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Know Your Rights

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.

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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.

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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.

Black stick figures

School chapters & chapter leaders

The union is ultimately only as strong as its individual chapters. Each chapter leader is tasked with building a strong and engaged chapter that has meaningful input in school-level decisions and participates in union campaigns to protect public schools and worker rights.

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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.

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Environmental health and safety hazards

You have the right to work in a healthy and safe school building. The UFT’s Safety and Health Department can work with you and your school if you encounter environmental health and safety hazards.

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Salary

UFT-represented employees receive regular pay increases negotiated in each Department of Education-UFT contract as well as differentials, step payments and longevity increases based on level of education and years of service. 

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Absences and leaves for paraprofessionals

If you are a paraprofessional, have you ever wondered what your rights are in terms of leave time and absence from work? You earn one sick leave day for every month in which you are in service for at least 16 calendar days. The maximum number of sick leave days earnable in a school year is 10 for September through June.

Cooperation

Special education

Here are some important things to know about IEPs, IEP team decisions, teacher assignments, ICT classes and self-contained classes if you work with students with disabilities.