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Know Your Rights

Per-session activities

New York Teacher

The life of a school extends past regular classroom hours. Students can get extra academic help from their teachers. They can create senior yearbooks, join debate teams, perform in school plays and participate in team sports. Students can continue to receive counseling and mental health evaluations from school psychologists and social workers. Paraprofessionals can provide students with the help they need to access a range of activities that take place beyond school hours.

Teachers, paraprofessionals and school social workers and psychologists can apply for these “per-session” activities that are done either before or after school, on the weekend or holidays or during the summer.

UFT members in these titles can work up to 400 per-session hours in one year (July 1 through June 30). Working more than 400 hours requires a waiver from the Department of Education.

There are certain high school extracurricular activities listed in the contract — both athletic and nonathletic — that are paid based upon a maximum number of “sessions” allocated for each activity for a school year. A “session” is defined as two hours beyond the school day. You should check the contract to see the maximum number of sessions for the activity you are interested in.

Below are some of the most important rules and procedures governing per-session work. For more details, read Chancellor’s Regulation C-175 and the contractual provisions for your title (for teachers, it is Article 15).


Pedagogues who apply for and are accepted for a per-session activity are paid at the per-session rate of pay in the DOE-UFT contract. As of Jan. 18, 2024, for teachers, it is $57.27 per hour; for school social workers and psychologists, it is $61.56. Paraprofessionals receive an hourly compensation rate of their annual salary divided by 1,375.

Per-session compensation is in addition to your regular salary. As a result of a hard-fought court battle won by the UFT in 2002, all per-session income is pensionable, so these extra hours later in your career can potentially boost your pension allowance.


Selection for most per-session activities is based upon the individual selection criteria set out in each posting, which appears on the DOE website or, if it is for a school-based position, at the school. If the activity you desire is specifically listed in the contract, selection is based upon meeting the posted qualifications and your seniority.

For teachers: Teachers who complete two consecutive years of satisfactory service in the same per-session activity gain retention rights, which give them priority in hiring in future years in the same activity. To have retention rights, you must apply for the same activity in the time frame specified in the posting and you must specify on the application form the particular activity for which you claim retention rights.

Under Article 15.C.6 of the contract, if the number of positions for that activity is reduced, those with the least seniority in the activity will be the first to lose their per-session positions. If positions are restored during the per-session cycle, the employees may return to the activity in seniority order without the need for posting or reapplying.

You can exercise your retention rights to only one activity each school year, although you can apply for more than one per-session activity during that time.

For paraprofessionals: Selection is based on the paraprofessional’s citywide seniority.

For school social workers and psychologists: Appointed social workers and psychologists have to be hired for all per-session positions before a substitute can be hired. And DOE-employed full-time social workers and psychologists who have been rated Satisfactory for the preceding school year must be offered posted per-session positions before part-timers. Those school social workers and psychologists who claim retention rights to per-session summer work get priority in hiring.

Sick time

Teachers, school social workers and school psychologists accrue sick leave in the same per-session activity on the basis of one session per 20 consecutive sessions worked during the school year.

During a per-session summer activity, pedagogues and paraprofessionals accrue one sick day for each month of service. If you don’t take a sick day in July, you can take two in August. One sick day can be self-treated, but the second day requires a doctor’s note.

At the end of your per-session activity, the payroll secretary/timekeeper must fill out the per-session unused sick time transfer form to have your unused sick time transferred to your regular sick bank. The form is signed by you, the payroll secretary/timekeeper and the supervisor of the activity and is submitted to your payroll school. You should request a copy of the form.