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UFT 2022 state legislative priorities

Our proven programs

United Community Schools and community school categorical aid

Our perspective and position
Our teacher-inspired nonprofit, United Community Schools,  has developed a community school model proven to transform public schools and the communities they serve. Our UCS model pays for a Community School Director/Site Coordinator, who is an expert at bringing in resources and building partnerships. This is a value-add position that allows school leaders and educators to focus on education. This model and expertise should be available to all community schools across the state.

6:1 Community School Director's return on investment
6,000+ families fed in 2020–21
10,500+ health clinic visits coordinated in 2020–21
20,000+ kids and families supported per year

What we're asking

  • A $4 million grant to sustain our current network of community schools
  • $100 million of categorical aid for community schools statewide including a $5 million allocation to United Community Schools to offer statewide technical assistance and support.

Read more about United Community Schools »
See a list of United Community School sites »
"New York Needs More Community Schools," by Michael Mulgrew »
VIDEO: United Community Schools COVID-19 vaccine clinics
VIDEO: United Community Schools on site dental services
VIDEO: Albany United Community School profile
VIDEO: United Community Schools - Making a Difference in Albany

UFT Teacher Center

Our perspective and position
For more than 40 years, the UFT Teacher Center has been a guiding light for NYC educators, a statement that could not be more true during these past two years of the pandemic.

118 Teacher Center sites in 2021–22
281,000 educators, principals and parents supported in 2020–21
126,000 hours of professional development provided in 2020–21

What we're asking

  • Match the governor's $14 million commitment for $28.5 in funding

Pre-2006 funding: $40M
Proposed funding: $14M
Requested funding: $28.5M

Read more about the UFT Teacher Center »
See a list of UFT Teacher Center sites »
Michael Mulgrew on the importance of the UFT Teacher Center program »
VIDEO: PS 107 Gains a Teacher Center

Positive Learning Collaborative

Our perspective and position
Our Positive Learning Collaborative (PLC) program is one of our most effective tools for bringing equity to NYC education and helping teachers, students and parents cope with — and heal from — trauma. We need to bring its proven expert services to as many schools as possible, now more than ever.

What we're asking

  • A $2 million grant to sustain this vital program

Read more about the Positive Learning Collaborative »
See a list of Positive Learning Collaborative sites »

Child care

Our perspective and position
Our union membership includes 6,000 home-based childcare providers. Too many of them cannot sustain their services due to the exorbitant costs of resources and a depleted workforce. At the same time, working parents are struggling to afford this vital service. We are at a crisis point and need to come together to find a solution.

What we're asking

  • Support the governor’s proposed expansion of subsidized childcare seats
  • Increase the market rate payment to our childcare providers from the 69th to the 90th percentile
  •  Transition to a cost estimation model—and away from the market rate model—to provide funds to child care providers based on the true costs of care
  • Support the Universal Child Care Act - S.7595(Brisport)/A.8623(Hevesi)

Our take on FY23 executive budget proposals

School aid and teacher workforce

Our perspective and position
We applaud and support Governor Hochul’s commitments to fully fund our public schools, increase support for teachers, expand the workforce and prioritize the wellbeing of our students and teachers.

What we're asking

  • Support the governor’s 7% increase in statewide school aid, an increase of $531 million for NYC public schools
  • Expand the workforce with a focus on diversity and mental health professionals
  • Develop a teacher residency program with SUNY, CUNY and other NY colleges and universities
  • Allocate $100 million for the Recover from COVID Schools Program

Charter schools

Our perspective and position
This year’s executive budget proposes to nearly double NYC charter school facilities aid to $100 million. If approved, these funds will become available to a charter industry that continually undermines state regulations by exploiting loopholes and siphons millions of taxpayer dollars to private real estate developers and landlords.

Charter aid benefitting private real estate developers
2014-15: 
$10.2M
2020-21: $142.6M

What we're asking

  • Stop using public funds to pay for charter school rent - S.1098(Liu)/A.5191(Benedetto)
  • Give Board of Regents Charter sole approval authority - S.7666-A (Liu)/A.8801(Benedetto)
  • Limit charter school grade level expansion - S.676(Mayer) & A.5117 (Benedetto)
  • Require transparency and accountability of charter schools - S.4200(Hoylman)/A.5135(Benedetto)
  • Allow the state comptroller to conduct financial audits of New York City charter schools - S.1117-A(Liu)/A.5118-A(Benedetto)

Learn more about charter school issues in this NYSUT resource document.

Mayoral school control

Our perspective and position
We cannot extend the current model of mayoral control of public schools without giving parents and teachers a louder voice and restoring checks and balances to the Panel for Educational Policy.

How to improve the Panel for Educational Policy

  1. Add two more parent member seats filled by the presidents of the Community Education Councils to replace two mayoral appointments
  2. Change to fixed one-year terms that being on August 15 for all members, so PEP members can't get tossed off the panel for voting their conscience and to ensure thoughtful transitions
  3. Maintain a sunset provision to ensure accountability

Career and technical education

Our perspective and position
Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs are highly effective in helping students transition to college and career, and they ensure our businesses have skilled workers. We need to increase the funding NYC receives through Special Services Aid for these successful programs.

What we're asking

  • Increase the $3,900/pupil funding cap to cover the actual costs of CTE programs
  • Expand funding to allow 9th-grade students to participate

Read the coalition letter we signed that calls upon the state to support CTE programs.

Health care

Our perspective and position

We applaud the efforts in this year’s executive budget to support our health care workers, including bonuses and enhancing recruitment strategies. However, we still have many workplace conditions issues to resolve. For example, past changes to state law afforded most nurses in our state with protections against overtime work requirements; however, home care nurses were carved out of the law. Requiring home care nurses to work overtime, with little or no notice, adds additional challenges to an already stressful job. 

Additionally, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the demands placed on hospital, home care and school nurses has been unprecedented, as has been the physical and psychological impact on these nurses. These challenging work conditions are causing many health care workers to leave the profession they love to preserve their own health and well-being. Our city and state have been facing a nursing shortage since well before the pandemic, which has accelerated the pace at which nurses are leaving the profession. 

What we’re asking

  • Modify the “Nurses Across New York” program contained in the executive budget proposal, which provides $2.5 million in loan forgiveness, to include an additional $2.5 million in scholarships to recruit more candidates into the profession; and
  • Double the appropriation in the executive budget for the Sen. Patricia K. McGee Nursing Faculty Scholarship and Nurse Loan Forgiveness Program from $3.9 million to $7.8 million.
  • Pass S.4885-A(Savino)/A.181-A(Gunther) to provide home care nurses with the same protections that are currently afforded to other types of nurses, with regard to consecutive hours of required work.

Pensions

Our perspective and position

The year 2022 marks a decade since the creation of Tier 6 within the New York state public pension system. In that time, new public employees have entered service with a significantly decreased benefit when compared to their co-workers in previous tiers. In the interest of equitable employee treatment, current employee retention and new employee recruitment, Tier 6 needs to be fixed to provide an equitable retirement across the public workforce. Providing public employees with the same sound and basic retirement, which they have earned after decades of public service, is a step in the right direction to alleviating the gaping holes that currently exist in schools, public hospitals and all levels of government.

What we’re asking

  • Lowering vesting requirements for Tier 5 and Tier 6 from 10 years to five years;
  • Changing the pension calculation to allow for a 40 percent final average salary for 20 years of public service; and
  • Addressing overtime issues that impact pensions for Tier 6 members and, on a temporary basis, any member who exceeded overtime limits as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read a statement from the New York State AFL-CIO on fixing Tier 6 »