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Social workers and psychologists: Information about clustering for the Spring 2020 semester

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The following email was sent May 16 to all social workers and psychologists by Chapter Leader Raul Garcia.


Due to the coronavirus crisis, clustering activities for the School Based Support Team were not conducted this school year. As a result, the UFT and the DOE collaboratively reviewed clusters and ensured that most clusters remained the same. This alternative process is only in place due to the period of school closures; the clustering process will return to the process outlined in the collective bargaining agreement and clustering memorandum in the spring of the school year in which school reopens.

When will I receive the proposed cluster?

Proposed clusters were posted on Friday, May 15. The proposed clusters will be emailed to your DOE email address. If you do not receive the proposed cluster, please contact me at RGarcia@uft.org, as well as your supervisor of psychologists.

Will I continue to have retention rights for my cluster?

There have been no changes made with regard to retention rights. Those who qualify for retention rights continue to do so. For specific details involving retention rights, please refer to the Spring 2020 Clustering Memo.

How do I submit my retention form?

Retention forms must be submitted through this online form. Paper submissions will not be accepted. Guidance for completing this form was provided on May 15. When completing this form, you must use your DOE email address. The deadline to submit your retention form is Tuesday, May 19, at 5 p.m. Upon completing the form, you will receive a summary of your answers at the DOE email address you provided.

My cluster was changed. Am I able to appeal it?

While the majority of clusters remained the same, there were a small number of clusters that were changed due to schools opening, moving or closing. The UFT and the DOE determined these changes were warranted after reviewing various factors. Under the current circumstances, appeals will not be held. The UFT and the DOE have agreed that, when warranted, clusters changed due to a school opening or closure will be considered for additional support in the 2020-21 school year. Additional supports are defined as: citywide per session (subject to funding), on site per session (subject to funding), contractual caseload hours, consideration for additional caseload management hours (subject to funding), assignment of excessed staff and, only when necessary and applicable, redeployment.

My cluster was not changed, and I am not satisfied with it. What can I do?

A small number of clusters were changed due to new schools opening, moving, or closing. Because we did not engage in the standard process, we were not able to change additional clusters. We understand the limitations of keeping the majority of clusters the same. The clustering process will return to the process outlined in the collective bargaining agreement and the clustering memorandum in the spring of the school year in which school reopens. The DOE and the UFT have agreed that, when warranted, clusters will be considered for additional support in the 2020-2021 school year. Additional supports are defined as: citywide per session (subject to funding), on site per session (subject to funding), contractual caseload hours, consideration for additional caseload management hours (subject to funding), assignment of excessed staff, and redeployment. As a reminder, you are also able to search for other positions through the Open Market Transfer System.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your supervisor of psychologists, your chapter borough representative or me at RGarcia@uft.org.

Thank you for all your hard work. Stay healthy and safe.

Related Topics: Chapter News, Coronavirus