school day but may also use the SBO process to create time for professional development, parent engagement and Other Professional Work. As chapter leader, you are not required to conduct an SBO that your chapter does not want. SBOs should be conducted only if there is a willingness among your staff to modify the contract. An SBO requires the support of 55 percent of voting members for ratification. Keep your district representative informed at every stage of the SBO process and alert your rep to any problems. Your district representative should review and approve your SBO ballot before your members vote and will provide the link to the online SBO certification and ratification form after approval of the vote. Please use the following resources to assist you with the SBO process: the UFT’s SBO Manual, SBO PowerPoint and sample SBO ballots. For more information on the 2019–20 session time guidance, see the DOE memo on Session Time Reporting for the 2019-20 School Year. Your principal should have received this memo on Tuesday, May 21.

New UFT podcast series provides support to new members

We know new members sometimes experience challenges and stresses in their personal and professional lives and may need the support of a helping hand from time to time. The UFT’s Member Assistance Program (MAP) has created "Classroom Café," a podcast series tailored to the needs of new members. Each podcast focuses on an aspect of well-being: mindfulness and compassion, making classrooms happy places, ways to eat healthier, time management and creating safe, welcoming and inclusive schools. The full series of "Classroom Café" podcasts is available on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play and SoundCloud. For more information, contact MAP at or by telephone at 212-701-9620. For more information, see the Member Assistance Program Podcast Series flier.

Summative end-of-the-year conferences must be held by June 21

Administrators must conduct summative conferences with teachers by Friday, June 21. At this meeting, teachers should bring copies of all observation reports and be prepared to advocate for their strengths. Other useful documents that teachers should consider bringing to this meeting include: a copy of their teacher evaluation option form from their initial planning conference and any feedback, emails, correspondence or other documents they have that are associated with their evaluation. If you have questions about summative conferences, contact your district representative. For more information, see the Advance at a Glance list of key dates and reminders.

Our rights as UFT members

Knowledge is power. Remind your school colleagues that as UFT members they have the right to professional and fair treatment and to working conditions that help make a tough job more doable. The totality of these rights has been negotiated in a give-and-take process with the Department of Education and the City of New York for over half a century. But the contract is no more than words on paper if it is not used. Unless we exercise our rights, unless we demand fairness, oppose arbitrariness and speak out when we believe it is in the best interests of our students, our voice will fade to a whisper. So it’s important for members to be familiar with their rights and use them. The UFT website has a Know Your Rights section where our rights, listed alphabetically, have been spelled out in an easy-to-read style. It is by no means exhaustive and can’t substitute for reading the DOE-UFT contracts. If you have a question or need help, do not hesitate to turn to your UFT district representative or call your UFT borough office, where there are experts on different topics to advise you.

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Your Chapter Leader Checklist

  • NewThe Update is online: The Chapter Leader Update is posted on the UFT website every week in the Chapter Leader section and remains online in an archive for your reference. You’ll need to log in and click on “Chapter Leaders” on the home page to view the Update.
  • Educate members about the need to rein in out-of-network hospital fees: The UFT is part of a coalition of labor, consumer, health and business organizations working to contain excessive “out-of-network” emergency hospital charges. When insurers pay more for exorbitant out-of-network costs, patients can end up paying more in the form of higher rates the following year. When government employers must absorb this expense (which is the case for members of the UFT and other New York City public employee unions), higher health care costs can mean less money for raises in the next contract round. That’s why the UFT is urging state lawmakers to pass bill A.264-A in the legislative session that ends in late June. The bill would extend the independent — and successful — arbitration process that has curbed “out-of-network” emergency room doctors’ bills in New York since 2014 and apply the same process to comparable sky-high emergency charges by hospitals for out-of-network services. We need to end this price gouging by hospitals. Read UFT President Michael Mulgrew’s op ed “Stop sky’s-the-limit hospital bills” in Crain’s New York Business and spend five minutes of your next chapter meeting talking about this bill with your members.
  • Guidance for June 11 clerical day: If you work in an elementary, middle or District 75 school, please assure your school secretaries and other members that the clerical day scheduled for Tuesday, June 11, remains a day for clerical work. This year, there is prekindergarten and no pre-K professional learning scheduled on the clerical day. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your district representative.
  • Consult with your principal on your school’s budget: Now that school budgets have been released to principals by the DOE, you should seek an immediate consultation with your principal to review your school's budget. Remember that Article 8C of the DOE-UFT contract gives the chapter leader, along with the UFT consultation committee, the right to review as well as provide input into the school’s spending decisions. Chancellor’s Regulation A-655 also grants School Leadership Teams the ability to ensure that the school budget is aligned to the school’s Comprehensive Educational Plan. The union has a Guide for School Budget Consultation to explain how the budget consultation process works and to provide you and your chapter with tools to understand the various components comprising the school budget.
  • UPDATED — Use caution when considering special education SBOs: Given the Department of Education’s continuing difficulty in meeting students’ IEP needs and ongoing special education teacher shortages, chapter leaders should exercise caution when considering out-of-classroom special education positions. The SBO process should not be used to create or to continue out-of-classroom special education positions if your school has special education teacher/provider vacancies for SETSS, ICT or special (self-contained) classes; student IEPs are not fully served; or the creation of the position would result in oversize classes or teacher caseloads. If any of these conditions are present, the UFT will not approve the SBO. Out-of-classroom positions cannot take precedence over the provision of instructional services necessary to meet students’ IEP needs and mandates. With this information in mind, if a UFT chapter is considering creating a locally funded out-of-classroom IEP teacher position, subject to the SBO process, the UFT will only approve positions that replicate the centrally funded IEP/Intervention Teacher posting and where the DOE has committed funding for the teacher to receive the required training. Other out-of-classroom special education positions will be reviewed and approved on a case-by-case basis. To avoid confusion, such positions should not use “IEP” in the title. These other positions may be used to help with compliance with special education regulations, lead professional learning and/or participate in special education liaison meetings and activities. Keep in mind that teachers and related service providers should not be writing IEPs for students they do not personally serve unless the IEPs are for students newly referred or new to the building. Make sure that the creation of these other types of special education positions is discussed with your district representative and the SBO ballot is approved prior to holding a vote. For more information about the SBO process, see the SBO page of the UFT website. If you have any questions, please contact MaryJo Ginese, the UFT vice president for special education, at or 212-598-7706.

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Share with Your Members

Classroom Café Podcast Series for New Members flier

School Secretaries of the Year Awards Luncheon flier

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You Should Know

English Language Learners

NewCertification opportunity for ENL and bilingual educators: ENL and bilingual teachers may attend an information session on National Board certification, the most respected professional certification available in K–12 education. This information session, presented by the UFT Teacher Center, takes place from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday, June 14, at Fordham University, Lincoln Center Campus, MacMahon Hall Lounge, room 109, 113 W. 60th St. (between Amsterdam and Columbus avenues). Participants will learn about the certification’s requirements; participate in professional development; and learn about the supports and resources available for candidates as well as the necessary qualifications for a second salary differential. Register online. For more information, please contact Gail Sookdeo at

Health and Safety

NewProtect yourself during mosquito season: Mosquitoes are active in the metropolitan region from April through October. During this time, mosquitoes lay eggs in slow-moving or standing water. Fight West Nile virus, Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases by removing standing water around your home to discourage mosquito breeding. For tips on keeping mosquitos away from your home, see the Standing Water Checklist. For more information, see the Mosquito Control FAQ, Mosquito Control Brochure, Mosquito Bite Prevention Guidance and Insect Repellent Use and Safety Fact Sheet.

Guidelines for the use of EpiPens: The DOE has a comprehensive plan to identify and treat students who have food or other allergy emergencies. All school nurses must have training on the use of an EpiPen to administer epinephrine to any student having an anaphylactic reaction. In a school where a student has a medical order on file for the use of an EpiPen, the principal is responsible for ensuring at least two non-nursing school staff members are trained to use it. A student may also carry an EpiPen if they have been determined able to self-administer medication. For more information, see the Chancellor’s Regulation regarding use of EpiPens. For details on EpiPen safety and to report an injury, see the OSHA FAQ, the DOE pamphlet and the DOE injury report.

Air conditioning guidelines and complaints: During the 2019 official air-conditioning season from Wednesday, May 29, to Tuesday, Sept. 24, school room temperatures should be no lower than 78 degrees. There is no regulation mandating an upper temperature limit, only comfort guidelines. The UFT will address temperature complaints on a case-by-case basis with the DOE Division of School Facilities. Members who want to file a complaint should keep a log of the room temperature and also provide specific information including: Are the rooms in question interior rooms whose only source of air is provided by a mechanical ventilation system? If so, is the mechanical ventilation system working? Are the rooms overcrowded? Are the rooms occupied by special needs students? What are the room temperatures? For more information, read the City of New York Cooling Season Guidelines 2019 and the UFT Guidance for Schools without Air Conditioning 2019.


NewCareer and technical education exposition: All middle school counselors, teachers and parents are invited to the annual CTE Expo, presented by the UFT and the DOE, on Saturday, June 8, at the Alfred E. Smith CTE HS, 333 E. 151 St., Bronx. Participants will learn about CTE programs in New York City public schools; connect with experts and leaders in CTE high schools; and network with industry leaders and other key stakeholders in your community. CTLE credit is available. Register online. For more information, see the CTE Expo 2019 agenda and CTE Expo 2019 flier.  

NewNYC Men Teach Mentor application: The NYC Men Teach program encourages men of color to become teachers and supports them as they develop their craft. The program is now accepting applications from teachers to serve as mentors in NYC schools for the 2019-20 school year. To apply, see the mentor application. For more information, see the NYC Men Teach website. All UFT members are encouraged to spread the word to prospective educators about the NYC Men Teach program.

Student Debt Relief Program information: The Student Debt Relief Program, an exclusive UFT member benefit, has helped many members to lower their student debt. As an educator working in public service, you may be eligible to participate in the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness and federal Title I Loan Forgiveness programs. Navigating your options and applying for the right programs is complicated but we can help. The first step is to attend one of our upcoming free information sessions, where you’ll receive an overview of the range of debt forgiveness programs. After attending a session, you may make an appointment to speak by phone with a loan specialist to discuss your individual needs and create an action plan. To see the upcoming dates and register for a session, use the online form.

PRIDE parades in Queens on June 2 and Brooklyn on June 8: UFT members are invited to march with their union in the Queens Pride Parade on Sunday, June 2, and the Brooklyn Pride Parade at twilight on Saturday, June 8. In Queens, on June 2, a UFT liaison will greet people at the corner of 90th Street and 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights and direct you to the UFT delegation. Please arrive by 11 a.m. The Queens parade kicks off at noon. In Brooklyn, on June 8, a UFT liaison will greet participants at the corner of Sterling Place and 5th Avenue in Park Slope and direct you to the UFT delegation. Please arrive by 6 p.m. The parade kicks off at 7 p.m. Use this UFT online form to sign up for one or both parades.

Political Action

Take Action Help with phone-banking in Queens for Melinda Katz: Please join fellow UFT members at a union phone bank to help elect Melina Katz as the Queens district attorney in the Democratic Primary on Tuesday, June 25. Katz is in a heated seven-way race to replace the longtime district attorney, Richard A. Brown, who died on May 4 from complications of Parkinson’s disease. Read the UFT resolution in support of endorsing Melinda Katz on the UFT website. The phone banks, which will run from 3:30 to 8 p.m. after school starting June 3, will take place at the UFT’s Queens borough office, 97-77 Queens Blvd., 4th floor. Use this online form to sign up to volunteer.

Take Action Help with phone-banking in Brooklyn for Farah Louis: Thanks to the volunteer efforts of many UFT members, Farah Louis won the election to represent Council District 45 in a special election on May 14. But now she has to compete again in the June 25 Democratic Primary. Please join fellow UFT members for one of our union phone banks, which will be open from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. starting June 3 at the UFT’s Brooklyn borough office, 335 Adams St., 24th floor, room 1. Use this online form to sign up to volunteer. For more information about volunteer activities to elect Farah Louis, please reach out to the the UFT’s Brooklyn borough office at 718-852-4900.

Professional Learning Opportunities

NewChancellor’s Day health and safety training for lab specialists and secretaries: The UFT Safety and Health Department is presenting professional development workshops for laboratory specialists and school secretaries on Chancellor’s Day, Thursday, June 6. School secretaries are invited to a full-day workshop on safety and health topics relevant to the work they perform in their schools, including SOLAS, Workers’ Compensation and NYSUT member benefits. This training, presented by the UFT Safety and Health Department in collaboration with the DOE, will take place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway. For more information, see the day’s agenda. Register online. Here is the UFT letter requesting that school secretaries be released so they may attend the workshop. Laboratory specialists are required to attend training on how to ensure a safe and secure working environment. This training is mandated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The all-day workshop will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, 19th floor, rooms D/E. There is no registration process to attend, but laboratory specialists can download the workshop invitation and read the DOE release memo. For more information, see the Laboratory Specialists Chancellor’s Day Workshop Agenda.

Salary and Personnel

NewSummer pay and paid parental leave: If you are a UFT-represented DOE employee and were on paid parental leave during the school year, the check you received from the UFT Welfare Fund for the parental leave period included your regular compensation AND ALSO your pro-rated summer pay. As a result, you will see a reduction in your DOE vacation pay for the summer, which is calculated based on the number of weeks that you were on DOE payroll. Please refer to the letter you received with your Paid Parental Leave check from the UFT Welfare Fund for more details.

Take Action Ask members denied student loan forgiveness to fill out the AFT survey: If you’re a UFT member who participated in the Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program for more than 10 years and were denied loan forgiveness, the AFT wants to hear from you. The AFT will use the survey results to inform its actions to help people struggling with student loan debt. Specifically, the AFT is looking for members whose applications for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program have been denied. Such members must meet the following criteria: made 120 payments on federal student loans; worked in a public or private school, for the government, or for a nonprofit organization for at least 10 years; and applied for and were denied public service loan forgiveness. If you fit this description, please participate in the AFT’s quick survey. The AFT may then reach out to you to learn more about your experience. Any information you share is strictly confidential unless you give your express permission.

Special Education

Update on 2019-20 IEP/Intervention Teacher job postings: According to the May 14, 2019, issue of the Principals’ Weekly, schools that received a centrally funded IEP/Intervention Teacher position for this school year should only post the position for the 2019-20 school year if they have or anticipate having a vacancy for the upcoming school year. As reflected in the current posting, the IEP/Intervention Teacher position is a four-year position only for teachers who started in the 2016-17 school year. Newly hired IEP/Intervention Teachers will continue to be on a three-year cycle. The allocation of IEP/Intervention Teacher positions will be reassessed next year to ensure that the DOE is accounting for enrollment trends, school openings and closings, and other factors. If you have any question about your school’s eligibility for an IEP/Intervention Teacher position, see the DOE’s Fiscal Year 2018 School Allocation Memo.

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This Week in Education and Labor News

East Bay teachers’ strike continues: The New Haven, California, teachers strike entered its ninth day on May 31, surpassing strikes earlier this year in Los Angeles and Oakland, reports the East Bay Times. The New Haven Teachers Association, the union representing nearly 600 teachers, nurses and counselors, is asking for a 3.7 percent cost-of-living increase in the 2018-19 school year, followed by a 3.26 percent increase for the coming year. The district has offered a 3 percent one-time bonus for the current school year, and a 2 percent salary increase for the coming school year to go into effect halfway through the year.

The ‘millennialization’ of U.S. labor: Millennials’ positive attitude toward unions is driving much of the new wave of organizing, reports The American Prospect. The disproportionately young workers in hitherto largely unorganized industries — digital media journalists, graduate student workers, and nonprofit employees — have been successfully winning union representation. According to Gallup, support for labor unions is at a 15-year high, with 65 percent of workers under 35 approving of labor unions. In 2017, 76 percent of new union members — almost 200,000 workers — were under 35 years old.

Philadelphia schools to undergo massive data study: The Philadelphia School District is launching a comprehensive four-year examination of its current school programs and buildings, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. The study aims to identify demographic trends, school building capacity and grade configurations, which could eventually lead to school closings.

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Events Calendar


Saturday, June 1: The second annual UFT Pride Committee Daniel Dromm Scholarship Brunch takes place at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, 2nd floor, from noon to 3 p.m. The registration fee is $75. For more information and to download the mail-in coupon, see the Daniel Dromm Scholarship Brunch flier.

Sunday, June 2: UFT members are invited to march with their union in the Queens Pride Parade on Sunday, June 2. A UFT liaison will greet people at the corner of 90th Street and 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights and direct you to the UFT delegation. Please arrive by 11 a.m. The Queens parade kicks off at noon. Use this UFT online form to sign up.

Saturday, June 8: UFT members are invited to march with their union in the Brooklyn Pride Parade at twilight on Saturday, June 8. A UFT liaison will greet participants at the corner of Sterling Place and 5th Avenue in Park Slope and direct you to the UFT delegation. Please arrive by 6 p.m. The parade kicks off at 7 p.m. Use this UFT online form to sign up.

Sunday, June 9: UFT members are welcome to join the union’s contingent at the annual Puerto Rican Day Parade along Fifth Avenue in celebration of Puerto Rican heritage. We will assemble at 8:30 a.m. on West 45th Street between 5th and 6th avenues. Singer Ricky Martin will serve as the parade’s Grand Marshal. Composer, musician, producer and educator Bobby Sanabria will serve as the parade’s Padrino. Singer La India will serve as the parade's Madrina. Singer and songwriter José Feliciano will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for Music. For more information, see the Puerto Rican Day Parade flier. To sign up, please use our online form.

This Week

Wednesday, June 5: Queens-based members are invited to a maternity workshop for people in their third trimester from 4 to 6 p.m. at the UFT's Queens borough office, 97-77 Queens Blvd., 5th floor. For more information and to register, see the 2019 Maternity Workshops flier.  

Wednesday, June 5: A Student Debt Relief Program information session takes place from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the UFT's Bronx borough office, 2500 Halsey St. See the Student Debt Relief Program page on the UFT website for more information and to register for all remaining sessions. See the item in Opportunities.

Wednesday, June 5: Brooklyn-based members are invited to a maternity and child care workshop from 4:15 to 5:45 p.m. at the UFT's Brooklyn borough office, 335 Adams St., 25th floor, rooms E/F. Participants will learn their rights concerning maternity/child care, parental and FMLA leaves. Register online. For more information, see the Brooklyn maternity and child care flier.

Wednesday, June 5: The Occupational and Physical Therapists Chapter meeting at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway is canceled. 

Thursday, June 6: The Occupational and Physical Therapists Chapter will hold an end-of-year celebration from 4 to 7 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, 3rd floor, rooms 1, 2 and 3 North. Refreshments will be served.

Thursday, June 6: The Supervisors of Nurses and Therapists Chapter’s end-of-year party will take place from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, 19th floor, room H.

Upcoming LearnUFT workshops

LearnUFT, the UFT’s professional development institute, offers an array of affordable workshops and professional learning opportunities for UFT members. The cost to register, unless otherwise indicated, is $30 for teachers seeking CTLE hours and $15 without CTLE hours. The cost for all paraprofessionals is $15. Participants will earn two CTLE hours for each workshop, unless otherwise specified.

These workshops will take place at UFT borough offices, unless otherwise indicated:

See LearnUFT courses in the Bronx »
See LearnUFT courses in Brooklyn »
See LearnUFT courses in Manhattan »
See LearnUFT courses in Queens »
See Learn UFT courses on Staten Island »

For a full listing of upcoming LearnUFT workshops, see the LearnUFT page on the UFT website.

For more events, go to

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In Case You Missed It

Photo Gallery: Occupational and Physical Therapists Day of Solidarity

Photo Gallery: Spring Education Conference

Resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots of 1969

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Professional Committees

UFT Professional Committees offer a wide range of workshops, presentations and exchanges, enabling all members to take an active part in their professional growth. Unless indicated, meetings are at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, Manhattan. Check in the lobby for exact locations. For further information, contact us at 212-598-7772 or visit us online.

Association of Teachers of Social Studies/Jewish Heritage

Irish Heritage

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Editor: Peter O’Donnell

Executive Editor: Bernadette Weeks

Contributors include: Karen Alford, George Altomare, Amy Arundell, LeRoy Barr, Jackie Bennett, Hannah Brown, Rashad Brown, Emelina Camacho-Mendez, David Campbell, Doreen Berrios-Castillo, Evelyn DeJesus, Crystal Deoraj, Alison Gendar, MaryJo Ginese, Anthony Harmon, Sarah Herman, Janella Hinds, Junior Linton, Jennifer Long, Joe LoVerde, Samantha Mark, Deidre McFadyen, Michael Murphy, Gabriel Nott, Suzanne Popadin, Debra Poulos, Jeff Povalitis, Cassie Prugh, Nadine Reis, Chris Santoro, Michael Sill, Anne Silverstein and Liz Truly.