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OT/PT Consultation Meeting Minutes: Oct. 14, 2015

Date: Wednesday, Oct. 14
Time: 11 a.m.–12 p.m.
Location: UFT headquarters at 52 Broadway, Manhattan

For the Department of Education:

Suzanne Sanchez
Carlo Vialo
Darnel Young

    For the UFT:

    Kerri Evangelista
    Elizabeth Truly

      Issues discussed:

      • New hires – A hiring hall was scheduled tentatively for early December, and the DOE has an online application posted. The DOE will forward the link to Kerri Evangelista. The DOE hired about 150 Occupational Therapists and 45 Physical Therapists at the beginning of the year. We discussed the new hires taking the civil service exam, and the DOE has sent out information about the October test.
      • New hire orientation/professional development – A new orientation was recently held, and Ms. Evangelista asked to speak at the next one. The DOE agreed to this and also agreed to share upcoming professional development conference dates.
      • Sick day procedures – At some of the therapy orientations, therapists were told they should call their OT or PT supervisor when calling in sick. Therapists must ONLY contact the supervisor if they will be out for an extended period OR if the supervisor is supposed to do a site visit that day.
      • Senior status – Discussed concerns over therapists who were supposed to receive seniority status but didn’t. Ms. Evangelista will submit the names of these. We requested that supervisors also share that information with Suzanne Sanchez, senior director, DOE Therapeutic Services, if there are other therapists with this issue. We also requested that senior status process be clarified moving forward.
      • Continuing education approval – Some therapists are reporting that supervisors are requesting justification information. When asked to clarify this, Ms. Sanchez reported that sometimes a supervisor may ask for additional information if a course seems outside the scope of the clinician’s practice.
      • Stipend for evaluators, SITS and TRAC – Late stipend money: The money is coming, although probably not before November. The DOE will report how many SITS and evaluators are currently assigned. With regard to TRAC, a computer glitch caused the system to kick out applications. Therapists will need to log on to the system, go into rejected TRAC and resubmit.
      • Reiterating 40 sessions – Ms. Evangelista asked Ms. Sanchez to reiterate the policy that staff may only be asked to complete a maximum of 40 sessions. Therapists are complaining that they have been asked to complete more sessions than the maximum.
      • Triennial paperwork – Discussed triennial paperwork.
      • Proposed clinical guide – Discussed the proposed clinical guide. Work continues on it.