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Building Power at the School Level panel

Using the tools in the contract

New York Teacher
Panel members listen on during the Building Power at the school level event.
Jonathan Fickies

A panel of chapter leaders convened at the UFT’s Queens borough office on Jan. 30 for a wide-ranging discussion.

Putting power in the hands of members in the schools was the theme of a panel discussion at the UFT’s Queens borough office on Jan. 30. The panel featured 11 chapter leaders, representing every district and grade level in Queens, who discussed how they successfully empowered members in their schools to advocate for their rights as union members. “I’m always reminding my members of what they won and what they own,” said Tracey Miller, the chapter leader at IS 125 in Woodside. “There’s a tremendous amount of power in being a professional.” In the wide-ranging discussion, panelists agreed that it’s crucial to support members’ understanding of their contractual rights. It’s important to be “able to point to what the contract says in a disagreement with your administration,” said Renee Freeman, a paraprofessional at the Academy for Medical Technology in Far Rockaway. “I tell my members: Use the tools the union has provided for you.”

Related Topics: Contract 2018