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UFT has your back as you begin your career

New York Teacher
A man at a computer
Luke Holleran

John Holleran was among the UFT Teacher Center specialists supporting educators’ move to remote learning last spring.

This fall, as we begin a school year like no other, you will face many challenges, but you are not alone. You’re not just an employee of the Department of Education; you’re also a member of a strong union. The UFT is here to protect your rights and support you in your new career.

Whether you’re trying to resolve a specific issue or you’re seeking broader support, the UFT is here to help. Call the union at 212-331-6311 to be connected with a representative who can assist you.

Employment issues: The UFT has representatives who specialize in issues such as certification and salary. If you have concerns about your certification, your teaching license or your credentials, a UFT certification specialist can guide you.

Health benefits: While your medical benefits are provided by your city health plan, many of your supplemental benefits — including your prescription drugs, dental, optical and hearing benefits — are provided by the UFT Welfare Fund. For questions or concerns, call the UFT Welfare Fund at 212-530-0500.

Personal support: The UFT Member Assistance Program, which provides confidential services from trained professional counselors, is helping union members cope with the COVID-19 pandemic with individual consultations, virtual support groups and online resources. You can contact MAP by calling 212-701-9620, emailing mapinfo@uft.org or by visiting www.uft.org/map.

Professional support: You and all your colleagues must adapt to ways of teaching and learning you couldn’t have imagined when you entered the teaching profession. The UFT Teacher Center is a comprehensive school-based professional development program that provides vital technology assistance and ongoing support to educators on both technology and content issues. For more information, go to the Teacher Center website.

Student debt: As a New York City public school teacher, you may be eligible for federal student loan forgiveness programs. The Student Debt Relief Program, exclusively for UFT members, can guide you. Learn more about the program at www.uft.org/student-debt or email studentdebtrelief@uft.org.

Legal issues: The Legal Services Plan of the UFT provides UFT members with access to attorneys who will assist you for free or at discounted rates. Lawyers from the national legal office of Feldman, Kramer & Monaco, P.C., will answer your legal questions and assist with personal legal matters such as writing letters, reviewing documents, preparing a will and other estate documents and providing legal representation for some matters. Learn more about the plan. To access it, call the UFT-dedicated line at 212-331-6325.

Concerns regarding students: The UFT knows many families are experiencing stress, anxiety, depression, grief, addiction, loss of income and other problems that have been caused or exacerbated by the coronavirus crisis. Tell your students and their families about the union’s BRAVE hotline for mental health support. Students can call 212-709-3222 to be connected with a licensed mental health provider.

Academic support: Tell your students and their families about Dial-A-Teacher, the UFT’s homework help hotline, which can be reached at 212-777-3380, Monday through Thursday, from 4 to 7 p.m. Students can also log on at dialateacher.org.

The UFT is a powerful union because of its members. Together, we will continue to fight for the rights, benefits and protections you deserve — this year and throughout your teaching career.