The DOE employs many types of educators and professionals who work with New York City public school students in a variety of ways, from providing guidance to high school seniors to offering physical and occupational therapy to special needs children. They are organized into what the UFT calls functional chapters because what unites the members in each group is their function.
What is a functional chapter?
Functional chapters were formed to allow UFT members with common issues and concerns to have a voice. The common bond is the job performed rather than a worksite or a school.
Do functional chapters have their own contracts and 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.
How many functional chapter members belong to the UFT?
There are nearly 40,000 members in all functional chapters, topped by the Paraprofessionals Chapter with about 27,000 members.
The UFT also represents NYPD-employed supervisors of school security and city-employed per-session hearing officers as well as workers in a number of private-sector and nonprofit bargaining units, which are referred to as functional chapters as well. They include the Adapt Community Network, the Block Institute, the bargaining units 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. If you have any questions about your contract, your workplace rights, your Welfare Fund benefits or union-provided professional development, you may also call the UFT’s special phone line for in-service DOE functional chapter members at 212-331-6312.