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New York TeacherMay 3, 2018

Volume LIX, Number 9

Cover Stories

Mulgrew at podium introduces the UFT app.

New UFT app offers member-only discounts, resources

UFT President Michael Mulgrew on April 18 gave chapter leaders and delegates a sneak preview of the union’s new app that offers a simple, fast way to connect with the union and take advantage of member-only resources and discounts.

Man putting hand on woman's shoulder while she turns around
Know Your Rights

Workplace discrimination and harassment

No one should have to tolerate workplace harassment or discrimination, which is why the UFT-Department of Education contracts have contained protections, for many years, against a wide range of discriminatory or harassing behaviors, including sexual harassment.

Gov. Cuomo, backed by labor leaders including UFT President Michael Mulgrew (cen

New law gives boost to public-sector unions facing Janus threat

Before a packed house of labor leaders and union members at UFT headquarters, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation on April 12 protecting New York’s public sector unions, including the UFT, from providing costly services to workers who do not pay to support those services. 

Money sign

5 percent pay increase in May and June

The salaries of UFT members employed by the Department of Education will increase a total of 5 percent this spring as part of the UFT-DOE contract ratified in 2014.

Latest News

These educators from PS 115 in Manhattan are all heart.

Beautiful in Blue

Educators from District 75 sites throughout the city wore blue on April 11 to bring awareness to autism spectrum disorders and Down syndrome and to advocate for acceptance, understanding and inclusion for their students.

Melody Anastasiou, a teacher at PS 68 on Staten Island, holds her 4-month-old da

Council members join paid parental leave fight

City Council Education Committee Chair Mark Treyger called on Mayor Bill de Blasio to negotiate a fair paid parental leave policy for New York City public school educators at a press conference on the steps of City Hall on April 24.

Budget - Generic graphic

State budget increases school aid despite DC attacks

In spite of fiscal threats from the federal government, state lawmakers passed a new budget on March 31 that includes $1 billion in additional funding for schools statewide. New York City public school funding will receive a $334 million share of that increase.

Arizona map

Arizona teachers vote for first statewide walkout

Educators in Arizona became the latest to join the wave of job actions when they voted on April 19 to launch the state’s first-ever statewide walkout. Arizona’s governor, Doug Ducey, had offered teachers a 20 percent pay increase by 2020, beginning with a 9 percent increase next year.

Kentucky map

Kentucky teachers stage sickouts after pension cuts

Schools in more than 20 Kentucky counties closed on March 30 after teachers walked off the job in angry protest of a pension bill that Republican lawmakers sneaked through the Legislature.

Feature Stories

Urban Assembly School for Green Careers teacher Christopher Sedita (center) work

This Green House

Christopher Sedita is the founder of the “Green Buildings” program at the Urban Assembly School for Green Careers, a career and technical education high school. The program prepares students for careers in 21st-century building design, construction and maintenance by emphasizing sustainability, energy efficiency and eco-friendly materials.

Architecture teacher Jawnuta Di Sclafani (right) and one of her students at the

Building imagination

The 3-D models that students create in Jawnuta DiSclafani’s architecture class represent more than a class assignment to create a bedroom or design a building. They challenge the students to rethink how they see the world.

Member Spotlight

Christine Beck
Chapter Leader Shoutout

Kudos to Christine Beck, PS 32, Staten Island

Although Christine Beck is a veteran 1st-grade teacher at PS 32, she’s brand new as a chapter leader and already making the union more of a presence at her Staten Island school.

Dinah McCam
What I Do

What I do: Dinah McCann, adaptive physical education teacher

Adaptive physical education teachers help improve students’ locomotor skills, object control skills, perceptual motor function and physical fitness in a setting that focuses on differentiating instruction so it is developmentally and socially appropriate. Adaptive phys ed must be on a student’s IEP.

Around the UFT

Joining in the celebration of women are (from left) Tanisha Franks, the Staten I

UFT HERstory brunch

The stories of scores of women who helped to build the UFT into the powerhouse it is today were told at a HERstory Sunday brunch on March 25 at union headquarters in Manhattan as part of Women's History Month.

Bronx College Fair

The Bronx College Fair at the UFT's Bronx borough office on March 23 gave 1800 students the opportunity to meet with representatives of 85 colleges and universities and to learn about the help available to complete college and financial aid applications.


Changes at our workplace start ‘with us’

Dedicated high school teachers and outstanding school chapters were honored at the fourth annual UFT Academic High School Awards Celebration on April 13.

Committee member Charles Johnson and his children collect information at the NAA

Men in Education symposium

The third annual Men in Education symposium drew more than 150 fathers, grandfathers, uncles, teachers and mentors to UFT headquarters in Manhattan on March 24 for a day of workshops, presentations and inspiration designed to help men become more comfortable in the school community.

Students check out the fare in the dining hall at SUNY Potsdam.

International School for the Liberal Arts students’ college trip

Forty sophomores and juniors from the International School for the Liberal Arts in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx visited upstate college campuses on a two-day College Hunting trip on April 12 and 13.

You Should Know

You Should Know
The Albany-based Empire Center is following the tactics used by the Freedom Foun

As Janus verdict looms, Albany group aims to attack union membership

With a U.S. Supreme Court decision due in June in the anti-union Janus v. AFSCME case, UFT members should brace for a campaign by right-wing forces looking to degrade the value of union membership, UFT President Michael Mulgrew recently told union delegates.

Secure Your Future
retirement finance

Retirement savings can be source for a loan

One of the many benefits of membership in the Teachers’ Retirement System is that members can borrow against their invested retirement funds.



Nurses’ solidarity sends loud message

Earlier this year, the Federation of Nurses/UFT achieved on-time contracts at the Visiting Nurse Service of New York and NYU Langone-Brooklyn Hospital that protected the nurses’ hard-fought contractual benefits, improved working conditions and included regular pay increases.

President's Perspective

App, membership card are UFT firsts

By now you should have received your union membership card in the mail — a first for the UFT. And you should have received an email invitation from me to download the UFT app — another first.


Funding matters

This spring, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers delivered a 3.3 percent increase for New York public schools, despite a state deficit and the fiscal threat from Washington, D.C.


Teacher uprising

Teachers in Republican strongholds are on the march because they have nothing to lose. Over the years, state lawmakers have stripped away school funding as well as the wages, pensions, workplace rights and health benefits of public school educators.

Teaching Resources

Linking to Learning

Coding for students

“Everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer, should learn a computer language, because it teaches you how to think,” said Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple. He made that remark in 1995, but schools are now catching up with his line of thought.

Research shows
Classroom circle

How peers affect learning

The influence of classroom peers on student academics increases each year from 4th grade through 7th grade, when it begins to plateau, according to new research.

Teacher to Teacher

Creating audio narratives

In a 12th-grade ELA class, I turned a research unit on disaster and apocalyptic fiction into a podcasting unit and tasked my students, 65 percent of whom were English language learners, with becoming media makers for real-world audiences.

Building Your Career

Building Your Career

Voice patrol

This is one classroom management technique I use in my 1st-grade classroom.

New Teacher Profiles
Tara Jarvis, a former hair stylist, says when she goes to work now as a District

World looks different from District 75 classroom

Tara Jarvis traverses New York City wearing a huge grin. “People smile back at me and that’s when I realize I’m smiling,” says Jarvis, a first-year art teacher of students with special needs at District 75’s Brooklyn Transition Center. After a challenging childhood and a heart-wrenching 2017, Jarvis is living her dreams.

Retired Teachers News

Pen checkbox - generic

Termination pay: have you moved?

If you have moved since you retired, you must update your address with the Department of Education.

If you need to update your address and phone number, you must call the DOE directly at its Human Resources Department (HR Connect) at 1-718-935-4000. No documentation is necessary. All address and phone number changes are done by phone only.

You must also notify your school secretary in the last payroll school in which you worked. Termination checks are forwarded to your last payroll school.

line art hand held in solitary

A campaign for our union’s survival

The best antidote for the ongoing anti-union poison is member engagement. The UFT has launched a door-knocking campaign to connect with our members as the best way to prepare for the expected, potentially devastating Supreme Court decision in the Janus v. AFSCME case.

Required Minimum Distribution

Do you participate in the Teachers’ Retirement System’s Tax-Deferred Annuity program?