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Chapter Leader UpdateMar. 18, 2022

Snapshot

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CLU Snapshot

CELEBRATING CTE: Career and Technical Education Award-winner Gerard D’Ambrosio (seated, second from left) poses for a photo with colleagues from Tottenville HS on Staten Island at the UFT’s CTE Awards Ceremony on March 15. (Erica Berger)

CELEBRATING CTE: Career and Technical Education Award-winner Gerard D’Ambrosio (seated, second from left) poses for a photo with colleagues from Tottenville HS on Staten Island at the UFT’s CTE Awards Ceremony on March 15. (Erica Berger)

This Week's Focus

UFT negotiating team has been formed

In answer to our call, many UFT members volunteered to work on the negotiating team for the upcoming contract negotiations with the city and the Department of Education. We let applicants know this week if they were selected. The UFT will train hundreds of members representing the union's different divisions and functional chapters on negotiations and then the team will begin to discuss priorities for the next DOE-UFT contract. Functional chapter subcommittees will soon begin formulating their own unique bargaining demands.


Seniority lists now available

The DOE has issued the seniority lists for both pedagogues and paraprofessionals. These lists come into play when excessing occurs at a school. The principal is expected to provide the seniority list when the chapter leader requests it. If your principal refuses, you should speak to your UFT district rep. You should show the seniority ranking of any member of your school chapter who asks to see the seniority list. Find out how to read a seniority list (you must be logged in to the UFT website to access it) and read a Q&A on excessing.


Teachers' Retirement System to divest Russian holdings

The trustees of the New York City Teachers' Retirement System have voted to "prudently divest" from Russian securities "to ensure the long-term stability of our pension system." TRS holds about $90 million in Russian securities out of its total portfolio of $104 billion. "We have to stand up for justice," said UFT President Michael Mulgrew. "Russia's invasion of Ukraine is an attack on democracy. There must be consequences for this kind of offense against international peace."


UFT president testifies on mayoral control

The one-house budget resolutions recently issued by the state Assembly and the Senate did not include a proposal to extend mayoral control in New York City, indicating that school governance may not be addressed as part of state budget legislation. In testimony before the joint education committees in Albany on March 4, UFT President Michael Mulgrew testified that mayoral control should not be extended without revisions. He said the UFT does not want to see the return of a school-board governance structure, but the state should alter the current governance structure to allow for greater educator and family input while implementing stricter limits on the mayor's powers. The UFT recommends balancing the composition of the Panel for Educational Policy so the mayor no longer controls the majority of appointments and parents have more representation.

Read the full testimony

Chapter Leader Checklist

  • Part 4 of UFT training for new chapter leaders: Chapter leaders with five or less years in the role may still register for virtual attendance for Part 4 of the union's training series on Saturday, March 26, and Sunday, March 27. In-person attendance is full. You do not need to have attended the first three parts to participate in this final training session.

    Register now
  • Nominate your chapter for a Trachtenberg Award: Are you proud of your union chapter? Nominate it for an Ely Trachtenberg Award. Hallmarks of award-winning chapters include holding regularly scheduled chapter meetings, having a consultation committee that meets regularly with administration and having a high or growing proportion of members who contribute to COPE. Winning chapters will be honored and given their Trachtenberg plaque at the 2022 Teacher Union Day ceremony. Nominations are due by April 29. See the online nomination form for more information about the selection criteria. Please note: Chapters that received a Trachtenberg Award in the past three years are ineligible this year.
  • Celebrate the UFT's 62nd anniversary: Celebrate the birth of the UFT by showing this two-minute video about the UFT's founding to set the tone at your chapter meeting this month.
  • Fliers to share with your members: Here are fliers you can print and distribute in member mailboxes or post on your school's UFT bulletin board.

Work in progress

The UFT is working on the following issues with the DOE and other city, state and federal-level entities as appropriate:

  • Contacting all teachers and paras who are in danger of termination due to a lapse in certification requirements.
  • Resolving spring break 2020 dispute over vacation days for members with low CAR balances.
  • Fighting for state funding for UFT initiatives and other education priorities.
  • Resolving late payments for after-hours SERS and SEED work by occupational and physical therapists.
  • Discussing summer school and the 2022-23 school calendar.

School Chapters on UFT.org

Where chapter leaders can find the resources, information and online forms they need to fulfil their crucial role in building a strong union.
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You Should Know

INSTRUCTION

APPR complaint form for this school year on website

A fast and straightforward complaint resolution process was established to protect UFT members if principals don't follow correct procedures for the teacher evaluation system. Teachers who believe they have been rated improperly this year as the result of a procedural violation may use the APPR complaint form to ask their principal for assistance in resolving the issue. The teacher must file this form within five school days of knowledge of the act or occurrence that led to the request for assistance. Teachers must be logged in to the UFT website and covered by the Advance evaluation system to access this online form.

Evaluation guidance for teachers in ATR pool

Teachers in the Absent Teacher Reserve pool who are acting in a day-to-day absence-coverage capacity should not be evaluated with the Advance system; instead, they should be evaluated using the traditional S/U system. Teachers in the ATR pool are eligible for evaluation under the Advance system only if they are full-time K-12 classroom teachers of record for at least six cumulative calendar months and during that time teach at least 40% of a full-time position. ATRs should see their chapter leader if they have questions about their evaluation status.

March 31 deadline for Career Training Program for paras

Paraprofessionals have until March 31 to apply online for the summer 2022 semester of the Career Training Program, which provides tuition assistance, up to six credits per semester, until the completion of a bachelor's degree at a participating college/university for eligible UFT paraprofessionals. To be eligible, the para must be a full-time paraprofessional employed in a New York City public school who has not yet earned a bachelor's degree. Substitute paraprofessionals are not eligible to participate in this program. Participants must maintain a "C" grade point average (2.0) to remain in the program.

An update to SETSS group sizes

SESIS has been updated to allow IEP teams to recommend "Other" group sizes (i.e., between two and seven) for Direct Service Special Education Teacher Support Services (SETSS) recommendations on students' Individualized Education Programs. Read more information on this new option.


SALARY & PERSONNEL

Apply now to be a peer independent evaluator

Peer independent evaluators observe teachers who were rated Ineffective the previous school year and play an important role in ensuring that these teachers are fairly evaluated. The city DOE is seeking applicants for this teacher assigned position. Eligible members must have a minimum of five years of teaching experience, an overall rating of Highly Effective or Effective (or Satisfactory, where applicable) in the most recent school year. Teachers and teachers assigned may apply. Read the posting. Applications will be accepted online until Wednesday, April 13.

Everything Else

Nominate a colleague for an Academic High School award

Celebrate the exceptional work of UFT members working in academic high schools by submitting a nomination for the Team High School Awards! We're looking for nominations in four award categories: Team High School Award for a school that demonstrates excellence. Excellence in Education Award for an academic high school teacher. Outstanding UFT Activist Award for a high school member who demonstrates commitment to union activism. Community Champion Award for a school-related professional in an academic high school who is dedicated to their school community. The deadline for nominations is Friday, March 18. The winners will be honored at the annual Academic High School Awards Celebration at UFT headquarters on Friday, April 8. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at teamhighschool@uft.org.

Submit a nomination


Register for the UFT Middle School Conference on April 9

Do your members work in a middle or K–8 school? Please encourage them to attend "Live from the UFT — the seventh annual Middle School Conference" on Saturday, April 9, at UFT headquarters, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Participants can attend two workshops of their choice and earn up to three CTLE hours. The keynote speaker is State Sen. Shelly B. Mayer, the co-chair of the State Senate Committee on Education. UFT President Michael Mulgrew will also speak. The conference, which will be fully in person, includes breakfast, lunch and giveaways. The registration fee is $25 for teachers who wish to receive CTLE hours; $15 for teachers without CTLE; $15 for paraprofessionals who wish to receive CTLE hours; and $10 for paraprofessionals without CTLE.

Register


Remembering the Victims: Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire

Join us at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, March 25, for the virtual commemoration of the 111th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. We will remember the dead and honor their legacy with music and by hearing from workers in today's labor struggles. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire was among the deadliest workplace tragedies in U.S. history and the resulting public outrage led to new workplace safety laws, the strengthening of unions and a surge in political action around labor issues. Use this form to register for the virtual ceremony. Translation will be provided in Spanish, Mandarin and American Sign Language.


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