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Chapter Leader UpdateChapter Leader Update for Jun 24, 2019

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WELCOME TO THE UNION: The UFT family grew on June 17 by more than 800 new teachers, including Concepcion Avila (left) and Bianca Viter, as the DOE welcomed its newest cohort of Teaching Fellows at an event at City Tech in Brooklyn.

In this final issue of the school year for the Chapter Leader Update, I want to offer a heartfelt thank you for your steadfast efforts on behalf of the union. Because of you, we have won important fights such as the inclusion of Teacher’s Choice as part of the regular city budget. We were also successful this week in passing legislation to protect our members against outrageous hospital charges for out-of-network emergency care. You and your membership teams have mobilized your chapters to commit to their union as we continue to fight the forces that would exploit the Janus decision and erode our rights and benefits. Your leadership in the schools keeps us moving forward, and I am so proud to be the president of a union with such dedicated leaders in the field. I wish you a well-earned summer break.

— Michael Mulgrew, UFT president

This Week's Focus

City budget pays dividends for UFT education programs

The City Council on June 19 passed a final budget for the coming fiscal year that includes major support for initiatives spearheaded by the UFT. The UFT Teacher Center, which has relied on state funding in the past, will receive funding from the city for the first time. The city budget allots $3.5 million for this respected professional development program. The UFT’s United Community Schools, which is now serving 20,000 students in 31 mostly high-needs schools, will receive $3 million in city funding — up from $2.25 million the previous year. The program transforms schools into community hubs by identifying the strengths and assets that already exist in a school community and bringing them into the school building. The Positive Learning Collaborative, a program designed to replace punitive, after-the-fact discipline with proactive, problem-solving practices, is getting $1.5 million in city funds, up from slightly more than $1 million last year. The city budget allocates $30 million to hire 285 additional social workers. In a major victory, Teacher’s Choice gained a regular budget line of $20 million for the first time. “A dollar put into UFT programs goes directly to students, teachers and classrooms,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew. “It makes a difference where it counts.” Read the full story on the UFT website.

Albany passes patient protection legislation

In another major victory for the UFT, union-supported legislation curbing exorbitant hospital fees charged to out-of-network patients for emergency care has passed both houses of the state Legislature. The bill now needs Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s signature to become law. The UFT came together this spring with a group of labor, consumer, health and business organizations to form the Patient Protection Coalition to advance the legislation and combat hospital price gouging. The legislation subjects emergency room charges by out-of-network hospitals to the same independent arbitration process that has curtailed out-of-network emergency room doctor’s bills in New York since 2014. “The coalition we are a part of said enough is enough — it’s time to level the playing field in health care for the benefit of patients and consumers and that is what this bill does,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew. “As we continue to confront our very difficult challenge of controlling our health care costs, this is a very important piece for us.” Read the full story on the UFT website.

Central dean posting issued for dean positions in schools

Under the new DOE-UFT contract, every school can now, at the principal’s discretion, have at least one dean to maintain order and keep our schools safe. The DOE-UFT contract allows the establishment of one dean for up to 500 students, two deans for 500 to 1,000 students, and three deans for enrollment over 1,000 (using the prior Oct. 31register) in elementary, middle and high schools without an SBO vote. These positions must be filled using the central dean posting, which has just been issued. Schools still have the ability to create additional dean positions through the SBO process. Because this school year is coming to an end, the UFT and the DOE have agreed to an expedited posting time of five school days for central dean positions for the coming school year. Teachers currently serving in middle and high school dean positions that were created without using the SBO process may remain in those positions for the duration of their term (one to six years). Non-SBO dean positions expiring in 2019 that still need to be filled should use the central dean posting, which can be customized to meet your school’s needs.  If a selection has already been made, the candidate must be made aware that they will be working under the duties and responsibilities set forth in this new posting. For more detailed guidance, you can read our central dean posting fact sheet and our central dean posting FAQ.

Albany holds the line on charter schools

State lawmakers, who concluded this year’s legislative session in the early morning hours today, stood firm in the face of charter advocates’ appeals to raise the charter cap. UFT President Michael Mulgrew warned lawmakers that the New York City school system may be reaching a tipping point if Albany did not check the growth of charter schools. Traditional public schools are already losing almost $2.1 billion a year in city funding because of charter schools. The legal cap for New York City was reached this year, meaning no more charter schools may be authorized. More than a thousand UFT members joined the “Keep the Cap” campaign and helped to get the word out about the perils of charter school saturation in Harlem and central Brooklyn. Charter schools now enroll roughly half the students in District 5 in Harlem and District 16 in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn and more than a third of all students in District 4 in East Harlem, District 7 in the South Bronx and District 23 in Brownsville, Brooklyn.

Watch this video about the 50th anniversary of the Paraprofessionals Chapter

June 25, 2019, marks the 50th anniversary of the date that the UFT Paraprofessionals Chapter signed its first collective bargaining agreement. In recognition of that milestone, the UFT has created a video featuring founding paraprofessionals who recount their chapter’s history and talk about the immense progress that paraprofessionals have made as a result of belonging to the UFT. “The day that Albert Shanker signed on the dotted line, our lives changed,” said Paraprofessionals Chapter Leader Shelvy Young-Abrams. Watch the video. Before unionizing in the late 1960s, public school paraprofessionals in New York City made $1.25 an hour. They had no job security and, when schools closed early, they didn’t get paid at all. Today, paras have job security, solid health benefits and access to a Career Training Program that helps pay for their college education and provides release time, and, thanks to the new DOE-UFT contract, they have due process rights similar to those of teachers.

File reorganization grievances by next Wednesday

If your members wish to grieve their programs or assignments, they must act quickly. Within two school days of knowledge of his or her new program, a member must ask chapter leaders to submit a Step 1 grievance using the online grievance procedure by Wednesday, June 26, at the latest. Be sure to also print out a copy of this grievance and submit it, or have your member submit it, to the principal. The principal has two school days from the date he or she was notified to meet with the member and render a decision. If the grievance is unresolved, an appeal to the superintendent must be filed within two school days of the grievance conference, so contact your district representative immediately. The superintendent then has three school days to schedule and meet and four school days to write a decision. Please note: During the summer, the online grievance process is suspended as are the contractual timelines for filing, scheduling and hearing grievances. After June 26, reorganization grievances can be filed only when school resumes.

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Your Chapter Leader Checklist

  • New Use a Union Proud frame on your Facebook profile picture: We have created two Union Proud profile frames that you can overlay on your profile picture for an interval of your choosing. Please consider using one on your Facebook profile image to show that you are proud to be sticking with your union. You can access the frame selection on the Change Your Profile Picture Facebook page and search for “UFT Union Proud,” or you can go directly to the first frame and the second frame.
  • New Make sure MOSL and PD committees are in place: Our contract requires that each school set up committees for the 2019-20 school year for local Measures of Student Learning selection and professional development so that MOSL selections and school-based PD reflect the interests of the staff and address the needs of the school. The committee is composed of the chapter leader and the principal (or designee), who each select three staff members to serve as well. Even with the changes to the teacher evaluation system that will take effect in the coming school year, you should have a MOSL committee organized at your school.
  • 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 was 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.

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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 Conference for English language learners: The UFT will hold its fourth annual Conference on Effective Instruction for English Language Learners, EXC-ELL-ING, on Saturday, Oct. 19, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway. Participants may earn four CTLE hours in the education of ELLs. Workshop topics include teaching English language learners in the content areas as well as ENL and bilingual instruction. All UFT members who work with English language learners are invited to attend this conference. Registration will open soon.

Opportunities

New Scholarships available for CELF Summer Institute: The Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation (CELF), in partnership with NYU’s Wallerstein Collaborative for Urban Environmental Education, is offering scholarships to educators for its summer institute, July 29-31. The program will focus on citizen science, sustainability in an urban landscape and project-based learning opportunities. Participants are eligible for 22.5 hours of CTLE credit. For more information and to register, see the CELF website.

Political Action

Take Action Last chance to 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 bank’s last day is Monday, June 24, 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 Last chance to 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 Democratic Primary on Tuesday, June 25, before the general election this fall. Please join us for the last day of phone banking on Monday, June 24, from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. 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.

Rights and Grievances

APPR complaints: You may not file APPR complaints during the summer break. 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.

Salary and Personnel

New Pro-rata vacation pay: Employees who worked less than the complete 10-month school year are eligible to receive pro-rata vacation pay during the summer months. Examples of this include active employees who had a break in service during the school year or who started working after the beginning of the school year. These employees will receive the appropriate deduction on each of the four summer checks. The DOE directs payroll to return checks for those employees whose service ceased prior to the end of the school year to prevent and/or reduce overpayments. Inactive UFT-represented DOE employees who are entitled to pro-rata vacation pay should receive payment on supplementary payrolls issued on the last day of school or throughout the summer months. If payment is not issued on the June 25 supplementary payroll, pedagogues (teachers, attendance teachers, secretaries, counselors, psychologists, social workers and lab specialists) should contact Pedagogic Payroll at 718-935-2221 beginning the week of July 7. Therapists and nurses should call DOE H-bank Payroll at 718-935-2201. Paraprofessionals should call 718-935-3030. Pedagogical employees who were on a leave of absence during the year should call 718-935-2220.

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 DOE will not issue emergency checks.

UFT borough offices open this summer: The UFT is open throughout the summer on a modified schedule. UFT borough offices are 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. Borough offices are 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 staff 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.

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This Week in Education and Labor News

California defrauded in large-scale charter scam: San Diego officials have indicted 11 people in a charter school scam that defrauded the state of California of more than $50 million in education funds, reports the Washington Post. A3 Education opened 19 charter schools throughout the state, enrolling tens of thousands of students, many of whom never did any class work or talked to a single teacher. The charter operators then took the public funding they received and used it for real estate and other ventures, pocketing millions in salaries and profits.

Pennsylvania strikes down private school scholarship bill: Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania on June 18 vetoed a bill to expand a private school tax-credit program. The program allows business to take a tax credit for donating money to private school scholarships, according to the Philadelphia-Post Gazette. The bill would have nearly doubled the state’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit program, adding $100 million in credits.

Looming UPS strike would be biggest strike in history: The Teamsters union on June 4 announced that members employed by UPS voted to authorize a strike if a deal is not reached before the current contract expires on Aug. 1, according to CNN Money. The union represents 260,000 UPS employees. At issue is how the shipping giant will pay the workers it must employ when it expands to offer deliveries seven days a week. One proposal on the table is to create a two-tier wage system that would take part-time workers who earn $15 an hour and make them full-time at the same wage. Existing full-time drivers now earn an average of $36 an hour, or roughly $75,000 a year.

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Events Calendar

Featured

Saturday, Sept. 7: All members are invited to march in the 2019 Labor Day Parade with the UFT contingent. 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.

This Week

Sunday, June 23: Educators and parents are invited to the Association of Black Educators of New York’s general membership meeting at the Bedford–Stuyvesant YMCA, 1121 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn. Attendees will have the opportunity to suggest initiatives and activities for 2019–20 school year. Refreshments will be served. For more information, please contact Dr. Sheilah Bobo by email at sbobo@schools.nyc.gov or sbobo@gmail.com or by telephone at 917-412-9099.

Wednesday, June 26: This is the last day of class for classroom teachers, bilingual teachers in school and community relations, attendance teachers, nurses, therapists, laboratory specialists, technicians and paraprofessionals.

Thursday, June 27: This is the last day of class for all other titles.

Monday, July 1: Queens-based members in their third trimester of pregnancy are invited to a paid parental/maternity leave consultation at the UFT Queens borough office, 97-77 Queens Blvd., 5th floor, Rego Park. Sessions run from 10 a.m. to noon and from 2 to 4 p.m. For more information and to register, see the Small Group Maternity Leave Consultation flier.

Tuesday, July 2: Queens-based members in their third trimester of pregnancy are invited to a paid parental/maternity leave consultation at the UFT Queens borough office, 97-77 Queens Blvd., 5th floor, Rego Park. Sessions run from 10 a.m. to noon and from 2 to 4 p.m. For more information and to register, see the Small Group Maternity Leave Consultation flier.

Wednesday, July 10: Queens-based members in their third trimester of pregnancy are invited to a paid parental/maternity leave consultation at the UFT Queens borough office, 97-77 Queens Blvd., 5th floor, Rego Park. Sessions will take place from 10 a.m. to noon and from 2 to 4 p.m. For more information and to register, see the Small Group Maternity Leave Consultation flier.

Save the Date

Saturday, Oct. 19: The UFT will hold its fourth annual Conference on Effective Instruction for English Language Learners, EXC-ELL-ING, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway. Registration will be available soon. For more information, see the item in English Language Learners.

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

Obituary: Abe Levine, a UFT founder, dies

Big Apple Awards: 17 winners earn DOE advisory role

Blackboard Awards: Honored for following their ‘passion’

Video: United Community Schools: ‘A true community effort’

Union Proud testimonial: Reda Ehsan on how the UFT’s Career Training Program helped her earn her bachelor’s degree

Brooklyn Parent Newsletter – June 2019

Staten Island 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.

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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, David Campbell, Joseph Colletti, Catherine Creegan, Evelyn DeJesus, Crystal Deoraj, Doug Friedlander, MaryJo Ginese, Anthony Harmon, Sarah Herman, Janella Hinds, Junior Linton, Joe LoVerde, Samantha Mark, Deidre McFadyen, Michael Murphy, Gabriel Nott, Suzanne Popadin, Debra Poulos, Jeffrey Povalitis, Nadine Reis, Sterling Roberson, Chris Santoro, Michael Sill, Anne Silverstein, Geofrey Sorkin, Rosemarie Thompson, Liz Truly, Miriam Vega, and Shelvy Young-Abrams.