The city Department of Education employs many types of educators and professionals who work with New York City public school students in a variety of ways, from counseling high school seniors about college to offering physical and occupational therapy to special needs children. These educators are organized into what the UFT calls functional chapters because what unites the members in each group is their job or function.
What is a functional chapter?
Functional chapters are made up of UFT members who perform a particular job, rather than work together at a school or worksite. Functional chapters were formed to allow UFT members with common issues and concerns to have a voice on the job.
Do functional chapters have their own contracts and their own chapter leaders?
Many functional chapters have their own DOE-UFT contracts. Functional chapter members elect a citywide chapter leader to represent them. School-based functional chapter members also belong to a school chapter and vote for a school chapter leader. Therefore, school-based functional chapter members receive support from their school chapter leader and their functional chapter leader.
What’s the largest functional chapter in the UFT?
The largest functional chapter, by far, is the Paraprofessionals Chapter with more than 24,000 members.
In addition to its DOE functional chapters, the UFT has two functional chapters with other municipal employees: NYPD-employed supervisors of school security and city-employed per-session hearing officers (also known as administrative law judges). The UFT also has functional chapters for its members in private-sector and nonprofit bargaining units, including the Adapt Community Network, the Block Institute, the various chapters within the Federation of Nurses/UFT and the union’s Family Child Care Providers Chapter.
What is the role of the functional chapter leader?
Functional chapter leaders advocate for the common concerns of their members and handle individual and citywide issues confronting members. Functional chapter leaders serve three-year terms and are elected at the same time as school chapter leaders.
How can I find out more about my functional chapter?
Functional chapters have their own sections on the UFT website under Chapters. If you aren’t receiving email from your functional chapter leader, please sign up for a website account or, if you already have an account, log in to the UFT website, go to My Account and make sure there is a check mark in the box next to UFT emails.
If you have any questions about your contract, your workplace rights, your health benefits or union-provided professional development as a functional chapter member, you may also call the UFT at 212-331-6312.