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Know Your Rights

COVID-related leaves and absences

The coronavirus has necessitated many changes in our work world. To ensure the safety of school communities, staff and students are now being tested regularly, and recently negotiated leaves and absences related to COVID-19 are one accommodation to our new reality. 

School chapters and chapter leaders

The pandemic has changed our work world, but the role of the union remains the same, even as the stakes are higher than ever.

Salary

In addition to the regular pay increases negotiated in each city Department of Education-UFT contract, UFT-represented teachers and other pedagogues receive differentials, step payments and longevity increases based on their level of education and years of service.

Programs and professional activities

The UFT-DOE contract’s provisions regarding teaching programs and professional activity assignments give teachers a voice while providing for a fair and objective selection process.

Lesson plans

Since 1990, Article 8 of the DOE-UFT teachers’ contract has affirmed that the organization, format, notation and other physical aspects of lesson plans are all up to the teacher.

Paraprofessionals’ responsibilities

Paraprofessionals have challenging and rewarding jobs working as part of a team to provide educational and support services to children. They also have rights and responsibilities they should know about.

New operational issues process

Whether it’s excessive paperwork, lack of basic instructional supplies or inadequate space, when issues arise that impede our work with students and need addressing, a timely resolution is of the essence.

Class size and instructional materials

As we enter a new school year, teachers should be aware of their rights to reasonable class sizes and basic instructional materials.

Transferring schools

All UFT members — not just teachers — have the opportunity to transfer to a different school under the Open Market Transfer Plan. The open period for applying to transfer runs from April 15 to Aug. 7 each year.

School safety

Under the DOE-UFT contract, every school must have a safety committee and a safety plan created by that safety committee. As part of the 2018 contract, UFT-represented members have a new mechanism to report safety violations and resolve safety issues.