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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 assistance they need to access a range of activities that take place beyond schools hours. Here are some of the rules that govern these per-session activities for the different job categories.

For teachers

Teachers can apply to become instructors or coaches of per-session activities that take place either before school, after school, on weekends or holidays, or in the summer.

If you apply for and are accepted for such an activity, you are paid at the per-session rate of pay in the UFT contract, $48.67 per hour for teachers as of May 1, 2018. This is salary earned in addition to your regular salary.

Selection for most per-session activities is based upon the individual selection criteria set out in each posting, which appears on the Department of Education’s 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.

Upon completing two consecutive years of satisfactory service in the same activity, you gain retention rights, which give you priority in hiring in future years in the same activity.

To have retention rights, you must apply for the same activity in the timeframe specified in the posting and you must specify on the application form the particular activity in which you claim retention rights.

In the event that the number of positions is reduced, those with the least seniority in the activity will be the first to lose their per-session positions. If the position is restored during the per-session cycle, the employees may return to the activity in seniority order without the need for posting. Article 15C6 of the UFT-DOE contract covers all the per-session rules in more detail.

As a result of a hard-fought court battle won by the UFT in 2002, all per-session income is pensionable, so any extra hours that you put in during your final one or three years on the job (depending on your pension tier) will boost your pension allowance.

For social workers and psychologists

Appointed psychologists and social workers have to be hired for all per-session positions before a substitute can be hired. And DOE-employed full-time psychologists and social workers who have been rated Satisfactory for the preceding school year must be offered posted per-session positions before any non-full-time psychologists or social workers can be hired.

For per-session summer work, those school psychologists and social workers who claim retention rights to the activity get priority before those who have not claimed retention rights. To claim retention rights in a specific high school superintendency, you must fill out the OP-175 form by an agreed-upon date. If summer positions are still available in a high school superintendency after all those with retention rights have been assigned, priority is given to staff assigned to the superintendency in seniority order and then to staff from other superintendencies in seniority order.

For paraprofessionals

Paraprofessionals can also apply for per-session activities that take place before school, after school, on weekends or holidays, or in the summer.

If you apply for and are accepted for such a per-session activity, you will receive an hourly compensation rate of 1/1375 of your annual rate. This compensation is earned in addition to your regular salary.

Selection is based on the paraprofessional’s seniority.