Welcome back from spring break. I hope you had a great vacation and are enjoying spring as the trees come into bloom.
As the end of the year approaches, make sure you read the articles below on ratings and probation, end-of-year procedures, leaves of absences and other timely information. Contact us through the hotline at 212-598-7774 with questions about your job or your contract. You’ll get a quicker response through the hotline than by emailing me. Please don’t use your DOE email or mine for union business or questions.
Our chapter is, as a whole, in great shape because of individual members like you. I am pleased that most of our districts have either an executive board member or a volunteer liaison to make important monthly announcements and troubleshoot.
Unfortunately, the following districts have no representation at our monthly meetings: Districts 4, 8, 10, 20, 22, 24-27, 29 and half of District 31. If no one is making announcements at your meetings, consider volunteering as a liaison. You will learn a lot about the union and provide a service to your colleagues. Some people within districts share this responsibility and attend alternate meetings.
Lastly, I often travel around the city to attend speech meetings. If you haven’t seen me this year, feel free to contact me and invite me to one of your district or borough speech meetings. In addition, I can meet you and your colleagues at lunchtime at your school if there are issues to discuss and that is more convenient.
Remember to vote in our UFT elections and general elections because it is vital to have your voice heard in all arenas.
Mindy Karten Bornemann
NYSUT honors Mindy Karten Bornemann
|Mindy Karten Bornemann with her picture at NYSUT headquarters and UFT speech members. From left: Maria DeCandia, Mayra Santos-Torres, assistant Chapter Leader Brenda Caquias, Bornemann, assistant Chapter Leader Kathy Lewis and Lisa Aria.|
At the NYSUT Representative Assembly in Rochester April 8 and 9, I was honored as Health Care Professional of the Year. Around 1,800 union delegates from around the state attended the RA, and this year, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spoke at the gathering!
The award ceremony was a special event for my family; it meant a lot to me to be recognized by my colleagues, whom I respect. If you have a moment, I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch this video.
Later in April, I was honored and spoke at the NYSUT Health Care Council. My picture and constituency honors are now on a wall at NYSUT for the next year.
Read more about my presentation on the NYSUT website.
May 19, Better Speech and Hearing Month Celebration
|Your Better Speech and Hearing Month committee hard at work at our last meeting.|
The 10th Annual Better Speech and Hearing Month Celebration will be held on May 19 at UFT headquarters. At the event, we will honor our district winners, UFT President Michael Mulgrew, Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña and Deputy Chancellor Corinne Rello-Anselmi.
The UFT BSHM committee now has 10 members. The committee recently met to select winners for both student and adult projects. We received many nominees from each school district in all categories; and during late night sessions, the committee carefully scored the entries to find the best individual districts. I thank the members of the committee for their dedication and hard work.
Some nominations were disqualified because the nominees had won within the last two years. The rules were changed so that different members could have a chance to win for the first time.
In addition, if five students worked on one poster and each child is entitled to bring three guests, we’d have 15 people from one project, creating major headaches in terms of space and gifts! So we had to limit the number of people in each group.
We’ll cover the event in our next newsletter.
No more progress reports for annual reviews in District 75
Many District 75 citywide speech providers have complained that the DOE is requiring them to write progress reports for all students even though the Standard Operating Procedure Manual of the DOE says that this is not protocol. A progress report is required for all triennial evaluations and if a speech provider can not report at the meeting.
I brought this redundant paperwork issue to the attention of District 75 Assistant Superintendent Helen Kaufman, who would not adhere to the DOE’s standard operating procedures.
The district representatives then raised the issue at the district’s paperwork committee and to the superintendent and Analia Gerard. After much team work, and with the help of UFT Vice President Carmen Alvarez and our special education policy attorney, Elizabeth Truly, the issue finally was raised with Deputy Chancellor Corinne Rello-Anselmi.
The outcome: Kaufman reported to us recently that we will not have to provide progress reports for those children who are having an annual review.
It took a lot of pressure and discussion to finally put this issue to rest. I hope its resolution provides some relief to our District 75 members. If this continues to be an issue for you, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Salaries increased 3.5 percent on May 1
The salaries of UFT/DOE members increased 3.5 percent on May 1 as part of the 2014 contract. All teachers and other pedagogues including paraprofessionals on the Q Bank payroll will receive the 3.5 percent increase in their May 16 paycheck.
Members will receive a regular wage increase of 1.5 percent coupled with a 2 percent wage increase that is the second step of the phase-in of the 8 percent retroactive rate increase arising from the 2009-11 period. Substitute paraprofessionals will see the 3.5 percent increase in their May 31 paycheck.
All teachers and other pedagogues who work per diem or per session will first see the new pay rate in the June 1 paycheck for any days worked from May 1 to May 15. Paras’ per session rate will be calculated based on the new salary rate in their regular, semi-monthly check dated May 16. If you have any questions, please contact a salary representative in your UFT borough office.
A Q&A on Your Contractual Rights
At recent meetings, members have asked a number of questions about the contract and their rights. They’re important and I want to share the answers with you. I’ve included the questions below; you’ll find the answers on our chapter’s page on the UFT website.
How do I know whether I’m doing well? What are the rules regarding absences? Can absence or lateness be a factor in my ratings? Can a warning letter go into my file without my knowledge? What else can go into my file? What if my observation report is negative? And what if I disagree with the observation report?
The UFT can help you if you need counseling
If you have experienced a difficult loss in the last year, the UFT Member Assistance Program (MAP) runs counseling groups to assist members in managing their grief and adjusting to the loss of a family member, significant other, friend or colleague.
MAP has added four May dates to the spring 2016 counseling sessions. They are held from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m. The following Tuesdays have been scheduled: May 10, 17, 24 and 31.
For details and registration information, email MAPinfo@uft.org or call 212-701-9620. Registration is limited.
Be mindful of social media postings
Social networking sites often seduce us into saying or revealing things online that we used to share only in personal conversations or letters. Please think twice before posting messages, photos or videos. School staff members are held to a higher moral code and, like it or not, we need to be aware of how such postings may be interpreted by the public.
Ask yourself: Would I be okay if my children, mother, clergy member or kid sister saw the posting? Some activities do not need to be memorialized online!
Extensions of probation don’t need to be signed immediately
Probationers whose principals want to extend their probations do not have to sign the extension of probation immediately. Probationers have the right to have a NYSUT attorney review it. Contact your district representative or borough office immediately if your principal is insisting that you sign the extension.
Members on leave must contact the DOE
Members who are currently on leave must use the Self-Service Online Leave Application System (SOLAS) for the annual intention notification process. This is to inform the DOE of your intention to return to work, retire, resign, extend current leave or apply for a new leave for the 2016-17 school year.
The deadline to use SOLAS is May 15. Members who fail to notify the DOE by May 15 will be deemed to have voluntarily resigned.
Summer jobs have been posted
The posting for speech providers to staff the summer related service sites is now available for review and application. Those speech providers who are interested in applying may access the posting, VC#373, and the application on the DOE website.