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Chapter Leader UpdateNov. 3, 2022

Two women wearing Statue of Liberty crowns stand next to someone wearing a homemade Frankenstein

MONSTER MATH: Math Department Chair Donnett Langley-Samuels (left) and math teacher Katia Genes take the fear out of fractions at Harvest Collegiate HS’s annual Fractionstein event on Oct. 31. (Erica Berger) 

This Week's Focus

Support 3K and pre-K members at our rally this Friday

The disorganization and confusion at the DOE’s Division of Early Childhood Education — the program set up by the prior administration to run the city’s 3K and pre-K programs — has reached a critical point. We have witnessed the systematic dismantling of the division’s instructional plan and supporting services since September. Our school system's early childhood education program, until recently considered the pre-eminent program of its kind in the country, is being dismantled before our eyes. The staffers who built this program are being cast aside, preschool sites are shutting down, and 3K and pre-K educators are not getting the support they deserve. The city’s youngest students are paying the price. What is happening to this division is unconscionable. Come out in union blue for our rally on Friday, Nov. 4, at 4 p.m. on the steps of the Tweed Courthouse at 52 Chambers St. (please note: the email version had the wrong address). 

City threatens health care premiums for in-service members

The city sent a letter to the Municipal Labor Committee announcing its intent to enroll all Medicare eligible city retirees in a NYC Medicare Advantage plan. If the unions don’t go along with this plan, the city has threatened annual health care premiums of roughly $1,500 for all in service municipal employees. We need your help to tell the City Council to amend the city’s administrative code to preserve health plan choices for retirees and save premium-free health care for all UFT members. Learn more in our updated health care FAQ.

Please call, send an email to or tweet at your City Council member — or the Council member who represents your school neighborhood — and ask them to amend the administrative code now.

Get out and vote in the Nov. 8 election 

Early voting in New York State began on Oct. 29 and continues through Sunday, Nov. 6. Gov. Kathy Hochul has the UFT’s strong endorsement. Since taking office a year ago, Governor Hochul has done a tremendous amount for education and our members, including signing the historic New York City class size bill into law and delivering the full amount of state funding that city public schools are owed. She also signed into law landmark pension legislation to automatically enroll full-time paraprofessionals in the Teachers’ Retirement System. See the other candidates endorsed by NYSUT and the UFT. NYSUT and the UFT recommend that members vote YES on the statewide ballot proposal to approve the Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act. The UFT has not made recommendations on the three city-specific ballot initiatives. Members who live in New York City can use this tool to find their early voting and Election Day polling sites. Members who live in other parts of the state can use the Board of Elections' online portal to find their location for early voting and Election Day voting.

Listen to Mulgrew discuss contract talks and health care costs

The latest “On the Record with Michael Mulgrew" podcast tackles two key issues for UFT members: the DOE-UFT contract and health care. The episode opens with a briefing on efforts by the UFT and the other municipal unions to preserve premium-free health care for their members. And then two UFT officers who attended the union’s first bargaining session with the city and the DOE walk us through what to expect as contract talks get underway. 

Listen to the podcast

See you Sunday at Teacher Union Day 

Dignity and respect. Professionalism and due process. Competitive wages and benefits. On Nov. 7, 1960, those things didn’t exist for teachers in New York City public schools. On that day, brave members of our newly formed union went on strike. This Sunday, 62 years later, we commemorate that landmark job action and pay tribute to current union leaders, including 81 chapter leaders, who will receive the Ely Trachtenberg Award for building strong and vibrant UFT chapters. Those who registered will hear New York State Teacher of the Year Billy Green, a Harlem science teacher, speak. The union will also celebrate Shelvy Young-Abrams, who will receive the Charles Cogen Award, the union’s highest honor, for her fierce advocacy on behalf of paraprofessionals for more than 50 years. The event is this Sunday, Nov. 6, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the New York Hilton Midtown at 1335 Sixth Ave.

See all the 2022 honorees

Chapter Leader Checklist

To Do #1
Identify yourself as a chapter leader when you call 

Tell us you are a chapter leader when you call the union. That way, our team of trained UFT staffers will be able to immediately direct your call. As a chapter leader, you will have more direct access to the union departments and staff you wish to contact when you call the union.

To Do #2
Bring new winter apparel to the Delegate Assembly

You can drop off the brand-new coats and other winter apparel you collected from your school’s winter clothing drive to the Nov. 16 Delegate Assembly. The donated items can include NEW coats, sweaters, scarves, mittens, gloves and hats in sizes from toddler to adult. You also have the option to bring your donations to any UFT borough office or the 14th floor at UFT headquarters through Nov. 18. If you have questions, reach out to Jeannette Noriega at

To Do #3
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 further strengthen these bonds.

To Do #4
Request a UFT representative to speak at your school 

Do your members have questions about Welfare Fund benefits, certification or school safety and health? Would they like to have a conversation with the UFT vice president from their school division? UFT officers and union reps from various departments are available to visit your school and speak with the members of your chapter. Fill out the online request form on the UFT website.

Request a school visit

To Do #5
Shine a spotlight on an impressive new teacher at your school
We want to showcase the great things happening in New York City public schools and honor UFT members’ accomplishments. Does your school have a teacher in their first three years on the job who is already leaving their mark on your school? Is one of your new teachers using skills they honed in a prior career to benefit New York City students?  We are looking for dynamic new teachers to feature in the Building Your Career section of the New York Teacher and on social media. 

Nominate a teacher

To Do #6
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.

Hub Highlights

File your consultation meeting summaries from the hub

You can file your consultation meeting summaries quickly and easily in our new Chapter Leader Hub. Go to the Forms section and select “Upload Consultation Committee Notes.” By filing a summary each time your school consultation committee meets with your principal, you have a record of the topics you discussed and the union has a record of the issues that chapter leaders are tackling systemwide. Remember, you can access the Chapter Leader Hub using your UFT website username and password.

Enter the hub

Work in progress

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

  • Advocating for the members employed in the Division of Early Childhood Education and the 3K and pre-K educators they support.
  • Lobbying the New York City Council to amend the administrative code to preserve health plan choices for retirees and save premium-free health care for all UFT members.

You Should Know


Digital classrooms and office hours

Schools are obligated to provide remote instruction to students who are isolating following a positive COVID test. The student’s teacher should use their digital classroom to provide asynchronous instruction and should be paid for office hours. Digital classrooms are not to be used for regular instruction for absent students for absences not connected to a positive COVID test. Read the pivot-to-remote agreement for the 2022-23 school year for the details. If your principal is not complying with these guidelines, please contact your district rep. All teachers and related service providers should have received a check for $225 on or about Oct. 31 for setting up their digital classrooms.

Election Day guidance

Election Day, which is next Tuesday, will be a traditional chancellor's conference day for professional development this school year. Students will not receive instruction of any kind on that day. The DOE is requiring that all staff (other than staff with an approved accommodation or exemption) report in person for PD this year. The workday for teachers and paraprofessionals is 6 hours and 50 minutes (inclusive of lunch) on Nov. 8. Note for per-diem substitutes: If their assignment includes Election Day, they should work on Nov. 8 and report in person.

Determine if PROSE is right for your school

If you work in a school that is highly collaborative and has innovative practices, you may be interested in its becoming a Progressive Redesign Opportunity Schools for Excellence (PROSE) school. PROSE schools may change the UFT contract and DOE regulations to create educator-led, community-driven innovations. The UFT is accepting applications from schools interested in joining the PROSE program in fall 2023. Please join us at a virtual information session on Tuesday, Nov. 22, at 3:30 p.m. In the interim, check out the PROSE section of the UFT website. A PROSE school liaison would be happy to set up a meeting with your school. Contact to request a visit or ask questions. The deadline to submit an application is Friday, March 31, 2023. Applications are reviewed and approved on a rolling basis by the PROSE panel. The earlier your application is received, the sooner it will be reviewed by the panel.

Register for information session


Rising costs of health care contribute to new copays

In response to inflated billing from certain medical providers, some EmblemHealth services will now have copays. As of Oct. 1, for the GHI-CBP plan, all Montefiore providers now have a $15 primary care provider copay and a $30 specialist copay, bringing them in line with other providers. ProHEALTH Urgent Care centers, which have been billing EmblemHealth more than other urgent care centers, will now have a $100 copay. All other participating urgent care centers will continue to have a $50 copay. All high-tech radiology imaging procedures received at participating RadNet facilities, Memorial Sloan Kettering and the Hospital for Special Surgery will continue to have a $50 copay. Starting on Nov. 1, all high-tech radiology services received at other participating facilities in New York State will have a $100 copay.


SHSAT test administered at schools

Schools in Districts 1-32 that terminate in grade 8, as well as District 75 and District 79 schools, will administer the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) on Nov. 17 to the 8th-graders who registered for the exam. The deadline for students to register for the SHSAT is Friday, Nov. 4. Families can register in the parent portal on, or school staff can sign up students.

MOSL selections made known in mid November

The DOE will notify teachers of this school year’s Measures of Student Learning selection around Nov. 15. Teachers should check their DOE email account for this information. If a MOSL selection changes later in the school year, the DOE will notify the teacher via email; teachers should check their DOE email regularly. Find detailed information about the teacher evaluation process on the UFT website.

Pedagogical support for tenured teachers who are struggling

Are you a tenured teacher overwhelmed by classroom issues? The Peer Intervention Program is a collaboration between the UFT and the DOE to provide pedagogical and professional support to tenured teachers who want assistance. PIP is a voluntary program that offers confidential one-on-one support from experienced educators who will create an individualized professional development plan with you. Over the years, the program has successfully helped thousands of struggling teachers. Teachers can find more information, including an online request for assistance, on the Peer Intervention Program section of the UFT website.


Open enrollment period for NYC health benefits is November

This fall’s open-enrollment period for New York City health benefits for in-service members is the month of November. In-service members may switch health care plans any time from Tuesday, Nov. 1, to Wednesday, Nov. 30. All changes take effect on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023.

Learn more

Time to enroll for 2023 flexible health care spending account

Do you spend a lot out of pocket on medical expenses or child care? The city’s Health Care Flexible Spending Account Program and its Dependent Care Assistance Program allow city employees to save some of their pay before taxes for certain out-of-pocket medical, drug and dependent-care costs. Friday, Nov. 18 is the deadline to enroll in either program for the 2023 calendar year. Participants determine an annual dollar amount, and deductions are withheld from their paychecks throughout the year to meet that amount. It is important to carefully estimate your annual expenses prior to choosing the annual contribution because you lose any money you don’t use. (The Health Care Flexible Spending Account Program has a short grace period.) Detailed information and enrollment and claim forms are available on the program’s website. You can call the program at 212-306-7760.

Learn more

Supporting caregivers of children and adults with disabilities

Caring for a loved one with intellectual and developmental disabilities takes patience and compassion. This episode of the UFT Member Assistance Program’s Classroom Café podcast features special guests Rocio Ruiz and Cristy M. Torres of YAI, a social services nonprofit offering a comprehensive range of services for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They discuss the complexities of being a caregiver and share available resources. Listen and subscribe to Classroom Café wherever you listen to podcasts so you don’t miss an episode.

Listen to the podcast


Members should check TEACH account for CTLE status

New York State requires teachers with professional New York State certification and paraprofessionals who hold a Level III Teaching Assistant Certificate to complete 100 hours of Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) every five years. Encourage your members to check their TEACH Online Services account to see if they are registered with the state Education Department. Their profile page shows their current registration period expiration date, which is their deadline for completing 100 CTLE hours for that registration cycle. Every educator's deadline is different, so they must log into their own TEACH account to find out their own deadline. Members must re-register on their TEACH accounts every five years and may do so as early as six months before the current cycle’s expiration date. Failure to do so may result in a fine for late registration; the state has so far waived this fee. Members should not send any proof of CTLE hours unless requested to do so by the state but should be prepared to submit proof if they are audited by the state Office of Teaching Initiatives. Certificate holders may be audited any time during the three years following any registration cycle. Certificate holders should then continue collecting CTLE hours for their next CTLE five-year period. For more information, read our Q&A on certification or call a UFT certification specialist at 212-331-6311.

Members should review records

UFT members should carefully review and save emails from the DOE’s Department of Human Resources concerning their city license/appointment and state certification. If the information received is inaccurate, members should immediately follow the DOE’s instructions to correct errors in the record. If you need assistance from the union, please call 212-331-6311 and ask to speak to a personnel representative.

Recent Guidance and Agreements

Contact the UFT

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