It was great to see all of you who attended our April 26 chapter meeting at UFT headquarters. We're moving ahead with the chapter leader election and should have the nomination forms to you by the end of May. At the meeting, we reviewed the election process as well as provided an update on negotiations. (See item below.)
In exciting news, we now have an agreement with the DOE, as the result of a grievance filed by the UFT, that will allow administrative education officers and analysts to have their own chapter leader. The chapter leader will have one day per week of release time to represent members and manage chapter business. This is crucial to the development of our chapter. Read the UFT-DOE stipulation.
Patricia Crispino, UFT special representative, briefly discussed investigations and the steps that members should take in various circumstances. She also provided hand-out material on the protocols for investigations.
Download the Chapter Leader's Guide to Investigations.
The UFT plans to hold an information session on Section 75 under civil service law. Section 75 speaks to due process for permanent members. Provisional members who plan to take the Qualified Incumbent Exams may also be interested in attending. (See story below for information about the Qualified Incumbent Exams for provisional employees who seek to become permanent in their titles.) We'll let you know when we firm up the details for this information session.
Our next chapter meeting is May 17 at 5:30 p.m. at the Brooklyn UFT borough office, 335 Adams St. As always, please RSVP by emailing Emma Mendez at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope you'll attend.
City to offer Qualified Incumbent Exam for provisionals
The DOE informed us that the Department of Citywide Administrative Services will offer Qualified Incumbent Exams (QIE) for various titles between July 2017 and June 2018. This will give provisional city workers a one-time opportunity to take this exam and become permanent in their titles.
DCAS and/or the DOE will invite members to information sessions. Information sessions for the various titles will be held the month before the corresponding Qualified Incumbent Exam. For example, if the Qualified Incumbent Exam for your title is in July, you’ll receive an invite to the appropriate information session in June.
The UFT will also offer a workshop on these exams, and we will send out information soon. As I mentioned above, the UFT is also scheduling an information session on Section 75 under civil service law, which speaks to due process for permanent members.
Tell us if you're doing new duties without pay
Please let us know if you have been assigned new responsibilities and duties without receiving additional compensation. I need to gather as much information as possible about this situation to bring it to the attention of the DOE.
If you have been given additional responsibilities without additional pay, please email email@example.com.
Catastrophe health insurance available for limited time
The Catastrophe Major Medical Plan, which is sponsored by our state affiliate, NYSUT, is coverage that supplements a basic health plan and prevents members from having to shoulder extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses during an emergency.
While the Catastrophe Major Medical Plan has been closed to new participants since July 2011, NYSUT has announced a limited time, open enrollment period from May 1 to June 15, with the coverage effective date of Jan. 1, 2018. Coverage includes supplemental medical insurance designed to help with the expenses not fully covered by your basic major medical, prescription drug or hospitalization insurance, including Medicare. It also provides limited nursing/convalescent home benefits up to $500 per week with a lifetime cap of $80,000.
To read about this coverage and to obtain open enrollment materials, please visit the NYSUT website.
UFT Special Representative Ilene Weinerman provided a brief overview of ongoing negotiations at our April 26 chapter meeting.
Both the UFT and the DOE are interested in settling the contract as soon as possible. As you know, in March, the city responded to the bargaining demands that the union had presented at the previous bargaining session. While there were some general areas of agreement, specific issues still required further discussion.
A conference call with your colleagues on our bargaining committee was held to review the city’s response. Based on the committee’s feedback, we then developed a counter-proposal, which we presented during an April 13 negotiating session. We believe that it went well and are awaiting a written response from the DOE, which we expect to arrive this week or next.
Lump sum payment information
If you were a UFT-represented DOE employee, i.e. a guidance counselor, a teacher, a secretary or other title, immediately preceding your appointment as an administrative education officer or analyst, the union’s position is that you are entitled to lump sum payments for the 2009–11 contract period.
Join the #PublicSchoolProud campaign
The UFT launched a new #PublicSchoolProud campaign, supported by a resolution passed at the Jan. 18 Delegate Assembly, to celebrate student achievement and all the wonderful opportunities public schools offer.
U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has made it clear that she has no use for public education, but we see the passion and promise in our schools each day. We must continue to protect public education and our rights as professionals. We cannot allow DeVos to disparage and defund the public schools we have fought so long to protect.
Here are a few actions you can take to protect public education: Join the #PublicSchoolProud campaign to stay informed and learn how you can take action now to stand up for our public schools. Use the hashtag #PublicSchoolProud in your social media posts. Make sure your colleagues are signed up on UFT.org to receive relevant information and action alerts.
Membership card information
Once the union has processed your UFT membership, you’ll receive a postcard in the mail at your home thanking you for joining the UFT. The only UFT “membership” card you’ll receive is from the UFT Welfare Fund, which validates your membership in the Welfare Fund and entitlement to Welfare Fund benefits.
Once you’re registered in the UFT’s membership system, the union notifies our state affiliate, NYSUT, which will provide you with a membership number and a membership card. That usually arrives in six to eight weeks.
If you do not receive a NYSUT card six to eight weeks after receiving the union’s welcome postcard, please call the UFT Membership Department at 1-212-598-6855.
Help us plan next year's monthly meetings
We're looking for your input about the dates, days, times and locations for next year's chapter meetings. This year, we met at UFT headquarters and at the Brooklyn borough office. However, we're open to other suggestions if they'll work for the chapter. Send your ideas to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our next meeting is on Wednesday, May 17th at the Brooklyn UFT. Please RSVP at the above email.