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Chapter Leader UpdateJan. 19, 2023

Five people wearing colorful dresses pose for a photo in front of a wall covered in art

RINGING IN THE NEW YEAR: UFT members at PS 203 in Oakland Gardens, Queens, welcomed parents to the school’s celebration of the Lunar New Year on Jan. 18. (Jonathan Fickies)

This Week's Focus

Get ready for your contract teach-in on Jan. 30

More than a thousand chapter leaders and other Contract Action Team members have turned out for our three training sessions this week. Now, it’s time to gear up for the Day of Action ahead. Please get out the word to your chapter’s members that the teach-in is on Monday, Jan. 30. Before the teach-in:

  • Identify other members of your CAT team — link up!
  • Decide on a time to hold the teach-in at your school or worksite. 
  • Publicize your teach-in by posting this flier on your UFT bulletin board or distributing it in mailboxes.
  • Talk it up! High attendance will make this action much more powerful.

During the teach-in, discuss, engage and educate. Use the teach-in facilitator’s guide and this PowerPoint presentation. (The full digital toolkit will be sent to all Contract Action Team members in the coming days.) Don’t forget to take photos (or assign someone else to do it) of the teach-in. Share these photos on social media using the hashtag #UFTFairContractNow and tag #UFT on Facebook, @UFT on Twitter and @uftny on Instagram so we can amplify your message. Send your favorite photo to with caption information.

Speak out against Success Academy co-locations

UFT members, principals, politicians and public school families from District 11 in the northeast Bronx rallied this Thursday afternoon outside the Richard R. Green Campus to protest the DOE’s proposal to co-locate a Success Academy charter school in a building that already houses two middle schools. It’s the latest in a number of angry protests by school communities this year against an effort by Eva Moskowitz and her Success Academy corporate charter school chain to elbow their way into school buildings across the city. Read the news article on the UFT website.

The citywide Panel on Educational Policy will vote on the proposed co-locations on Jan. 24 (in Queens) and Jan. 25 (in the Bronx).

UFT members can make their voices heard by:

  1. Sending an email to the PEP members asking them to vote no and explaining how we use our classroom space, in addition to instruction, to serve students.
  2. Coming to a PEP meeting, where members of the public are invited to comment before the panel votes.

See our Protest Charter Co-locations campaign on the UFT website for the details.

Get members excited about the new UFT Member Hub

The UFT launched its new Member Hub this month, and chapter leaders should encourage their members to check it out. Similar to the Chapter Leader Hub, the Member Hub places member-specific and other key information right at the member’s fingertips. Members can update their contact information, sign up for workshops, explore their benefits, view their claim status and do more in this personalized hub. The hub is accessed using the same username and password that you use to log in to the UFT website. If you have not yet explored the Member Hub, take a look. As a chapter leader, you can access both the Chapter Leader Hub and the Member Hub from the same main webpage.

Log in to the Member Hub

Hochul shows her support for public schools in State of the State speech

Gov. Kathy Hochul once again demonstrated her strong support for public schools in the State of the State address she delivered in Albany on Jan. 10. Hochul said she plans to include in her budget proposal a $2.7 billion increase in state school aid under the Foundation Aid formula, which prioritizes high-needs districts. “Gov. Hochul stands behind her commitment to invest in public education by proposing to fully fund Foundation Aid,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew. “Our students and educators deserve no less.” Hochul plans to invest $250 million of foundation aid to create high-impact tutoring programs through which students are tutored multiple times a week. The UFT has long championed investing in mental health services in public schools and school-based health clinics, both core components of the union’s United Community Schools, so it’s good news that Hochul proposes increasing the rate at which Medicaid reimburses school-based clinics and providing more aid for school-based mental health services for students. Hochul also plans to establish a grant pipeline to provide seed funding for school-based health center projects. The governor will invest $10 million over two years in competitive funding for school districts and others — working in collaboration with local industry — to develop strategic workforce plans that promote job readiness in their local economies.

In-service RFP program is moving along

The negotiated acquisition RFP process for a new health plan for the city’s 300,000-plus workers is moving forward. Our goal is to keep health care insurance premium-free while providing the same or better benefits for members. The city and the Municipal Labor Committee have entered Phase 2 of the bidding process. Bidding has closed, and the city and the MLC have identified several qualified applicants. The city and the MLC will interview each of these insurance companies and narrow the field further. This process allows for lots of back-and-forth between the insurance provider and the city and the unions to ensure the new in-service health plan will achieve the necessary health care savings while preserving the same high standard of health care. 

Chapter Leader Checklist

To Do #1
Remind members to submit Teacher’s Choice receipts

Members must submit a Statement of Purpose/Accountability form along with their receipts for all eligible Teacher’s Choice purchases for the current school year by Friday, Jan. 20 to the school’s payroll secretary.

To Do #2
Remind teachers about the fall-term deadline for observations

Remind your teachers that they should have received half of their observations by Monday, Jan. 30, which is the last day of the fall term. If they have not had half of their observations by this date, they can file an APPR complaint on the UFT website. They could receive an observation report from a fall observation during the spring term, but they cannot be observed in the spring term until after they’ve received written reports for all their fall observations. 

To Do #3
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

Enhancements made to your hub

We listened to chapter leaders who told us they’d like to see job titles when viewing their school’s member report and COPE report in the Chapter Leader Hub. As a result, we’ve added that information. We also made it possible for chapter leaders to export their school’s grievance report. We welcome chapter leader feedback as we seek to continually improve the Chapter Leader Hub. Please note: School chapter leaders will now see tabs for the Chapter Leader Hub and the Member Hub on the same main webpage. 

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: 

  • The UFT is working on the following issues with the DOE and other city, state and federal-level entities as appropriate:
  • Helping sub paras through the DOE’s hiring process.
  • Addressing issues with SubCentral and principals pulling ICT teachers to cover absences.
  • Working to address the deficits in the GAMA software program for grading, attendance and parent messaging.
  • Working with state lawmakers to introduce bills to improve Tier 6 and make other pension reforms in this year’s session in Albany.

You Should Know


School safety agent radio policy reverts to original protocol

After changing the school safety agent radio policy at the beginning of the school year in an effort to accelerate police response times in an emergency, the NYPD reverted on Jan. 17 to its prior radio policy. School safety agents will once again monitor the DOE in-house frequency, which is also used by deans and assistant principals. Schools found it more important to be able to communicate easily among staff in the building. The school’s Level III agent will have two radios to monitor: one on the DOE frequency and the other on the NYPD citywide frequency. Questions can be directed to UFT Safety and Health Director Jeff Povalitis at


Review January ELL Data Update Report

As we head into the second half of the year, schools will want to confirm that all English language learners have been identified and programmed for mandated services. The next ELL Update Report (EDUR) will be sent to your principal by Jan. 27. The report includes a list of:

  • Newly enrolled students who must complete ELL identification processes within 10 school days of initial enrollment (20 school days for students with an Individualized Education Program); and
  • ELLs and former ELLs not yet programmed for mandated bilingual education and/or English as a new language in STARS.

If members of your chapter have questions as to whether ELLs are receiving appropriate services, speak to your principal. A UFT member may also file a UFT ELL complaint.

For additional information, see the DOE’s Policy and Reference Guide for MLs/ELLs.


“New year, new you” Classroom Café podcast

The start of a new year is a great time to reflect on the past year and think about changes you’d like to make for the months ahead. In this episode of the UFT Member Assistance Program’s Classroom Café podcast, “New year, new you,” Donna Resmini, a wellness and fitness coach, discusses ways to set yourself up for success, including how to have a daily magic moment, the importance of gratitude and other wellness practices, and how to focus on being present, not perfect.

Listen to the podcast


Save the date for UFT Lobby Day

UFT Lobby Day will take place on Monday, March 13, this year. Please save the date on your calendar if you want to participate and help ensure that New York City public schools get strong state funding. More details will be available soon.


Pre-tax transit limits increase for 2023

The city Office of Payroll Administration has informed the UFT that the monthly pre-tax limit for commuter benefits has increased from $280 to $300, the new IRS limit. This change took effect or will take effect on the first pay date in January. DOE employees do not need to change their commuter benefits’ payroll deductions or their current Edenred order. Employees who were at the previous pre-tax maximum of $280 for transit and parking will automatically have $300 deducted each month starting in January. Please contact the DOE’s Payroll Benefits Unit at if you have any questions.

DOE releases January seniority reports

The city Department of Education has issued the January 2023 seniority reports. If you need to see your school’s seniority report, please reach out to your district rep to request it. Refer to the step-by-step review of how to read a seniority list on the UFT website.

A tenure and certification workshop for school librarians

The UFT is inviting school librarians and members assigned to school libraries to a virtual tenure and certification workshop on Tuesday, Jan. 31, from 4 to 6 p.m. Many members serving as school librarians are certified in areas other than school library media specialist and may be interested in attaining certification and earning tenure in this area. If that is the case in your school, please share the registration link with that individual since they probably did not get the email invitation directly.

Certification requirements for school counselors will change

The state Board of Regents established new certification requirements for school counselors that go into effect on Thursday, Feb. 2. Currently, school counselors receive provisional and permanent certification from the New York State Education Department. As of Feb. 2, school counselors will be issued initial and professional certification. School counselors are responsible for keeping their certifications current. Anyone holding a valid provisional certificate has the remaining time until their certificate expires, including time extensions or reissuances, to complete the requirements and apply for a permanent school counselor certificate. If you have questions, please call the UFT at 212-331-6312 and ask to speak with a certification specialist. Read more about the certification requirements.


Celebrate “Rebirth and New Beginnings” at the UFT’s CTE Awards

The UFT will recognize career and technical education high school members from across the city at the 2023 CTE Awards on Friday, Feb. 3, from 4 to 8 p.m., at UFT headquarters in Shanker Hall. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. This year’s theme is “Rebirth and New Beginnings.” We will recognize the teachers who go the extra mile for their CTE students as well as honor those educators who helped transform what was once known as vocational education into what we know today as career and technical education. Please join the UFT as we honor your fellow UFT members.

Register for the event

Expanded eligibility for Albert Shanker scholarships

The UFT is delighted to announce that all high school students, regardless of immigration status, may now apply for a UFT Albert Shanker college scholarship. Each year, the UFT proudly awards $1 million in undergraduate and graduate scholarships to academically excellent and financially eligible students from New York City public schools. This year, for the first time, undocumented students who are graduating this school year and will matriculate in college next fall are welcome to apply. The application deadline is Feb. 28. Read more about the scholarship and encourage your high school seniors to apply.

Save the date for the Paraprofessional Festival and Awards Luncheon

The UFT’s 41st annual Paraprofessional Festival and Awards Luncheon will take place on Saturday, March 25, at the New York Hilton at 1335 Sixth Ave., from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This year’s theme is “Remembering the Past as We Embrace the Future.” In addition to the awards ceremony, Parafest offers workshops to paraprofessionals on a range of topics including MindUp Life principles to help self-regulation; Apple workshops teaching ways to use Apple applications for translation, accessibility and building spreadsheets; and pension workshops to learn more about para benefits upon retirement. Members may also participate in the carnival. There will be giveaways and raffles. The registration fee is $25 without CTLE credit and $35 with CTLE credit. Registration will open soon.

Register for our Black History Month Film series

In celebration of Black History Month in February, the UFT is inviting members to a series of four films. We’ll be screening them on four Thursdays in February and March simultaneously at UFT headquarters, the Staten Island borough office and the Queens borough office. We will also be showing each film remotely at the same time. Following each film, we will hold a discussion. We’re showing the first film, “The Color of Care,” on Thursday, Feb. 2, at 4 p.m. This documentary traces the origins of racial health disparities to the practices that began in the days of slavery in the United States and continue to this day. Register for this film and the others.

Educational resources on racial equity and social justice

During the first week of February, which is Black History Month, Black Lives Matter at School encourages educators, students, parents and community organizations to participate in a week of teaching and discussions. Black Lives Matter at School is a national coalition organizing for racial justice in education. The UFT has compiled classroom resources, organized by grade level, to help teachers address the crucial issues of racial equity and social justice in the classroom. In addition, the AFT offers a compendium of Black History Month lesson plans and resources as well as Diversity, Equity and Inclusion lesson plans and resources including Caribbean American Heritage Month, Black Music Appreciation Month, Teaching Juneteenth and American Slavery.

Last chance to nominate a colleague for a high school award

The deadline is Monday, Jan. 30, to nominate a high school colleague for one of the UFT’s academic high school awards. We’ll honor the winners at the UFT’s Academic High School Awards Celebration at union headquarters on May 5. If you are an academic high school chapter leader, please post this flier on your UFT bulletin board. If you have any questions, contact

Submit a nomination

Recent Guidance and Agreements

Contact the UFT

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