Chapter Leader UpdateApril 12, 2022
Chapter Leader UpdateApril 12, 2022
CELEBRATING OUR HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATORS: UFT Vice President Janella Hinds (right) celebrates with four of the educators who received Excellence in Education Awards at the Academic High Schools Awards Celebration 2022, on April 8, at UFT headquarters. (Erica Berger)
This Week's Focus
Albany delivers on historic levels of education funding
State funding for public schools will increase 4% in the state budget agreement finalized this week. The final budget provides a $475 million increase for New York City public schools, including a $309 million boost in foundation aid for schools in the neediest districts in New York City. The budget also provides increased funding for UFT Teacher Centers, United Community Schools and mental health services in city schools. Following a coordinated lobbying campaign by state and city unions, the budget includes two modifications to Tier 6, the pension tier that DOE employees hired after April 1, 2012, belong to. Tier 6 pension contribution rates from April 1, 2022, to April 1, 2024, will be determined using base pay. The budget deal also reduces the service time that members of Tier 6 must accrue before their pensions vest, from 10 years to five years. “Gov. Hochul and the legislature invested in public schools and in the educators and staff who have been there for our students during the pandemic,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew. “Albany delivered on historic levels of education funding, including funds for additional mental health support in schools. And it took steps towards making retirement for educators and public employees fairer with initial reforms to the pension system." Thank you to the chapter leaders and all our members who participated in our virtual Advocacy Week in March to make the case for more state support.
Have you checked out the Chapter Leader Hub yet?
We hope you’ve logged in to the new Chapter Leader Hub by now and have begun to use this online hub we created to support your crucial work as a chapter leader. At a glance, you can see the status of union enrollment, COPE contributions and grievances in your school chapter. You can now access the Step 1 grievance form, the consultation committee summary form and the operational issues complaint form from the hub only. You will also find a digital version of the Chapter Leader Handbook and materials from this year’s chapter leader training weekends. It’s all in one place at your fingertips. You can access the hub using your UFT website username and password. We encourage you to explore the hub and all the information and guidance it contains.
Register for our Spring Education Conference in May
Online registration will begin this Thursday for the Spring Education Conference, our premier annual conference that celebrates, supports and inspires our work as public school educators. This year, we are back in person at the New York Hilton Midtown on Saturday, May 21, from 7:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. We’ll hold a panel discussion featuring your peers about how the school system can best address the challenges of this moment. We’ll also have CTLE workshops on teaching multilingual learners and creating resilience, an exhibit fair where CTE students show off their skills and breakfast and a gala luncheon. The registration fee for the conference is $50 per person. There is an additional cost of $15 per CTLE hour for teachers and $7.50 per CTLE hour for paraprofessionals and other UFT members who attend workshops for credit. School Leadership Team members may draw on funds allocated to the team to pay for registration fees by using the Spring Education Conference Purchase Order. For more information about paying by purchase order, see the UFT Purchase Order Memo.
April 25 deadline to request a new ballot
Ballots in the UFT election for president and other officers, Executive Board positions and convention delegates for the union’s state and national affiliates have been mailed to members’ homes. Any member who has not received a ballot by April 18 or has received an incorrect ballot should notify the American Arbitration Association by calling 800-218-5524 (Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.) or via e-mail at UlerioS@adr.org. Requests for ballots must be made no later than Monday, April 25, at 5 p.m. Ballots must be received by the independent American Arbitration Association by May 9. Caucus statements, voting instructions and Election Do’s and Don’t's can be found in the UFT Elections 2022 section of the website. If you have any questions about the UFT election process, please contact Election Chair Carl Cambria at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Open Market Transfer Plan period begins on April 13
The Open Market Transfer Plan offers all pedagogues, as well as paraprofessionals, access to job openings across the city. From April 13 through Aug. 8 this year, UFT members do not need a release from a principal to change schools. They can view vacancies and submit online applications via the DOE website during the open market transfer period. Under the plan, individuals can apply for any and all vacancies for which they are appropriately licensed. They may even apply to schools without current openings. We suggest following up all digital applications with a hard copy mailed to the school or a PDF sent via email to the school. It usually takes a month or so before a significant number of vacancies are posted since many principals wait until after the release of school budgets. The Open Market Transfer Plan Q&A on the UFT website offers more information about the process.
Work in progress
- Post the new UFT election notice on your bulletin board: Make sure you post this UFT election notice on your bulletin board in a prominent place. A copy has also been mailed to your school.
- Secure personal items and equipment during the spring recess: Remind your colleagues to protect themselves against theft. UFT members should secure all personal belongings and valuable school equipment such as laptops and projectors during the break.
- Signed up for Wednesday’s Delegate Assembly?: As your school’s elected union representative, your participation at Delegate Assembly meetings is a crucial part of the UFT policymaking process. And now that these meetings are hybrid, attending is more convenient than ever. Find your email invitation and register now for the Delegate Assembly on Wednesday, April 13, if you haven’t already done so.
- Last chance to nominate your chapter for the Trachtenberg Award: April 29 is the deadline to nominate your UFT chapter for an Ely Trachtenberg Award. Winning chapters will be honored at the 2022 Teacher Union Day ceremony in November. See the online nomination form for details.
- 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.
School Chapters on UFT.org
You Should Know
HEALTH & SAFETY
At-home test kits for return from spring recess
School staff will receive two at-home rapid tests on Monday, April 11, as part of the DOE’s regular weekly test-kit distribution for staff, and two more tests on Thursday, April 14, to ensure staff have a second set of tests to use before they return from the spring recess on April 25. Students in 3K through Grade 12 should receive four tests on April 14 to take home. Students may share two of these tests with a family member. Students and staff are strongly encouraged to take an at-home rapid test prior to returning to school. Staff and students who have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days do not need to take a test prior to their return.
Employees allowed up to four hours for second booster
Americans who are 50 or older and Americans age 12 or older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised are eligible for a second Pfizer or Moderna booster shot if it’s been at least four months since they received their first booster. The DOE has stated that up to four hours can be given to employees for this second booster shot. The same payroll codes that were used for previous booster shots apply.
SALARY & PERSONNEL
edTPA exam is no longer required for certification
The State Education Department has eliminated the edTPA exam as a requirement for New York State initial teaching certificates. Candidates who already have an application on file with the New York State Education Department but have not yet met that requirement will no longer be required to do so. If passing the edTPA exam is the only unmet requirement to receive certification, the state will automatically issue the certificate and it will be available in the member’s TEACH account as of April 28. You can use the State Education Department’s tool to search for the specific requirements you must meet for a specific certificate. UFT members with questions about this change can call 212-331-6311 and ask to speak with a certification specialist. Read the edTPA FAQs and the edTPA announcement" on the State Education Department website.
Changes to make it easier to renew the Initial Certificate
The State Education Department allows candidates who were unable to complete at least three years of acceptable experience for the Professional Certificate to renew their Initial Certificate for an additional five years. It is removing the requirement that these candidates complete 50 hours of CTLE and/or professional learning for a reissuance of their Initial Certificate, effective this April 27. These candidates must still demonstrate current content knowledge by passing the content specialty test(s) in the area(s) required for the certificate sought within one year of applying for reissuance. If you have any questions, please call the union at 212-331-6311 and ask to speak with a certification specialist.
Members on leave must reapply by May 16
UFT-represented employees who are currently on leave must notify the DOE about their plans for next school year by Monday, May 16. If a member fails to notify the DOE about their plans or fails to apply for a leave extension by that date, the DOE will view that member as having voluntarily resigned from their position. The UFT and the DOE have sent emails to this group of members telling them to take care of this important matter. Members with questions should call the UFT at 212-331-6311.
UFT’s “Listen Up! The reality is…” panel this Thursday
Members are invited to watch the union’s “Listen Up! The reality is…” panel on Facebook Live on Thursday, April 14, starting at 4 p.m. A panel of eight public school educators will speak to Schools Chancellor David C. Banks and other key education policy makers about their experiences and share their thoughts and ideas about what educators and students need at this moment. City Council Education Committee Chair Rita Joseph, a former UFT member and Brooklyn teacher, will be the panel moderator.
Walk or run to raise money for the educators of Ukraine
Join us for the UFT’s 9th annual 5K Run/Walk to raise money for Ukrainian educators and their families. Donations will be channeled through the UFT Disaster Relief Fund. The 5K Run/Walk starts at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 14, when participants will confirm their registration. We’ll begin running and walking at 9 a.m. The UFT 5K Run/Walk takes place at Maimonides Park (formerly MCU Park) next to the Coney Island boardwalk, 1904 Surf Ave., Brooklyn. Registration is $25 for adults and $15 for children under the age of 12. See the chapter leader checklist for the flier.
Recent guidance and agreements
- Staff vaccination requirements (March 29, 2022)
- Updated DOE School Health Policy (March 24, 2022)
- DOE field trip guidance (March 22, 2022)
- Updated Situation Room tips for principals (March 15, 2022)
- Updated DOE guidance on face coverings (March 10, 2022)
- Policies for use of DOE space (March 4, 2022)
- Remote per-session work for the 2021–22 school year (November 2021)
- DOE-UFT Memorandum of Agreement on remote instruction for the 2021-22 school year (Sept. 1, 2021)