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Chapter Leader UpdateChapter Leader Update for March 27, 2020

Congratulations! You and your colleagues have made it through the first full week of remote teaching and support. With minimal preparation and training, you have kept learning alive for 1.1 million students. We said it wouldn't be easy or perfect — and it hasn't been. There have been many problems of access and lots of technical challenges, but we are making progress. And it is you, our chapter leaders, who are leading the way.

Michael Mulgrew

This Week's Focus

Instructional support from the union

With the help of UFT Teacher Center experts, we've created a special remote teaching resources section of the UFT website. We’ve also compiled resources to support students with disabilities. We will regularly add new resources, so please continue to check back.

Our Federation of Nurses/UFT chapter needs our support

UFT members who work as nurses at NYU Langone-Brooklyn and Staten Island University Hospital South/Northwell Health have been serving tirelessly to care for patients affected by this coronavirus crisis. The UFT has arranged for free meals for members on duty at these two hospitals three days a week, beginning Saturday, March 28. Individually wrapped meals lower the risk of contamination and allow these nurses to focus on caring for their patients. Please make a donation to the UFT Disaster Relief Fund to help fund the delivery of these meals.

Staying emotionally healthy

In the latest episode of our podcast series “On the Record with Michael Mulgrew,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew talks about the support and counseling services the union is offering UFT members to help them cope with the stress and anxiety triggered by the school shutdown and the coronavirus crisis. He and Tina Puccio, the director of the union’s Member Assistance Program (MAP), talk about the need to stay connected even when everyone is practicing social distancing. You can listen to this podcast on your favorite streaming service.

Filling out the U.S. Census is more important than ever

With the U.S. economy in free fall, New York City needs every federal dollar available now more than ever. New York lost — and continues to lose — billions of federal dollars for schools, subways, roads, hospitals and other vital services because the city and the state were undercounted in the 2010 Census. In the course of your work with our members over the next week, make sure to mention the importance of completing the Census.

AFT endorses Joe Biden for president

The AFT Executive Council on March 22 voted overwhelmingly to endorse Joe Biden for president after an unprecedented year of engagement with and by the members through town halls, forums, candidate events and surveys. The endorsement decision was guided by the criteria laid out at the beginning of the process that the endorsed candidate must share the AFT’s values, have the support of the membership and have a path not only to the nomination, but also to defeat President Trump. Biden emerged as the only candidate who met all three criteria. See this AFTvotes page on the AFT website for details.

Use operational issues process to address remote learning issues

With this new remote model, the nature of the workplace issues you will be tackling is bound to change. When issues arise, we want you to use the union's online operational issues process (you must be logged in to see this page), which is designed to provide the kind of fast and timely results you need. Given the extraordinary circumstances, we have expanded the scope of the operational issues process beyond the regular workplace issues outlined in the DOE-UFT contract to now include any issues related to remote learning and student support. We have also negotiated an expedited timeline for the resolution of issues. Your principal will now have two school days to resolve a complaint that you raise on behalf of the chapter or one of your members before it is escalated.

Guidance we sent out this week

The transition to tele-therapy for occupational and physical therapists

Your health benefits during the coronavirus outbreak

Answers to some of your questions

Coronavirus resources for NYC families