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School Nurses Chapter Newsletter - December 2015

From your chapter leader

I hope you enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday and some time off, but now it’s back to business! I want to welcome all our new hires this year.

If you are new to our chapter, I urge you to get involved by attending our chapter meetings and participating in union activities. It is a great way to meet your colleagues, express any ideas or concerns you have and to make your voice heard. Member participation is what keeps our chapter strong, so I encourage you to stay active.

If you haven’t already, please visit our School Nurses Chapter website, which has a number of resources that may be helpful to you. Please check these pages regularly for important updates on school nurses.

I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of our chapter delegates and our Executive Board members. Collectively, they are the backbone of our chapter. They help to keep the lines of communication open by canvassing members regarding working conditions, contract items and legal issues.

As your chapter leader, I am here for you. If you have any questions, please email me at

Thank you for all that you do.


Cathy Connolly
School Nurses Chapter Leader

Highlights from our chapter meeting

School Nurses Chapter executive board members
Members of the UFT School Nurses Chapter gathered on Nov. 18 to discuss pension benefits and other services available through the union. Below, members of the UFT School Nurses Executive Board. From left to right: Janet Carter, Ellen Sebastiano and Marie Thompson.

School Nurses Chapter executive board members

Our chapter met on Nov. 18 at UFT headquarters. I welcomed everyone and introduced our chapter’s Executive Board members. BJ Darby, our chapter’s former leader, was also announced as a PM staffer. BJ is available most Wednesdays from 3-6 p.m. at UFT headquarters at 52 Broadway. Should you need assistance, our chapter hotline is 212-701-9479.

Joseph Colletti, UFT special representative for educational issues, was also announced as our chapter’s new liaison. Joe comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience regarding issues related to our chapter. He has supported school nurses for more than 30 years and we welcome his assistance as we forge ahead this year.

Our guest speaker, Frank Panebianco, from the UFT pension department, presented a workshop on pension tiers, qualifications for vesting in the pension fund and contribution rates for each tier. Frank also spoke about tax-deferred annuity investments and retirement options. He advised members to attend a UFT pension clinic — which is offered in every UFT borough office — to become knowledgeable regarding retirement benefits. He added that members should set up an appointment for a UFT pension consultation by calling 212-598-6866 before filing any papers with the Board of Education Retirement System.

If you have any questions regarding enrollment, contact the Board of Education Retirement System by calling 718-935-5400 or visiting the BERS website.

Our chapter's representatives

For those who couldn’t attend the Nov. 18 meeting, I’d like to introduce our chapter’s Executive Board members.

Beverly Briggs, Bronx
Janet Carter, Queens
Cynthia Bennett, Queens
Marie Thompson, Queens
Ellen Sebastiano, Brooklyn
BJ Darby, PM Staffer

Upcoming chapter meetings

Please save the following dates! All meetings take place on Wednesdays from 4–6:30 p.m. at UFT headquarters at 52 Broadway, 19th floor, room F. Directions »

Topic: NYSUT Members’ Benefits – Michelle Kennedy, NYSUT representative
Date: Feb. 24, 2016

Topic: Political Action – Paul Egan, UFT political director
Date: Jan. 20, 2016

Topic: End-of-the-year meeting
Date: May 11, 2016
(Note: We will celebrate the year’s end with a dinner for chapter members).

May 12 Lobby Day!

Please mark your calendars:

Date: Thursday, May 12, 2016
Location: Albany, NY
More details will be forthcoming.

Payroll issues

If you have any questions regarding your salary or overtime, you should contact the payroll liaison at the borough office. Every borough has a point person who is familiar with “H” and “Z” bank salary problems. They will work with you to resolve your payroll issues and, if necessary, contact me if additional information is required.

Know your rights

How to handle a summons

If you are summoned for an on-the-record interview that may lead to disciplinary action, you have the right, thanks to your contract, to have union representation.

Even if you have a good relationship with your supervisor, never answer questions without representation. You have the right to have someone there to ensure the meeting is fair and to take notes. If you are summoned to either the principal’s office or the district superintendent’s office, regardless of whether you are told you are the subject of the investigation, tell the supervisor that you will speak to him or her when you have union representation. It is up to you to make such a request. If you do not, the supervisor is not obliged to suggest or recommend that you consult your representative.

If you are summoned by the Office of Special Investigations (OSI), or the Special Commissioner of Investigation (SCI), tell the investigator that you are willing to discuss the matter but you need to contact your union representative before meeting with them. 

If you are summoned, you should contact your UFT borough office immediately and ask to speak with a borough office manager. They will arrange for you to have representation.

For more information on how to handle a summons, visit the UFT website.

Related Topics: Chapter News