Chapter Leader UpdateChapter Leader Update for Sept. 20, 2019
Chapter Leader UpdateChapter Leader Update for Sept. 20, 2019
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This Week's Focus
Tuesday, Sept. 24 is the last chance for your principal to resolve class-size violations
Please report your class-size data to your district representative on Tuesday, Sept. 24, which is day 14 of the school year. You’ll need to obtain your school’s RACL (elementary or middle schools) or Master Schedule Final (high schools), which indicate class sizes on a given date. Sept. 24 the final day of the informal period that oversize classes can be resolved with your principal on the school level. Let your principal know that the issue will no longer be in their control after that. Any oversize classes that have not been equalized by that date will be referred to the superintendent and your district representative as part of a new expedited process for handling class-size violations. If your school has any oversize classes on the 20th day of school, which is Oct. 5, you will need to send an updated RACL or Master Schedule Final to your district rep on that date. We’ve fought for years to strengthen the process for addressing oversize classes so it’s critical that we take advantage of the new contractual provisions to get quicker relief for members. Class-size limits are in Article 7M of the contract.
Use the new operational issues process to resolve workplace issues quickly
Resolving school-level operational issues is a great way to begin to organize and empower your chapter. The DOE and the UFT negotiated the systemwide standards covering paperwork, curriculum, professional development, basic instructional supplies, workload and space. Use this new process to quickly address issues. You should submit an online paperwork and operational issues report (you must be logged in to the UFT website to access it) the day that you attempt to resolve the issue with your principal through a one-on-one conversation, an email or your UFT consultation committee. From that day, your principal will have five days to rectify the issue. If the issue has not been resolved in that time, the issue may be escalated to the District Paperwork and Operational Committee. If it is not resolved at the district level, the central committee will attempt to resolve the issue. The UFT can take any unresolved issues concerning paperwork, curriculum, professional development and basic instructional supplies to arbitration. Unresolved workload and space issues affecting functional chapter members can be escalated to the UFT president and the schools chancellor, or their designees.
Organize your school’s Go Pink day on Oct. 16
About one in eight U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. Please organize your fellow UFT members to raise awareness about breast cancer by asking them to wear pink on Wednesday, Oct. 16. The activity helps build chapter unity and demonstrates commitment to fighting breast cancer. Take photos of your members wearing pink and post them on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #UFTgopink. Please send your best one or two photos (large size, with captions) to firstname.lastname@example.org for the union’s Facebook, Instagram and website photo albums. Also, we want chapter leaders and delegates to wear pink at the Delegate Assembly on that same day. The New York Teacher will send its photographer to a few schools to take photos of members in pink. If a UFT photographer has not come to your school before to take Go Pink photos, please send an email request to editor Joe LoVerde at email@example.com. Also, please consider organizing members from your chapter or school to walk together as a team in one of the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks on Sunday, Oct. 20. See the step-by-step instructions for creating a team; please include UFT at the beginning of your team’s name so your members can easily find it on a list. We'll be using #StridesUFT as our Twitter and Instagram hashtag on the day of the walk.
Donate to hurricane relief efforts in the Bahamas
Hurricane Dorian has devastated the Bahamas, killing at least 45 people, leaving an estimated 70,000 people homeless and damaging or destroying as many as 13,000 homes. Parts of the Bahamas are still without power or running water, and it will take weeks to assess the severity of the damage from the Category 5 hurricane. Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis has called Hurricane Dorian “the greatest national crisis in our country’s history.” The UFT Disaster Relief Fund, which provides relief to people who have been affected by disasters, is gathering donations from UFT members to help people in the Bahamas recover. Please consider making an online donation (you must be logged into the UFT website to access the online form).
Chapter leader stipend formula to change
The UFT is changing its formula for chapter leader stipends to recognize the time and effort dedicated by chapter leaders to empower, organize and engage their members. As in previous years, the base stipend will be calculated at a rate of $6 per member. Each chapter leader receives a minimum of $300 and a maximum of $1,350, depending on the size of the chapter. What’s new is chapter leaders will now be able to earn a larger stipend for participating in union activities and spurring member engagement. You will receive points for having 100 percent union membership; holding regular chapter meetings and consultation meetings with your principal; attending the Delegate Assembly and district representative meetings; COPE participation; and having active school-based committees. Your points will convert to a bonus ranging from $250 to $1,000 based on the number of points you accrue from your leadership efforts. For more information, see the stipend page on the UFT website. You must be logged in as a chapter leader.
- systemwide standards for safety that incorporate existing rules and regulations on school safety. You are encouraged to learn about and use these standards that address school safety, culture and climate. These safety issues can be addressed and resolved at the school level. You can submit an online operational issues report (you must be logged in to the UFT website to access it) the day you attempt to resolve the violation of any of these safety standards with your principal through a one-on-one conversation, an email or your UFT consultation committee. Like with paperwork and other operational issues, your principal will have five days to rectify the issue. If the issue has not been resolved in that time, the issue may be escalated to the borough-based safety committee. If it is not resolved at the borough level, the central committee will review and attempt to resolve the issue. The UFT can take any unresolved safety issues to the UFT president and the schools chancellor, or their designees. Here’s the School Safety Meeting Summary template. Please contact your district representative if you have any questions. Safety is an operational issue: Last spring, the DOE issued new
- online Consultation Summary Report (you must be logged in to the UFT website to access it). This new online form resides in the chapter leader-only section of the website under Consultation. This report will inform your district representative about issues raised at your school, any need for assistance or your request to escalate an issue. Find out more about the role and responsibilities of the UFT consultation committee. Organize your UFT consultation committee: Your school consultation committee, which should meet monthly with the principal, is a great organizing tool that empowers chapters by creating a venue to discuss and attempt to resolve issues at the school level. This committee has a critical purpose: to discuss and attempt to resolve issues at the school level before they escalate. After each consultation committee meeting, you should fill out the UFT’s
- Tell us you are a chapter leader when you call the UFT: We are asking you to identify yourself as a chapter leader when you call the union so our team of trained UFT staffers will be able to immediately direct your call. As a chapter leader, you will have more direct access to the departments and UFT staff you wish to contact when you call our call center.
- post this flier on your UFT bulletin board. For more information about Dial-A-Teacher, read the article on the UFT website. Dial-A-Teacher is in full swing: We look to chapter leaders to get the message out to members that homework help is available to students through Dial-A-Teacher, which provides classroom teachers who assist with homework questions. Parents and students in need of help with homework can call Dial-A-Teacher at 212-777-3380, Monday through Thursday, from 4 to 7 p.m. during the school year. Dial-A-Teacher can also assist parents with questions and give advice on how they can help their child at home. The staff speaks 10 languages: Armenian, Bengali, Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese and Fukanese), English, French, Haitian-Creole, Korean, Russian, Spanish and Tagalog. Please
- New members 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. 30 should have received their first paycheck on Sept.16. If payroll processing is completed between Aug. 31 and Sept. 17, these new hires should receive their first paycheck in the Sept. 27 payroll. New H Bank members, including therapists, nurses and supervisors of nurses and therapists, who were placed on payroll by Sept. 9 should have received their first paycheck on Sept. 20. If payroll processing was completed between Sept. 10 and Sept. 23, the new hires should receive their first paycheck in the Oct. 4 payroll.
- Welcome members of the ATR pool: Be sure to welcome members of the ATR pool who are in rotation in your school. Greet ATRs when they come to your school and make sure they have a bathroom key and a secure place to store their belongings. They should be treated as full members of your school community — invite them to chapter meetings, PD sessions and any other events to which your other members are invited. Also, make sure they are given work that is appropriate for their title.
- Teachers rated Developing and Ineffective must receive an improvement plan: Talk with your principal to make sure teachers in your school who received a rating of Developing or Ineffective are supported with a Teacher Improvement Plan (TIP). The principal must meet with the teacher by Tuesday, Oct. 31. Teachers should have received information about the TIP process in their DOE email about their rating. See page 8 of the UFT's Your Guide to the Teacher Development and Evaluation System for helpful information for teachers rated Developing or Ineffective.
- 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 are a required 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 district representative. For more information, see the mentoring requirements for certification on the New York State Education Department website.
Speak with a certification specialist before signing up for classes: UFT members considering an additional certificate or an advanced degree to increase their salary should consult with a UFT certification specialist before making a decision. Certification specialists can help you decide the right course of action, so you don’t waste time and money on the wrong classes. Contact a certification specialist at 212-420-1830.
English Language Learners
Come to a UFT conference for educators of English language learners: You are invited to ExcELLing, the fourth annual UFT conference on effective instruction for English language learners. The UFT hosts this conference every fall so all educators can learn strategies to help English language learners reach their full potential. This event takes place from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19, at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway. Four CTLE hours are available to all participants. This year’s conference will honor Dr. Santiago Wood, the national executive director of the National Association for Bilingual Education, for his lifelong advocacy on behalf of English language learners. For more information, see the ExcELLing flier and to register, use the online registration form.
Changes to the alternative pathways to support former ELLs: Effective this fall, Option B: Individualized Targeted Learning is no longer considered a valid alternative pathway to serve former English language learners. In addition, the following advanced placement classes are no longer valid pathways for Option E: Languages other than English (LOTE) and World Language and Culture.
Updated guidance on the implementation of ENL units of study: ELL instructors who provide integrated co-teaching instruction should have appropriate common planning time with their co-teachers. In addition, stand-alone ENL should not be implemented in a push-in model in a content-area class. Stand-alone ENL is a separate time devoted exclusively to English language acquisition and English language development. The required amount of stand-alone ENL instruction depends on the student’s proficiency in English.
Health and Safety
UFT Welfare Fund dental transfer period is now open: The transfer period for the UFT Welfare Fund dental plans runs through Tuesday, Oct. 15. New plans become effective Friday, Nov. 1. The UFT Welfare Fund provides two dental benefit options: the Scheduled Benefit Plan, which provides services through the Welfare Fund panel of dentists or a dentist of your choice; and Dentcare, a no-cost dental HMO. For more information, call the Welfare Fund at 212-539-0500 or see the dental information in the health benefits section of the UFT website.
Join the UFT Partners through Experience program: UFT Partners through Experience matches a new teacher in years 1-3 with a recent retiree. The retiree provides informal, nonjudgmental support and feedback. New members may register online.
Member Assistance Program art therapy for new members: The UFT’s Member Assistance Program is inviting all members in years 1-3 to an art therapy group. No artistic talent is required, just an openness to explore and participate in a group setting with your colleagues. Fall sessions will take place in October and November. Registration is also open for spring 2020 sessions. All sessions will take place at UFT headquarters, 50 Broadway, 2nd floor, from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m. The registration fee is $10. Register for an art therapy session. For more information, see the art therapy group flier.
UFT podcasts for new members: The UFT’s Member Assistance Program has created Classroom Café, a podcast series tailored for new members. Each podcast focuses on an aspect of well-being: being mindful and compassionate, making classrooms happy places, eating healthier, managing time successfully, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or at 212-701-9620. Download the Member Assistance Program podcast series flier.
online form to sign up for a webinar and use this online form to sign up for an in-person information session in October. For more information, see the Student Debt Relief Program page on the UFT website.Fall Student Debt Relief Program webinars: Following the overwhelming success of last school year’s in-person information sessions for our Student Debt Relief Program, we are excited to offer our members the same service in webinars on Saturday, Sept. 21, and Wednesday, Sept. 25, that you can view conveniently on your personal computer. After viewing a webinar or attending an information session, make an appointment to speak by phone with a loan specialist to discuss your individual needs and create an action plan. Use this
Help shape the AFT presidential candidate questionnaire: Now’s your chance as a UFT member to help shape the questionnaire the AFT will send to presidential candidates. The candidates’ answers will help decide our national union’s endorsement. Please fill out this survey and let the AFT know the issues of concern to you.
New FAQ on A+ courses for a salary differential: As a result of the recent DOE-UFT contract, teachers may now take A+ courses for credit toward the salary differential for 30 credits above a master’s degree. To help members navigate the process, the DOE and the UFT prepared an A+ FAQ. Teachers hired on or after Sept. 1, 2019, must obtain a minimum of 18 A+ credits to earn the salary differential unless they have already attained an additional doctorate or master’s degree in an approved area. Teachers hired on or after Sept. 1, 2017, but before Sept. 1, 2019, must obtain a minimum of six A+ credits unless they have already earned a salary differential before Sept. 1, 2019. Teachers hired before Sept. 1, 2017, are not required to have A+ credits toward this salary differential. If they choose to take A+ credits toward this salary differential, they must obtain a minimum of six A+ credits. College courses also count toward the same differential, but will be considered A+ credits only if approved by the joint UFT/DOE committee.
read more about Yvonne Reasen’s accomplishments on the UFT website.Chapter Leader Shoutout: Congratulations to Yvonne Reasen, chapter leader of Bronx Engineering and Technical Academy, for using the UFT’s new expedited resolution process for operational issues to get the basic instructional supplies desperately needed by science teachers at her school. After Reasen submitted a list of basic supplies — microscopes, scales, safety goggles, gloves and paper — the school’s new principal denied or ignored the requests. Reasen raised the issue again at her consultation committee meeting and the principal told her he didn’t have the money. Unable at the school level to resolve the issue, Reasen escalated it to the district level and, when it was not resolved there, to the central level. By the end of March, the school received the needed supplies. You can
Rights and Grievances
Grievance decisions protect Regents scoring retention rights: Your union is continually fighting to protect your contractual rights. Two recent precedential grievance wins clarify retention rights in Regents scoring. In one case, an arbitrator ruled the January and June scoring sessions are separate activities. It is not necessary to work in one Regents scoring period to claim retention rights in the other. An arbitrator also ruled in the UFT’s favor in a case in which a member was denied the opportunity to work in a scoring activity because she was unable to attend training due to religious observance. The grievance was sustained because the DOE failed to provide the Sabbath or holy day observance accommodation required by Chancellor’s Regulation C-606. Read more about your contractual rights in the Know Your Rights section of the UFT website.
Salary and Personnel
new application process for pedagogues to apply for a salary step (a salary increase based on years of relevant service) or a salary differential (a salary increase based on academic credit, coursework or degrees earned). Paraprofessionals can use the same process to apply for a salary increase based on attainment of academic credentials and/or experience. The DOE has released several step-by-step guides to help employees navigate the new system: a guide for pedagogues to apply for a salary differential because pay increases for credits and degrees beyond a bachelor’s degree are not granted automatically; a guide for pedagogues to apply for a salary step so the employee is placed on the correct salary scale; and a guide for paraprofessionals to apply for salary upgrades. The DOE also put together a FAQ about its new salary application system. If you have any questions, please call the UFT contact center at 212-331-6311. Salary applications are no longer accepted on the DOE Payroll Portal. Due to an overwhelming number of applications, the site may slow down and possibly freeze. As long as you apply within six months of your start date and/or conferral of your credits, you will receive arrears.DOE process to apply for salary steps and differentials: The DOE launched a
GM offer would continue tiered pay structure: A General Motors offer to end a now four-day old strike includes $7 billion for new plants that would pay workers less than the top union wage, reports CBS News. Although the United Auto Workers would represent workers at those facilities, they would be paid far less than the full union-negotiated wage of about $30 per hour. The union wants to add jobs that pay the top UAW wage. During the auto industry’s financial crisis, the union made major concessions to GM to help keep the company afloat.
DeVos tours voucher school: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Sept. 15 began a “back to school” tour by visiting a Milwaukee religious school, reports The Washington Post. Parents of students in the St. Marcus Lutheran School receive government-issued education vouchers to send their children to private or religious schools. The vouchers are paid for through reductions in public school funding. Critics argue using public funds for vouchers privatizes the public school system. DeVos has pushed to expand voucher and other “school choice” programs for decades.
NLRB faces charges of conflict of interest: Democrats are scrutinizing the National Labor Relations Board after its second attempt to roll back an Obama-era decision that made companies more responsible for temporary staffers, according to Mother Jones. Two Democratic representatives had questions about a conflict of interest involving the NLRB’s own use of temporary lawyers and paralegals hired from a firm that would benefit from looser labor law restrictions. The Democrats, who sit on the House Committee on Education and Labor, say the NLRB’s use of the temps poses a conflict of interest under federal contracting rules.
Sunday, Sept. 22: Participate in the 2019 CaringKind Alzheimer’s Walk: Register for the 2019 CaringKind Alzheimer’s Walk on Sunday, Sept. 22, on the boardwalk at Coney Island, Brooklyn. Join the UFT’s team and help raise funds for research to end Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Members who raise $100 will receive a CaringKind Walk T-shirt. If you raise more than $100, you will receive a tote bag, a water bottle or a picnic basket. The program starts at 10 a.m., and the walk begins at 10:30 a.m. We’ll meet on the boardwalk at Stillwell Avenue. Look for the UFT table and banner. For more information, contact Susan Perez-Gonzales at the UFT at email@example.com or 718-862-6031.
Saturday, Oct. 19: ExcELLing, the fourth annual UFT conference on effective instruction for English language learners, runs from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway. For more information, see the item in English Language Learners.
Sunday, Oct. 20: The Making Strides against Breast Cancer walk takes place in all five boroughs and on Long Island at various locations. Visit uft.org/strides to sign up for a walk. For more information, see the item in This Week’s Focus.
Sunday, Oct. 20: Join us for our annual celebration when we honor UFT leaders past and present at Teacher Union Day at the New York Hilton. To register, complete the online form (you must be logged in to the UFT website). For more information, see the item in This Week’s Focus.
Saturday, Sept. 21: Members are invited to learn about reducing student debt by viewing a Student Debt Relief Program webinar from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Register online.
Tuesday, Sept. 24: All members are invited to attend Money Moves, a financial wellness workshop, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, 19th floor. Participants will learn strategies for living within their means while saving to meet short- and long-term financial goals. Register online.
Tuesday, Sept. 24: Queens-based parents are invited to Release, a workshop presented by the UFT and Hey There Beautiful about how to support yourself and your child. This event will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. at the old UFT’s Queens borough office, 97-77 Queens Blvd., Rego Park. (The office recently moved, but large events are still being held at the old location.) Dinner, coffee and tea will be served. Register online. For more information, see the Release! Workshop flier.
Wednesday, Sept. 25: Members are invited to learn about reducing student debt by viewing a Student Debt Relief Program webinar from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Register online.
Wednesday, Sept. 25: All members are invited to attend a memorial for UFT founding member, Abe Levine, who passed away in June. This event will take place at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, 2nd floor. Refreshments will be served at 4 p.m. and the program will begin at 5 p.m. Register online.
Wednesday, Sept. 25: The Speech Improvement Chapter’s general membership meeting will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway.
Thursday, Sept. 26: Queens-based members are invited to attend a sabbatical workshop from 4 to 6 p.m. at the old UFT’s Queens borough office, 97-77 Queens Blvd., Rego Park. (The office recently moved, but large events are still being held at the old location.) To register, email Karla at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your full name, File/EIS or member number, cell phone number, school and district.
Save the Date
Tuesday, Oct. 22: The UFT Middle School Division’s Anti-Bullying Student Conference will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway. Download the flier.
For more events, go to uft.org/calendar.
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.
African Heritage Committee
- Tuesday, Oct. 15, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., Please attend the monthly meeting of the African Heritage Committee at 50 Broadway, 2nd floor, Room A.
- Thursday, Oct. 17, 4:15 to 6 p.m., general membership meeting. Our guest is an emotional support pet, Fluffy, and his “human,” Patricia Kazas. Our topic is emotional support animals. For more information, see the Fluffy and His Human flier.
Irish Heritage Committee
- Friday, Oct. 18, 4 to 6 p.m. Samhain meeting. For more information, see the Samhain flier.
Math Teachers Committee
- Wednesday, Oct. 23, 4 to 7 p.m., Origami workshop. For more information, see the Using Origami to Introduce the Properties of a Square flier.
NYC Art Teachers Association
- Saturday, Oct. 26, 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., 38th annual All Day Art Education Conference.
NYCATA and Math Teachers Committee
- Wednesday, Sept. 25, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Exploring ArtMath/MathArt Connections: “Series in Art and the Fibonacci Sequence.” For more information, see the Series in Art and the Fibonacci Sequence flier.
The UFT’s new contact center is open and can provide support with all your union rights and benefits. Call the following numbers with any questions or for assistance.
- DOE members, 212-331-6311
- DOE functional chapter members, 212-331-6312
- UFT Welfare Fund, 212-539-0500 – questions about health benefits
- UFT Welfare Fund forms, 212-539-0539 – to obtain forms
- Paid parental leave, 212-539-0510
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Editor: Peter O'Donnell
Executive Editor: Bernadette Weeks
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