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Know Your Rights

Excuses absences

Excused absences

There are other occasions — aside from personal illness — when you are entitled to be absent from work but still get paid without using your Cumulative Absence Reserve (CAR) or sick bank.

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School-based options

Spring is the time for school chapter leaders to discuss with their chapter members and then with their principal the school-based options they want in place for the 2022–23 school year. SBOs allow UFT members the opportunity to collaboratively modify contractual articles and/or create positions that the contract does not automatically allow. 

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Preparation periods

Among the many meaningful rights and professional protections that your contract provides is time carved out each day for teachers to do professional work. Teachers are generally entitled to five prep periods per week. Prep periods are self-directed; teachers determine what to do during their prep periods.

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Resolving workplace issues

The DOE-UFT contract gives educators two mechanisms for addressing workplace problems and enforcing their collective bargaining agreement: the operational issues process and the grievance process.

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School safety during the pandemic

The multiple layers of protection against COVID-19, including the vaccination of all staff and eligible students, are serving our school communities well. 

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Special ed evaluation & services

All students suspected of having a disability should be identified, located and evaluated. Referral for special education evaluation should not, however, be the first response to pandemic-related learning loss or readjustment issues.

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ICT classes

The theory behind integrated co-teaching classrooms, in which one special education teacher and one general education teacher work as partners, is simple: Children with disabilities are supported with specially designed instruction and services that meet their needs in a classroom alongside their typically developing peers. 

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Transferring schools

All UFT pedagogues and paraprofessionals, not just teachers, have the opportunity to transfer to a different school under the Open Market Transfer Plan each year from April 15 to Aug. 7.

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School safety during the pandemic - Spring 2021

The stringent safety policies in areas such as testing, ventilation and social distancing that the union ensured were in place in September have kept the percentage of staff and students who test positive for COVID-19 within New York City public schools low all year.

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Cumulative Absence Reserve

Having paid leave to rest and recuperate when you are sick is one of the many benefits of union membership and Cumulative Absence Reserve is the formal name for the bank of sick days earned by UFT-represented employees who work for the city Department of Education.