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Agreement on final 30 minutes of workday for paraprofessionals

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The following update was sent to all DOE-employed paraprofessionals from UFT President Michael Mulgrew on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020.

Paraprofessionals are an integral part of school communities. I know how much our students and school staff rely on you. That is why we shared the frustration many of you have felt over the lack of guidance for paras from the Department of Education for the 2020-21 school year.

At last, we were able to make headway at the bargaining table with the DOE. I want to share the highlights of the new agreement with you.

Final 30 minutes of workday

All paraprofessionals will be allowed to leave school at the same time as teachers. While schools are operating in the blended learning model, paraprofessionals will not be required to stay in the building longer than six hours and 20 minutes.

In August, the DOE agreed that the final 30 minutes of a teacher's workday would be a prep period. Teachers have the choice whether to prep in school or remotely. Like teachers, paras may be asked to perform 30 minutes of work remotely at the end of the day.

In exchange for the shorter on-site workday, on days when paraprofessionals are not working directly with a specific student or class, they can be asked to help with tasks at the school such as assisting with arrival and/or dismissal including busing, assisting with health screening, reaching out to families or doing other administrative tasks.

New career ladder position

The DOE and the UFT have also agreed to a new position that will allow paraprofessionals to take a step up the career ladder. The Paraprofessional Classroom Manager will manage classrooms of students while they perform independent work, eat during non-instructional lunch or participate in a remote class from the school building.

Paraprofessionals who apply and are selected for the new position will receive a per-term stipend of $1,750. If no teacher is available to cover a class, a Paraprofessional Classroom Manager can cover for absent teachers. Paraprofessional Classroom Managers asked to perform more than five coverages in a term will be paid the teacher's coverage rate.

Priority for Paraprofessional Classroom Manager positions will be given to paraprofessionals that have been admitted into the Lead Teacher Assistant pool, but who have not yet received a Lead Teacher Assistant position.

More information about the application process for this position will be available soon.

Read the agreement »

The DOE and the UFT continue to discuss other issues and topics concerning paraprofessionals. As soon as we have more information, we will share it with you.

Thank you for going above and beyond for your students during the pandemic.

Related Topics: Chapter News, Coronavirus