Chapter Leader UpdateJune 23, 2022
Chapter Leader UpdateJune 23, 2022
#FundOurSchools: Staff members at the HS of World Cultures in the Bronx protested budget cuts to schools during the UFT's Day of Action on June 22.
This Week's Focus
In this final issue of the Chapter Leader Update, I offer a heartfelt thank you to each of you for your steadfast efforts on behalf of our members during another challenging school year. You have kept members informed and supported, and you have mobilized them to speak out on crucial issues from gun violence to class size to budget cuts. We have more battles ahead of us, but we have shown the power we have when we stand united. I wish you all a restful and restorative summer break. You’ve earned it.
- Michael Mulgrew, UFT President
Protest against school budget cuts at City Hall this Friday
Thank you for organizing a Day of Action at your school on Wednesday on short notice. The public needs to know about the damage the mayor’s $215 million in budget cuts will do to our schools. We are going to keep the pressure on this Friday, June 24, the day of an emergency school-funding hearing called by City Council Education Committee Chair Rita Joseph. Please join us after the hearing at 3 p.m., as we gather on the City Hall steps to protest the city’s harmful and unnecessary cuts to school budgets. Ask your school’s PTA president to encourage parents to come. If these cuts are allowed to stand, our class sizes will return to pre-pandemic levels, teachers will be excessed and valuable school programs will be lost at a time when our students need more support than ever.
DOE releases summer COVID protocols
The city Department of Education has issued health and safety COVID protocols for this year's Summer Rising program. All classrooms will have air conditioning and two air purifiers. Beginning the week of July 11, 10% of students in grades 1-8 in each building will be tested each week, as well as up to 10% of staff after student testing is completed. Students in grades K-12 and any staff members who exhibit COVID-like symptoms at school or have been exposed to COVID-19 in a classroom setting should receive two at-home rapid tests. Every student and staff member must complete the health screening form prior to entering the school building each day. Rapid tests will also be available.
UFT offices are open this summer
The UFT will be open to serve members on a modified schedule throughout the summer. UFT headquarters and borough offices will be open from 9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m., Monday to Thursday, from Tuesday, July 5, through Labor Day. The Grievance Department at UFT headquarters will be open on Fridays with a reduced staff. Mental health support is also available to members throughout the summer. Members can call MAP at 212-701-9620 or email the support team at email@example.com. All UFT offices will be closed on Monday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day; and on Monday, Sept. 5, in observance of Labor Day. Regular office hours, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., will resume on Tuesday, Sept. 6. UFT members can call the union at 212-331-6311 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, during the summer.
Chapter Leader Checklist
- Confirm member contact information: Please make sure you have current non-DOE email addresses and/or cell phone numbers for all members of your chapter and that they have notified the union of any changes. This way, you can reach members over the summer if the need arises, and you’ll be ready for the start of school in the fall.
- Citywide Chapter Leader Meeting in September: Chapter leaders should save the date for the Citywide Chapter Leader Meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 14, from 4:15 p.m. to 6 p.m. The meeting will take place at UFT headquarters in Shanker Hall on the second floor.
Work in progress
The UFT is working on the following issues with the DOE and other city, state and federal-level entities as appropriate:
- Safety and health protocols for the 2022-23 school year.
- A common-sense way to roll out the dyslexia screening that does not unnecessarily further burden UFT members.
- Information and support for special education teachers with K-12 and 7-12 generalist teaching certificates interested in obtaining a limited extension that would allow them to teach special (self-contained) content classes as soon as the 2022-23 school year.
School Chapters on UFT.org
You Should Know
MEDICAL & WELLNESS
Efforts begin to rein in health care costs
The Municipal Labor Committee, the umbrella group of nearly 100 municipal labor unions including the UFT, negotiates the health care benefits of all city workers. The top priority of the MLC and the UFT is to maintain high-quality, premium-free health care for all city workers even as costs increase year after year. The city, with the MLC’s support, issued a request for information on June 16 to let the health care industry know that the city is seeking a 10% decrease in health care costs without sacrificing any of its employees’ existing benefits. This process has been successfully used many times over the years to preserve our excellent health care without raising the out-of-pocket cost for individual members. In fact, the city and the MLC have saved more than $10 billion over the years by aggressively using our buying power to save money on health care. As health care costs continue to rise, it’s more important than ever to find cost-saving measures so we can preserve premium-free health care for all our members.
Vote in the state primary next Tuesday — or earlier
UFT members are encouraged to vote in this month’s New York State primary. Early voting, which began on June 18, runs through this Sunday, June 26. The primary is next Tuesday, June 28. New York City voters may choose candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, New York State Assembly, judges and party positions. The primary for candidates running for New York State Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives is Tuesday, Aug. 23. The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. See the union’s political endorsements on the UFT website.
SALARY & PERSONNEL
DOE’s summer payroll protocols
Payroll no longer closes for the summer, which means UFT members employed by the DOE may enroll in the direct deposit program and/or update your choices throughout the year. Members who receive paper checks will have their summer checks mailed to the address on file with the DOE on the regularly scheduled pay dates.
Join the UFT at the Pride March on Sunday
Join the UFT for the LGBTQ+ Pride March this Sunday. Escalating rhetorical, legislative and even violent attacks on the LGBTQ+ community make it vital to show we are unapologetically us! The UFT contingent will gather at 11 a.m. on West 30th Street, between Fifth and Sixth avenues. Look for the UFT banner. We will march south on Fifth Avenue and turn west on West Eighth Street. Once across Sixth Avenue, the parade will proceed down Christopher Street, past the Stonewall National Monument, and then north on Seventh Avenue. The route ends at West 23rd Street.
Save the date for the UFT Invitational Golf Outing
The union will host its annual Invitational Golf Outing on Monday, Oct. 10, to benefit the UFT Disaster Relief Fund. Please save the date and tell your members who golf about this event at Silver Lake Golf Course on Staten Island. We look forward to having you join us for a day on the links to raise money for a good cause. Registration will open soon.
Recent guidance and agreements
- Updated end-of-school-year activities guidance (May 21, 2022)
- Updated policies for use of DOE space (May 18, 2022)
- Remote per-session work for the 2021–22 school year (November 2021)
- Mayor's Personnel Order No. 2021/2 on excused leave to get own child vaccinated (Nov. 8, 2021)
- DOE-UFT Memorandum of Agreement on remote instruction for the 2021-22 school year (Aug. 30, 2021)