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Job duties after emergency staffing agreement

The following email was sent from UFT President Michael Mulgrew to a group of DOE functional chapters including school counselors on Monday, Oct. 11.

As you have so many times during this pandemic, you stepped up again this past week to minimize the disruption to teaching and learning caused by the vaccine mandate. Understanding the need to maintain the safety and well-being of our students and colleagues, many of you showed flexibility and assumed duties that were not part of your normal scope of work.

The DOE’s lack of organization made your job more difficult than necessary, yet again. The DOE continues to show little understanding of what short-staffed schools actually need. That is why we are writing to you today to inform you that the emergency staffing agreement that took effect on Oct. 4 will not be renewed for this coming week.

We can be flexible when necessary, but we will not be exploited. Starting this week and going forward, you may only be asked to perform the job duties delineated in your DOE-UFT contract. If you are asked to do anything else, please let us know immediately by calling 212-331-6311 on Tuesday.

Principals have been given additional funds to hire substitutes. They should follow the traditional means of filling absences and vacancies rather than pulling staff from their regular assignments.

We will continue to support our school communities, but we cannot let the DOE take advantage of our members’ goodwill. It needs to provide us with the proper staffing and send us substitutes so we can continue to do the work we are best trained to do. The DOE’s lack of planning is unacceptable, and it is the DOE’s responsibility to make this right.

Thank you again for everything that you do.