We had an informative and interesting meeting last week with our union president, Michael Mulgrew. Thanks to all of you who were able to join us! Take a look at our photo gallery from the meeting.
The meeting was a great opportunity to speak directly to our president about our concerns about salary and other issues and to hear responses directly from him and some of our union staff, including Laura Tamburo, our chapter's liaison.
Many important points were made, but I just want to highlight a few things Michael said that struck me.
He said he has heard our concerns loud and clear. Our union's negotiating committee, on which I and some other members of our chapter sit, will take these concerns into our contract talks with the city.
Michael pointed out that every chapter came into the union with a different history and at a different starting point.
He emphasized how important it is to our union that one chapter is not pitted against another. We are one union. Our strength lies in our unity.
Thank you again for the great work you all do every day with your students and your participation in our chapter and our union. As always, please contact me with any questions, ideas or concerns.
What meeting times work best for you?
I have heard from some of you that getting to chapter meetings at 4 p.m. on Wednesdays is difficult. I would like to know whether we should hold our meetings at a different time or on a different day of the week. I'll be sending you a survey in the next few days. Please keep an eye out for it and please respond. It's important that our meeting times are convenient for the greatest number of people possible.
At the Meet the President event, Michael said our goal is to have a contract settled by the end of the school year. That way, any changes in working conditions that we negotiate could be in place by the beginning of school in September.
Michael knows as do I that unnecessary and excessive paperwork, including the Annual Review Plan (ARP), is becoming more and more of a problem for us as well as for other UFT members in the schools. The union will fight to remove all redundant and unnecessary paperwork so that you can focus on your crucial work helping our city’s schoolchildren.
Civil service list
Congratulations to all who finished your civil service exams by the Dec. 31 deadline. I know we are all wondering when the Department of Citywide Administrative Services will publish the civil service list for hiring us as permanent employees. I don't have a date yet but such lists tend to take time. We are checking on it regularly and will let you know as soon as we have more information on timing.
All of us should remember that there is no need to worry about getting this permanent status because we work in a shortage area.
Civil service benefits
Another question that came up at our Meet the President event was about what benefits we can expect as permanent employees. I will get more details to you but I can tell you now that we will have job protections and other benefits not afforded to provisional employees, including greater extended rights to paid sick leave after 10 years of continuous service.