The following email was sent on Sept. 16 from Teachers Assigned Chapter Leader Naomi Rodriguez.
I hope you had time to process the news of our redeployment over the weekend.
I understand the anxieties many of you have shared with me about your new roles supporting a school amid so much uncertainty. This pandemic has put numerous obstacles before our chapter, and I’m so proud of the way we've overcome these challenges together.
When the DOE made the decision to redeploy members of its central staff, including teachers assigned, the UFT stepped in to make sure that this process was done fairly. Please note: This redeployment period is temporary and will end on Dec. 31, 2020, unless both the DOE and the UFT agree to an extension. Once the reassignment period ends, you’ll return to your previous assignment.
Some programs will be fully redeployed into schools. For programs which are partially redeployed, assignments for redeployment were determined according to reverse seniority by borough. Teachers assigned who were working with a single school will be temporarily redeployed to that school as a teacher, reporting to the school building leader. Teachers assigned who were working with multiple schools will have the opportunity to indicate a preference as to the school at which they’d like to work. The Office of the First Deputy Chancellor will try to honor your preference; however, you may be assigned to a school with a greater staffing need.
The Office of the First Deputy Chancellor and Borough/Citywide Offices will manage the matching process to determine your temporary reassignment placement. You will receive a follow-up communication from one of these offices containing details about your placement as well as your expected start date. Again, to the greatest extent possible, the Office of the First Deputy Chancellor and your Borough/Citywide Office will seek to honor the preferences you shared. Until you receive an official communication regarding placement, please continue reporting remotely to your program. If you’re a universal literacy coach, please report in person to the school building you currently support.
Universal literacy coaches do not accept an assignment from a school building leader without the official reassignment letter from the Office of the First Deputy Chancellor. School building leaders will soon be made aware of this change. In the meantime, you may assist your school in whatever capacity you feel is reasonable.
Some members have already received their assignments and others will receive theirs soon. Members without medical accommodations may be assigned to any type of program: blended in-person, blended remote or fully remote. Your school must make every effort to assign teachers to a program that is exclusively of one type. The UFT and the DOE are in discussion about establishing common-sense policies regarding work that can be done remotely. Teachers assigned who are not redeployed will continue working remotely until further notice.
Members who have a medical accommodation will work remotely from home. If you have a medical condition, you may apply for a medical accommodation through the SOLAS application portal.
During the redeployment period, you will report to your school building leader. Your benefits, salary and probationary status, if applicable, remain intact. Note that while redeployed, your work hours will be the same as the school you are serving. You are still a member of the Teachers Assigned Chapter and a central DOE employee. I remain your chapter leader, and I will continue to hold our monthly chapter meetings.
In the coming weeks, the UFT Teacher Center will train teachers assigned on the instructional models for blended learning, and a UFT safety representative will provide training on procedures for school safety. Redeployed members should familiarize themselves with the remote and in-person school schedules and guidelines.
If you notice any safety and/or non- compliance with the redeployment, please alert the school building leader, the school chapter leader and me. For more information about New York City’s blended learning model, see the DOE/UFT memorandum of agreement on blended learning and the UFT’s FAQ on instruction in the blended learning model.
Our chapter will have a virtual zoom meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 5 p.m. Please stay tuned for the invitation and be sure to register and attend. Also, stay connected with our chapter via Facebook and Microsoft Teams.
Our stay in these assignments may be temporary, but the impact we have on students will last for a lifetime. Thank you for your willingness and flexibility to support our city’s schools during this crisis. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your contributions.
Teachers Assigned Chapter Leader