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Chapter Leader UpdateChapter Leader Update for Jun 14, 2019

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A LANDMARK YEAR: UFT members celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising at the Brooklyn Pride Parade in Park Slope on June 8.

This Week's Focus

Teacher’s Choice gains a regular line in new city budget

Teacher’s Choice, since it was initiated more than 25 years ago by the UFT, has been funded as a special allocation of the City Council. In a major milestone for the program, Council Finance Chair Daniel Dromm said on June 14 that Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Council have agreed to include $20 million for Teacher’s Choice as part of the annual city budget. The decision was announced during a budget press conference Friday afternoon at City Hall. The UFT has long argued that Teacher’s Choice should be a part of the city budget, rather than a special allocation, because our members depend on those funds to buy supplies to enhance learning.

UFT founder Abe Levine has passed away

Abe Levine, the first vice president for elementary schools and a steadfast presence at the UFT until his final months, died at age 89 on June 13. Levine joined the Teachers Guild — the UFT’s predecessor organization — in 1953. In the mid-1950s, he spearheaded the campaign to win the right to a duty-free lunch for teachers. When the UFT was born in 1960, Levine was elected its first vice president for elementary schools, a post he held for 33 years until his retirement in June 1993. He served on the UFT Executive Board for nearly 59 years, including his time with the Teachers Guild, until he stepped down in 2013. He missed only one meeting in all those years. Since his retirement, Levine continued to be an ardent trade unionist and regular participant at UFT events. He never missed an opportunity to work a phone bank or attend a rally. Levine also made a practice of visiting the sick, bringing them cheer and letting them know that their fellow union members had not forgotten them. Funeral services will be held at noon on Tuesday, June 18, at Plaza Jewish Community Chapel at 630 Amsterdam Ave. (at West 91st Street).

Sign up to march in the Labor Day Parade on Sept. 7 

As anti-worker forces seek to exploit last June’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Janus case, it is more important than ever for us to stand together and show our union pride. UFT members are encouraged to march with their union in the Labor Day Parade on Saturday, Sept. 7. The parade kicks off at 10 a.m. at West 44th Street and 5th Avenue, in Manhattan. Closer to the date, we’ll have information on the gathering place for the UFT contingent. The UFT will once again host a post-parade event (details to come) for UFT members and their families. Let us know that you plan to march in the parade by signing up now on our online registration form. For more information, see the Labor Day parade flier.

Bill to protect patients against outrageous hospital charges heads to state Senate

The Patient Protection Coalition, a group of consumer, labor, health and business groups, including the UFT, launched a television ad campaign on June 8 demanding Albany pass legislation (S.3171-A/ A.264-B) to protect patients from exorbitant hospital bills for “out-of-network” emergency care. The coalition’s TV ad highlights the average out-of-network charges that area hospitals can impose: an eye-popping $220,000 for a broken leg or $150,000 for a heart attack. Patients bear these costs, whether in higher insurance rates, diminished health benefits or direct out-of-pocket expenses. The bill passed the state Assembly, but now we must convince the state Senate to support it. Read the press release and the New York Teacher news story about this important issue.

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Your Chapter Leader Checklist

  • New Sept. 5 is a full day for kindergarten: CORRECTION — Thursday, Sept. 5, is a full instructional day, not a partial day, for kindergarten students this year as indicated in a previous version of the 2019-20 school calendar. You can view the updated 2019-20 school calendar on the UFT website.
  • Summer grievance procedures: After the last day of school, the online grievance process is suspended; all grievances must be filed at your UFT borough office. Grievances relating to the regular school year can only be filed once school resumes. Chapter leaders may file Step 1 grievances online again starting the first day of school. If you have any questions, please contact your borough office. For UFT borough office contact information, see the UFT Borough Offices webpage. For UFT borough office summer hours, see the item in Salary and Personnel.
  • UFT certificates for graduates: The UFT’s officers and the chairpersons of the Professional Committees have a long tradition of supporting and rewarding our schools’ graduates by awarding certificates for excellence in academic achievement. Certificates may be presented to the most deserving students in each subject area. Download the certificates of excellence in academic achievement from the chapter leader section of the UFT website (you must be logged in to gain access). For more information, you can contact the Office of UFT Professional Committees at 212-598-7772.

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Share with Your Members

Classroom Café Podcast Series for New Members flier

Labor Day parade flier

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You Should Know

English Language Learners

New Accommodations for Regents exams: English language learners and multilingual learners may complete the Regents the day after the exam if they have been granted extended time and are scheduled to take two Regents the same day. This accommodation is referred to as “next-day completion.” For more information, see the memo from the New York State Education Department.

Functional Chapters

New School secretaries to be honored at Saturday’s luncheon: We’re looking forward to seeing our school secretaries on Saturday, June 15, at the 33rd annual School Secretaries Awards Luncheon from noon to 4 p.m. at UFT headquarters. The union is celebrating the indispensable work that secretaries do every day to keep schools running smoothly and make sure that students, parents and school staff are well-informed. The day’s top honorees will be Rita Segarra of PS 66 in the Bronx, who will receive the Goldie Colodny Award, and Patricia O’Reilly of William E. Grady Career and Technical Education HS in Brooklyn, who will receive the Annette Carlucci Celebration of Life Award. Secretary of the Year Awards will also be given to six school secretaries representing each borough and District 79. The guest speaker will be City Council Member Donovan Richards, Jr. Register online. For more information and the names of all the honorees, see the School Secretaries Awards Luncheon flier.

New Members

New First-year teachers will receive end-of-year survey: This week, the DOE will launch its annual end-of-year New Teacher Survey. First-year teachers will receive the survey at their DOE email address. Principals should provide these teachers with the time and technology to complete this survey. The feedback will provide valuable insight into first-year teaching experiences and inform new teacher supports citywide. Participation is optional, and the results are confidential. The deadline is Friday, June 21.

Opportunities

New Social justice theater camp in late June: High and middle school students are invited to attend a free Speak Truth to Power theater camp sponsored by the UFT and Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights on Thursday, June 27, and Friday, June 28, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway. The program merges human rights education with social justice theater to address the realities of oppression and create tools for liberation. The program will culminate with a performance of a play developed by students. Speak Truth to Power is a human rights education program created by the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization. Breakfast and lunch will be served each day. Students must register online and submit a signed release form from their parent or legal guardian if they would like to attend. If you have any questions, please contact Jenny Girardi, at Girardi@rfkhumanrights.org. For more information, see the Speak Truth to Power Summer Theatre Intensive flier.

The CUNY Creative Arts Team’s expo for careers in music: Middle and high school educators may bring students to Sound Thinking, an exposition that will show participants how to turn a passion for music into a possible college and career path, especially in music production. This expo will spotlight New York City’s vibrant music scene, music/arts organizations and educational institutions. It takes place on Wednesday, June 19, from 2 to 6 p.m., at the Viacom Building, 1515 Broadway, between West 44th and West 45th streets. For more information and to register online, see the Sound Thinking website.

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.

Political Action

Take Action Help with phone-banking for Melinda Katz: Please join fellow UFT members at a union phone bank to help elect Melinda 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 late 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 run Monday through Thursday through Monday, June 24, will take place from 3:30 to 8 p.m. 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 for Farah Louis: Thanks to the volunteer efforts of many UFT members, Farah Louis won the special election to represent City Council District 45 last month. But now she has to compete in the June 25 Democratic Primary as we head into the general election this fall. Please join fellow UFT members as we phone bank for Farah Louis from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. on select weekdays throughout June at the UFT’s Brooklyn borough office, 335 Adams St., 24th floor, room 1. Use this online form to volunteer. For more information about volunteering to elect Farah Louis, please reach out to the UFT’s Brooklyn borough office at 718-852-4900.

Recognition

Shoutout to Staten Island Chapter Leader Lillian Palladino: We’re giving a shoutout to Susan E. Wagner HS Chapter Leader Lillian Palladino for using the DOE-UFT contract to resolve a paperwork issue quickly. When her principal instructed staff to upload documents, including agendas, minutes and logs, onto Google Drive and to write and upload the minutes of the common planning group’s sessions and samples of learning targets on a daily basis, Palladino promptly filed a complaint that the new work requirements were in violation of the paperwork reduction standards in the DOE-UFT contract. Read more about Lillian Palladino’s achievements as a chapter leader on the UFT website.

Rights and Grievances

APPR complaint procedures: You may not file APPR complaints during the summer. You may file them once school resumes in September. If you have any questions, please contact your UFT borough office. For UFT borough office summer hours, see the item in This Week’s Focus.

ICT and ENL teachers can grieve excessive class preps and room assignments: Co-teachers in integrated co-teaching classes and English as a new language teachers who provide stand-alone and/or integrated instruction have the right to file reorganization grievances if they are programmed for an unreasonable number of class preparations or to teach in multiple rooms. Reorganization grievances must be filed within two days of receiving the program through the chapter leader. When filing the grievance, the teacher should indicate the contract article that was violated and provide a description of how it was violated. Relevant articles in the U contract are 7A (high schools) and 7B (intermediate and junior high schools). Reorganization grievances are eligible for expedited arbitration at the end of June through the first week of October. Read more guidance on the UFT website.

Salary and Personnel

New Maintain EFT accounts in the summer: Members who participate in the EFT direct deposit program should not close accounts scheduled to receive June, July or August checks. If a check is returned because an account has been closed, a supplemental paper check will be issued only after the paycheck is returned to the DOE from the bank. If a check is lost, stolen or mutilated, a stop payment must be placed on the check. The DOE will then mail an affidavit that must be returned before a replacement check is issued. This can take up to six weeks. To request an affidavit, pedagogues may call 718-935-2217 and paraprofessionals may call HR Connect at 718-935-4000 or their DOE borough field office. Please be advised that in either case, the DFOE will not issue emergency checks.

UFT borough offices open for business this summer: The UFT is open for business throughout the summer on a modified schedule. UFT borough offices will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 27, and Friday, June 28. UFT headquarters and borough offices will then be open Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. from Monday, July 1, through Thursday, Aug. 9, except for Thursday, July 4, when they will be closed for Independence Day. Borough offices will be closed from Monday, Aug. 12 through Friday, Aug. 23 and will reopen the week of Aug. 26 on the summer schedule. UFT headquarters will remain open throughout August. Regular hours resume on Tuesday, Sept. 3, following the Labor Day holiday on Monday, Sept. 2. On Fridays throughout the summer, the UFT central switchboard will operate from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and a small crew will be on hand at 52 Broadway to manage union business. Security procedures require all members to check in at the reception desk at each office and show a photo ID and their UFT membership card.

Peer Intervention Program offers professional support: Celebrating its 31st year, the Peer Intervention Program helps tenured teachers. If you are concerned about a teacher in your school who seems overwhelmed with classroom issues, tell them about the Peer Intervention Program, a voluntary, confidential program that provides assistance. PIP has successfully helped thousands of teachers and is a proactive step toward professional growth for teachers struggling with their craft. More information, including an online request for assistance, is on the Peer Intervention Program page of the UFT website.

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This Week in Education and Labor News

New Jersey teachers settle after one-day strike: The Franklin Lakes school district in Bergen County, New Jersey, reached a contract agreement with the union after a one-day teachers’ strike on June 10, reports NBC Channel 4 News. The district’s 276 teachers had been working without a contract for two years. Health care costs were a sticking point for union members. Medical insurance contributions have outpaced any salary increases the union would have received. Details of the tentative settlement were not released.

California teachers end their strike: California’s New Haven Unified School District’s more than 500 teachers on June 10 returned to class after voting to end a three-week strike, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. The vote was approved by 60 percent of the union’s 502 voting members. Teachers scaled back their wage demands over the course of the long strike. They will receive a 3 percent pay increase effective Jan. 1, 2019; a one-time pay increase of 2.5 percent for the 2018-19 school year; and a 1 percent pay increase effective July 1, 2019.

Massachusetts voters support higher taxes to help low-performing schools: A recent poll finds the majority of Massachusetts voters are willing to pay more in taxes to funnel more money toward low-income or low-performing school districts, reports the Boston Globe.  While the state’s schools are ranked among the best in the nation, they struggle to close wide gaps in achievement. Over half of respondents say they are willing to shift funding from their own communities to low-income communities. The poll also finds voters blame politicians — not educators — for failing schools.

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Events Calendar

Featured

Saturday, June 15: School secretaries may attend the 33rd annual School Secretaries Awards Luncheon from noon to 4 p.m. at UFT headquarters. For more information, including registration, see the item in Share with Your Members.

This Week

Saturday, June 15: Educators and parents are invited to the Association of Black Educators of New York’s 44th annual Scholarship and Awards Luncheon from noon to 5 p.m. at Antun's, 96-43 Springfield Blvd., Queens Village. For more information, please contact Dr. Sheilah Bobo at sbobo@gmail.com or 917-412-9099.

Wednesday, June 19: The Lab Specialists Chapter monthly meeting will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 50 Broadway.

Wednesday, June 19: The Administrative Education Officers/Analysts Chapter and the Education Officers/Analysts Chapter will hold a joint end-of-the-school-year mix-and-mingle at 5:30 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 50 Broadway, 2nd floor.

Wednesday, June 19: The School Nurses Chapter monthly meeting will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, 3rd floor, room 3 North.

Wednesday, June 19: The School Secretaries Chapter Executive Board’s monthly meeting takes place from 4 to 6 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, 19th floor.

Wednesday, June 19: The student debt program information session runs from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the UFT Queens borough office, 97-77 Queens Blvd. For more information and to register online, see the item in Opportunities.

Thursday, June 20: The Paraprofessional Chapter Representatives monthly meeting will take place from 4:15 to 6 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway.

Save the Date

Saturday, Sept. 7: All members are invited to march in the 2019 Labor Day Parade with the UFT contingent. For more information, see the item in This Week’s Focus.

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 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 uft.org/calendar.

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In Case You Missed It

Podcast: On the Record with Michael Mulgrew – Episode 13 "UFT Spring Education Conference"

Photo Gallery: Puerto Rican Day Parade

Photo Gallery: Brooklyn Pride Parade

Photo Gallery: Meet the President for Districts 3, 4, 5 and 6

Photo Gallery: First Book at PS 160 in Jamaica, Queens

Photo Gallery: Retired Teachers Chapter Luncheon

Bronx Parent Newsletter – June 2019

Manhattan Parent Newsletter – June 2019

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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

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Editor: Peter O’Donnell

Executive Editor: Bernadette Weeks

Contributors include: Karen Alford, George Altomare, Amy Arundell, LeRoy Barr, Hannah Brown, Emelina Camacho-Mendez, Carl Cambria, David Campbell, Evelyn DeJesus, Crystal Deoraj, Alison Gendar, MaryJo Ginese, Anthony Harmon, Sarah Herman, Janella Hinds, Lynne Kilroy, Anthony Klug, Katherine Kurjakovic, Joe LoVerde, Samantha Mark, Deidre McFadyen, Michael Murphy, Gabriel Nott, Suzanne Popadin, Cassie Prugh, Nadine Reis, Michael Sill, Anne Silverstein and Liz Truly.