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Speech Improvement Chapter Newsletter - June 2016

From Mindy

It's hard to believe the school year ends next week. Around this time of year, I reflect on all the ways the union supports you including the more than 1,000 new speech providers who joined our ranks these past few years.

Many of our new speech providers took our annual Speech Survival Class and our new member orientation. Our monthly meetings kept you updated, and for those of you unable to attend, we sent out email alerts and newsletters, staffed our hotline for your questions and regularly updated our chapter website. And this year, our chapter gained new training opportunities, such as the literacy initiative, and responsibilities, including the Central Assistive Technology (CAT) evaluator and other evaluator positions.

Our Better Speech and Hearing Month Celebration in May honored members and students throughout the city. Corinne Rello Anselmi, Deputy Chancellor, who was honored as a Friend of the Chapter this year, wrote, "It was great to see parents, students, teachers and administrators … celebrate the work of our speech teachers. Your attention to detail and the festive environment really made the event one to remember.”

Greg Jennings, District 11 Speech Supervisor, and a longtime supporter of our event wrote, “Hearing the speech providers and more especially the students speak for themselves about the challenges and triumphs is truly inspiring and motivating. It is a tangible reminder of why we all do what we do. Congratulations on 10 extraordinary years.”

Our chapter hopes to expand our celebration next year so please keep track of excellent provider workshops you attend in 2016–17 so you can nominate a colleague next school year. (You can also nominate yourself!) All of the winners and their submissions are now posted on our chapter website.

Last, but not least, you should soon receive a small gift from us, albeit a little belatedly, in celebration of Better Speech and Hearing Month. It's a pocket-sized letter opener and staple remover with the chapter's logo on it. We hope you'll use it next year.

Personally, it was a good year for me. I was honored as Health Care Professional of the Year at NYSUT and UFT headquarters in April. After 25 years as chapter leader, I appreciated the recognition.

Other successes: We reduced paperwork in several schools and we stopped some District 75 schools from forcing members to print encounter attendance. (The information was already recorded in SESIS — the Special Education Student Information System.)

I couldn’t handle the hundreds of calls and emails we get from all of you without the help of Kathy Lewis, Brenda Caquias and Lisa Arian. Supporting the chapter is so important and they do it with style. (You can support our chapter by becoming speech liaison between the union and members. If you’re not sure what that entails, contact me at

As a member, you put the “U” in Union. Have a safe, healthy and happy summer, and I hope to see you in the fall.


Mindy Karten Bornemann
Speech Improvement Chapter Leader

UFT summer hours

The UFT will remain open Wednesday and Thursday, June 29-30, and will close at 4 p.m. on Friday, July 1, and remain closed on Monday, July 4.

UFT central headquarters and the borough offices are open on a modified schedule beginning Tuesday, July 5. The summer hours are Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. On Fridays during the summer, you can reach the UFT central switchboard from 9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.

Borough offices will be closed Aug. 13-28 and resume summer hours the week of Aug. 29.

Regular hours (Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.) resume Tuesday, Sept. 6.

Remember to bring a photo ID with you when you visit any UFT office.

For more information, see the UFT website.

Members can earn CAR time for per-session work

You can earn Cumulative Absence Reserve (CAR) time for per-session activities. If you do the same per-session work between September and June, you can accrue per-session sick leave hours after every 20 consecutive sessions. After working 20 consecutive sessions, teachers earn one session of sick leave for each of the 20 sessions. At the end of the activity, the payroll secretary fills out the Per-Session Unused Sick Time Transfer Form documenting the accrued per-session sick time to be transferred to the member's regular CAR bank. This form is signed by the payroll secretary, the head of the activity and the member to certify the time is accurate. The member should receive a copy. More detailed information on per-session rights and CAR time ID can be found on the UFT website.

The Open Market Transfer System

All speech teachers can register online to have access to job openings in their current license area. During the transfer period, which runs from April 15 to Aug. 7, you do not need a release from your principal to change schools. Through the Open Market Transfer System, 4,000 members every year switch from schools where they are unhappy or to be closer to home.

You may even apply to schools without current openings, and your application will be kept in an electronic file in the event that an opening occurs. We recommend that you follow up all electronic applications with a hard copy that is mailed, emailed or dropped off at the school. You should also contact the school directly.

The transfer plan had a delayed opening, but I spoke with Special Representative Amy Arundell, the UFT's point person for the Open Market Transfer System, and she's doing what she can to get the positions posted. You may also contact any speech supervisor to see if they know where more openings will be in September.

SESIS update and speech supervisors

The Department of Education has asked many of its speech supervisors to testify about SESIS during UFT arbitration. Most stated that speech providers get the required 155 minutes a week, and that many are doing SESIS work on Mondays and Tuesdays in the elementary schools. All other speech providers have the equivalent time and any issues related to these times have been corrected.

The speech supervisors also say that members have been directed, both in writing or directly stated, not to work before or after school, or during lunch. Finally, the speech supervisors say few if any members have reported to them that they cannot get SESIS and IEPs completed and that members have not been disciplined for failure to complete encounter attendance.

Our chapter knows that you have notified supervisors about issues related to connectivity, access to computers, and lack of time to complete attendance, IEPs and progress reports. Some of you have also reported that on Tuesdays you have been required to go to IEP meetings which means giving up SESIS time.

If you have received any emails from your supervisor, principal or the DOE on encounter attendance or IEPs, please contact the hotline immediately. If you are required to attend IEP meetings on Tuesday during SESIS time and stay for the meeting please let us know also.

In addition, if any speech teacher has received a negative observation, letter to file, administrative report or U rating that mentions SESIS, contact the chapter immediately. We all do our best to keep up with the demands of SESIS but the chapter needs to know your specific issues.

New registration online requirement

If you hold a permanent or professional certificate, beginning July 1, you must register with the state during the 2016–17 school year through your online TEACH account.

  • You register through your TEACH account by logging on with your username and password.

  • If you have never created a TEACH account, you must self-register with TEACH by creating an account; then you will log on to register.

By registering online, you'll verify your identity and alert the state that you wish to keep your teaching certificate active. There is no fee associated with registration. You will register during the month of your birth. If you are born in August, for example, you register in August.

If you hold an initial certificate, Trans B, Trans A or internship certificate, you do not need to register.

Read a Q&A about the new requirements »

See our easy-to-read chart »

For more information, read the NY Teacher story »

Related Topics: Chapter News