Skip to main content
Full Menu

Chapter Leader UpdateChapter Leader Update for Nov. 15, 2019

The next Delegate Assembly is Wednesday, Nov. 20

Photo of the Week - Nov. 15, 2019

PROVIDING SUPPORT: Social Workers and Psychologists Chapter Leader Raul Garcia talks to his members before a full day of workshops and networking at the fourth annual School Psychologists Appreciation Day at UFT headquarters on Nov. 12.

This Week's Focus

Parents can request a translation of their child’s IEP

Educators can support parents whose primary language is not English by discussing the availability of translated IEPs and evaluation reports during parent engagement time or when other opportunities arise. Parents can directly ask their schools for a translation or contact the DOE through the DOE website or by calling 718-935-2013. As chapter leader, you can work with your administration and UFT members who teach students with IEPs to encourage your school to share this information with families. Make it an item for your next consultation. Information about a parent’s right to IEP translation can be found on the Starting the Process and Your Rights pages of the DOE website.

Funds to better prepare ELLS for college and careers

Chapter leaders in high schools with multilingual learners/English language learners (MLLs/ELLs) are encouraged to speak to their principals about the city’s MLLs/ELLs College and Career Readiness Initiative, a new program designed to help high schools significantly increase the number of MLL/ELL students who graduate ready for postsecondary education. High schools may be eligible to receive between $5,000 and $50,000 — depending on MLL/ELL enrollment — for dropout prevention programs, credit accumulation and academic preparation for students in the 2020 and 2021 graduating cohorts. The goal is to help schools identify and provide targeted support to students who are at risk of dropping out because they are not on track to meet the minimum credits required for graduation. For additional information, see the DOE memo. The deadline to apply is Friday, Nov. 22.

Know your rights about self-treated sick days

Your members who are pedagogues should know that they do not need to produce a doctor’s note after taking three or more self-treated sick days. Pedagogues may take up to 10 self-treated days a year without a doctor’s note. This is true whether the days are taken separately or some, or even all, are taken consecutively. Please note: Non-pedagogues in your chapter — including paraprofessionals, school nurses and occupational and physical therapists — are governed by a different policy. They are required to provide a note if they are absent three or more consecutive days. For more information about absences, see the Your Rights section of the UFT website.

Back to top

Your Chapter Leader Checklist

  • New Get a free flu shot at the November DA: Delegates can receive a free flu shot at the November Delegate Assembly on Wednesday, Nov. 20. The vaccinations, administered by WorkWell NYC, are available to all delegates who are in-service employees or pre-Medicare retirees who have a New York City health plan.
  • New Donate winter clothing at the November DA: Please bring donations of NEW winter coats, sweaters, scarves, mittens, gloves and hats ranging in size from toddler to adult to the Wednesday, Nov. 20 Delegate Assembly. We will distribute this winter gear to homeless children at the UFT’s 7th annual Thanksgiving luncheon organized by the UFT and the Coalition for the Homeless. We also encourage you to consider making an online donation to the Thanksgiving clothing drive . If you have any questions, please contact Jose Jean at
  • New Donate a new toy at the November DA: The UFT, in collaboration with the Coalition for the Homeless, seeks your support to bring the joy of the holiday season to girls and boys without a permanent home. Donate an unwrapped, brand-new toy for children, infant to 16 years of age. Please bring toys to the Nov. 20 Delegate Assembly or drop them off at a UFT borough office through Friday, Dec. 6. For details, see the Flier for Toy Drive.
  • New Consider attending parent association meetings: Our close work with parent groups has forged strong bonds and support that benefit both our students and our members. Consider attending your school’s PA meetings to strengthen these bonds.

Back to top

Share with Your Members

Flier for Toy Drive

Flier for Caregiver Support Group

Back to top


You Should Know

Community Service

First UFT Pride Committee scholarship fundraising dinner: The UFT Pride Committee invites you to attend the first LGBTQ Youth Empowerment Dinner, our inaugural scholarship fundraising gala, on Thursday, Nov. 21. The UFT Pride Committee, through its Daniel Dromm Scholarship Fund, provides $1,000 scholarships to college-bound seniors who champion LGBTQ issues in their schools. Come and ensure the health of the fund’s endowment, give respect to deserving students and show these young people we value them. The festivities, which include a student string quartet from LaGuardia HS, begin at 5:45 p.m., at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway. The cost to attend is $75 for UFT members and $100 for nonmembers. You can register and pay online OR you can register and bring your check or money order with you to the dinner. (But please, don’t register in both places!) Register and pay online with a credit card or register and then bring your check or money order with you to the dinner.

English Language Learners

Proper procedure for incoming English language learners: Students who transfer from one public school district in New York State to another within two years are ineligible for the English language learner identification process and must have their NYSITELL/NYSESLAT scores transferred from the originating school. The receiving school must contact the originating school to obtain the student’s home language designation and proficiency level upon enrollment.


New Measures of Student Learning Update: By today, Nov. 15, teachers should have received an email from the DOE identifying the Measures of Student Learning linked to them for teacher evaluation. The confirmation should reflect the decisions made by your school’s MOSL committee within the parameters of state regulations. If your school did not finalize its decisions by Oct. 31, then teachers may receive an email indicating the potential MOSL remains unconfirmed. Teachers who did not receive an email or have questions about MOSL should contact their chapter leaders. If the chapter leader can’t answer the question, the chapter leader should contact the UFT district representative.

Functional Chapters

Borough celebrations for school-related professionals: All school-related professionals are invited to the union’s SRP Recognition Day events in their respective boroughs. Bronx-based SRPs are invited to a celebration on Tuesday, Nov. 19, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the UFT’s Bronx borough office, 2500 Halsey St. Queens-based SRPs are invited to celebrate on Tuesday, Nov. 19, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the UFT’s Queens borough office, 118-35 Queens Blvd., seventh floor, Forest Hills. Pre-registration is required because space is limited. Use these online registration forms to sign up: Bronx and Queens. See the fliers: Bronx and Queens. Save the date for the Brooklyn SRP celebration on Friday, Dec. 6, and the Manhattan celebration on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. The SRP celebration in Staten Island was held today.

Submit a nomination for Better Speech and Hearing Month: Speech teachers may nominate their students and/or colleagues for the Speech Chapter’s 15th annual Better Speech and Hearing Month Awards. The chapter is accepting nominations for student projects and artwork and for chapter members who published a professional article, received a grant, participated in schoolwide projects or website creation or presented at a school, district or professional conference. The deadline for submissions is Feb. 26, 2020. Use our online nominating form.

Health and Safety

New How to manage grief and loss: Have you experienced a difficult loss in the last year? The UFT’s Member Assistance Program offers counseling groups on managing grief. Sessions are on Thursdays, from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 50 Broadway. For more information, email the Member Assistance Program at or call 212-701-9620. Enrollment is limited so register ASAP. For a list of support group dates and to register online, see the How to Manage Grief and Loss flier.

New Members

New Review your records: Members should carefully review and save emails from the DOE’s Department of Human Resources, which records all information concerning city licenses/appointments and state certification. If the information received is inaccurate, you should immediately follow the DOE’s instructions to correct errors in the record.


New Deadline extension for DOE Sustainability Project Grant: The application deadline to apply for a DOE Sustainability Project Grant has been extended to Tuesday, Nov. 26. Schools may apply for cash (up to $5,000) or for materials to support sustainability projects that have an impact. Grant focus areas include school recycling, energy efficiency, water conservation, environmental education, green team support or gardening. For more information and to submit an application, see the DOE’s Office of Sustainability website.

New Nominate students to work with a professional songwriter: The DOE Office of Sustainability, in partnership with Clean Green Music Machine, is providing a unique opportunity for middle and high school music teachers and young musical artists (soloists or groups of up to five students) to work with a professional artist. The program, rFuture!, will allow students to form a partnership with a songwriting music mentor to write a song that articulates the young artist’s observations, concerns and solutions for our collective future. The deadline to apply is Friday, Dec. 13. For more information and to apply, see the rFuture! website.

New Win a class trip to the movies: Are your students curious about the weather, women in science, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), layers of the atmosphere and climate change? If they are, enter for a chance to win a private screening for you and up to 100 students to see The Aeronauts in a local theater and one-year Amazon Prime memberships. The private screening grand prize includes transportation between your school and the theater, and popcorn and fountain beverages for attendees. Three additional winners will each receive a one-year Amazon Prime membership. Bonus: The AFT Science Cadre has formed a partnership with Amazon Studios to develop free lesson plans tied to the film, which are available on AFT’s Share My Lesson. Topics include hot air balloons, weather, layers of the atmosphere, women in science, and more.

Professional Learning Opportunities

Join a UFT academic committee: The UFT Professional Committees seek to actively engage members in professional growth through activities such as conferences, seminars, workshops, educational trips and professional recognition. There are academic committees for most licensed subject areas, including art, math, English language arts and science. You can join a committee for the subject you teach or one you would like to learn more about so you can expand your teaching skills. As a member of an academic committee, you will hear about professional development opportunities and have the support of similarly trained colleagues as you advocate for your students. You can find out more about the committees on the academic committees page of the UFT website. Use this enrollment form to join the committee of your choice. For upcoming committee meetings, see the Professional Committees section below.

Workshops for early childhood educators: Early childhood and elementary school educators should speak with their principals about attending four-hour professional development workshops presented by the CUNY Creative Arts Team. The workshops, held throughout the school year, cover a variety of topics including the power of oral storytelling and the use of puppets in the classroom. The next workshop, Moving from Classroom Management to Student Engagement, is on Tuesday, Nov. 19, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Creative Arts Team, 101 W. 31st St., sixth floor training room. Participants must submit DOE form OP-201 to their payroll secretary. For more information and to register online, see the Creative Arts Team website. For a full list of workshops, see the Creative Arts Team Professional Development flier.

Salary and Personnel

New UFT members can count on salary raises: All DOE employees represented by the union receive pay increases the UFT negotiates in each contract. Depending on your job title, you’ll also receive other union-negotiated increases for years on the job and the attainment of particular credits and degrees. For example, regularly appointed teachers receive salary step increases in each of their first eight years and are eligible for longevity increases for five, 10, 13, 15, 18, 20 and 22 years of service. Paraprofessionals get a special raise after they work for the DOE for five years, along with other pay increases as they pursue higher education and certification. To learn more about the raises you'll receive and when you'll get them, see the salary section of the UFT website. If you have trouble interpreting the salary schedule, please call the UFT Contact Center for assistance.

Staten Island pension clinic: Staten Island-based members are invited to a Pension Pop-Up on Thursday, Dec. 5, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., at IS 27 the Anning S. Prall Intermediate School, 11 Clove Lake Place. Debra Penny, the UFT treasurer and a UFT member of the TRS Board of Trustees, will help explain everything members need to know about their defined-benefit pension. Register online.

Back to top

This Week in Education and Labor News

Arkansas teachers stage one-day strike: Teachers in Little Rock, Arkansas, walked out of class on Nov. 14 to protest the state’s control of the local school system and their loss of collective bargaining rights, reports U.S. News and World Report. More than one third of teachers in the 23,000-student district took part in the strike, which follows the state Board of Education’s decision in October to strip the local teachers union of its bargaining power. It is the first time that Little Rock teachers have gone on strike in more than three decades.

Health care workers strike postponed after death of CEO: Roughly 4,000 members of the National Union of Healthcare Workers on Nov. 10 voted to postpone a planned five-day strike against Kaiser Permanente after the company’s CEO died suddenly, reports the Sacramento Bee. Union leaders have not determined a new date for the strike. Workers had hoped to achieve improvements to patient care that would reduce the up to eight-week wait time for return appointments. Workers say that the backlog of patients makes for “dreadful working conditions” and they regularly use personal time to fit in return calls or office visits with patients.

Indiana schools plan Red for Ed closure: Public schools in two Indiana counties will be closed for a Red for Ed Action Day on Nov. 19, reports the Tribune Star. Mark Felix, the president of the Greater Clark County Schools teachers’ association, said teachers will be fighting for salary increases in addition to removing a 15-hour externship requirement, in which teachers have to work in a community field to renew their teaching licenses. Teachers are also asking lawmakers to hold schools and teachers harmless from state test results. “Indiana lags way in the back of the pack when it comes to teacher compensation, infrastructure and class size,” said Felix.

Back to top

Events Calendar

This Week

Saturday, Nov. 16: The UFT’s 10th annual Brooklyn Parent Conference runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at P.S. 140, 141 Macon St. The UFT offers a free day of informative workshops, networking, exhibits and giveaways. Online registration is closed, but on-site registration will be available at the conference. For more information, see the Brooklyn UFT Parent Conference flier. There is also a teen summit for young people between the ages of 12 and 18. See the Teen Summit flier.

Saturday, Nov. 16: Teachers of languages other than English are invited to the annual Professional Conference for all Second Language Teachers (LOTE) from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway. This year's theme is World Languages Proficiencies: Celebrating Our Shift to Global Connections. Participants may attend workshops at the elementary, junior high, middle and high school levels. Language-specific workshop sessions are sponsored by AATSP (Spanish and Portugese), AATF (French), ATI (Italian) and the Chinese Language Teacher Association. Breakfast and lunch will be served. For fee breakdown and to register, see the online form.

Sunday, Nov. 17: Staten Island-based teachers and paraprofessionals are invited to Strategic Learning: The Five Guiding Principles of ELL Instruction from 10 a.m. to noon at the UFT’s Staten Island borough office, 4456 Amboy Road. Participants will explore research-based core principles as a frame for ENL instruction; practice engaging instructional strategies to increase ELL students’ access to content; reflect on how specific strategies promote integration of content and methodology; and build a toolbox of techniques for integrated ENL classrooms. For the fee breakdown and to register, see the online form.

Sunday, Nov. 17: Staten Island-based teachers and paraprofessionals are invited to Getting to Know Our ELLs: Understanding the Language Proficiency Levels of Our Students from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the UFT’s Staten Island borough office, 4456 Amboy Road. Participants will describe the various student attributes for their designated language proficiency levels; use the New Language Progressions to design instruction for ELL students; and incorporate strategies to increase interaction and critical thinking for my ELL students. For the fee breakdown and to register, see the online form.

Tuesday, Nov. 19: Queens-based parents are invited to a free communication workshop presented by the UFT and Hey There Beautiful Inc. from 6 to 8 p.m. at the UFT’s Queens borough office, 118-35 Queens Blvd., Forest Hills. Participants will learn how to communicate effectively with their children. Child care, dinner, coffee and tea will be provided. Online registration is required. For more information, see the Communication Workshop flier.

Wednesday, Nov. 20: The UFT’s Member Assistance Program invites UFT 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. This event will take place at UFT headquarters, 50 Broadway, 2nd floor, from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m. The registration fee is $10. Register online. For more information, see the Art Therapy Group flier.

Wednesday, Nov. 20: Staten Island-based members are invited to a workshop on the new Salary Application System. This workshop will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. at the UFT’s Staten Island borough office, 4456 Amboy Road. The presentation will address salary steps and differentials for educators, salary upgrades for UFT paraprofessionals and the FAQs on the system. Register online.

Wednesday, Nov. 20: Queens-based members may attend a paid parental leave for birthing parent workshop from 4 to 6 p.m. at the UFT's Queens borough office, 118-35 Queens Blvd., Forest Hills. Participants will learn about their rights concerning paid parental, maternity, childcare and FMLA leaves. This event is only for the birthing parent. For more information, see the Queens Paid Parental Leave Workshop flier. Register online

Wednesday, Nov. 20: Brooklyn-based paraprofessionals are invited to Getting Them Organized!, a UFT Paraprofessional Academy workshop about executive functioning and strategies that support students in developing organizational skills. This event is from 4 to 6 p.m. at the UFT’s Brooklyn borough office, 335 Adams St., 24th floor. Two CTLE hours are offered. For fee breakdown and to register, see the online form.

Wednesday, Nov. 20: Queens-based paraprofessionals may attend Getting Them Organized!, a UFT Paraprofessional Academy workshop about executive functioning and strategies that support students in developing organizational skills. This event is from 4 to 6 p.m. at the UFT’s Queens borough office, 118-35 Queens Blvd., seventh floor, Forest Hills. Two CTLE hours are offered. For fee breakdown and to register, see the online form.

Thursday, Nov. 21: Bronx-based members may attend a Road to Parenthood workshop from 4 to 6 p.m. at the UFT's Bronx borough office, 2500 Halsey St. Participants will learn about the following types of leave: paid parental, maternity, childcare and FMLA. This event is for birthing parents in their third trimester. Register online. For more information, see the Bronx Road to Parenthood Workshop flier.

Friday, Nov. 22: The annual Federation of Nurses/UFT Professional Issues Conference is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Westin Hotel, 270 W. 42nd St., Manhattan. Network with other health professionals, get updates on key clinical issues and hear from informative presenters. For fee breakdown and to register, see the online form.

Friday, Nov. 22, and Saturday, Nov. 23: School counselors are invited to the New York State School Counselors Association conference in Ellenville (near Poughkeepsie). Participants may attend workshops, hear keynote speakers and network with colleagues. For the fee breakdown, conference agenda and registration, see the online form.

Back to top

In Case You Missed It

Photo Gallery: School Psychologists Appreciation Day 2019

Photo Gallery: Bronx Parent Summit 2019

Photo Gallery: UFT President Michael Mulgrew visits PS 277, Bronx

Back to top

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.

African Heritage Committee

  • Tuesday, Nov. 19, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., the monthly committee meeting is at UFT headquarters, 50 Broadway, second floor, room A.

Jewish Heritage Committee

  • Monday, Nov. 25, at 6 p.m., the monthly committee meeting is at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, meeting room to be announced.


  • Thursday, Nov. 21, 5:45 to 9 p.m., LGBTQ Youth Empowerment Dinner. For more information, see the item in Community Service and the Pride Committee flier.

Science Committee

  • Friday, Nov. 22, 7:15 p.m., a discussion of Stem Instruction in the Pop Culture Classroom will take place at the NYU Silver Center for Arts and Science, 31 Washington Place, room 207, Manhattan. For more information, see the STEM Instruction in the Pop Culture Classroom flier.

Back to top

Calling the UFT

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.

Send us your feedback

We are committed to making the Chapter Leader Update as interesting and relevant as it can be. Please fill out this online form to let us know what you found most valuable in this week's newsletter and how we can improve the Chapter Leader Update.

Editor: Peter O’Donnell

Executive Editor: Bernadette Weeks

Contributors include: Karen Alford, Shelvy Young-Abrams, George Altomare, Nancy Aromando, LeRoy Barr, Jackie Bennett, Doreen Berrios-Castillo, Hannah Brown, Rashad Brown, David Campbell, Joseph Colletti, Rita Danis, Evelyn DeJesus, Crystal Deoraj, Alison Gendar, Brian Gibbons, MaryJo Ginese, Christopher Grandison, Anthony Harmon, Sarah Herman, David Hickey, Janella Hinds, David Kazansky, Lynne Kilroy, Katherine Kurjakovic, Junior Linton, Joe LoVerde, Rich Mantell, Samantha Mark, Deidre McFadyen, Michael Murphy, Gabriel Nott, Frank Panebianco, Marisol Pena, Suzanne Popadin, Debra Poulos, Cassie Prugh, Tina Puccio, Briget Rein, Nadine Reis, Sterling Roberson, Nanette Sanchez-Rosario, Hector Ruiz, Robin Sentell, Melanie Sepulveda, Michael Sill, Anne Silverstein, Geof Sorkin, Liz Truly, Angel Vasquez and Miriam Vega.