Speech Improvement Chapter Newsletter, Sept. 2013

In this issue

Letter from the Chapter Leader: Mindy Karten Bornemann

Welcome back for a new school year! I hope it is a successful one for all of you.

There were many new speech teachers hired during the summer, and I want you to know that you are not alone. The UFT Speech Chapter is here to assist you and support your work in our schools.

Feel free to call our chapter's hotline between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; the number is 212-598-7774.Assistant Chapter Leader Kathy Lewis, Brooklyn Representative Brenda Caquais and I look forward to speaking to you. You may also contact me by email at Mbornemann@uft.org if you have a brief question. Due to the volume of e-mails I receive, always call our hotline first because you will receive a more speedy response.

The UFT borough offices are also available to help you with questions related to your salary, pension, health and welfare, and certification. The offices are open until 6 p.m. on most days and until 7 p.m. at least one day each week. See the borough offices' website for their hours >>

Although your phone calls are confidential, we will ask for your name and telephone number so we can return calls when needed. Please make sure that you unblock your phone so that we can call you back. Our policy is that we will not call any supervisor or administrator unless you ask us to.

Our chapter's monthly meetings are usually held at the UFT’s central office at 52 Broadway, and are open to all of you. You will receive an online registration form for our general membership and new speech teacher meetings. Our chapter also sponsors a weekly speech survival class starting in October from 4:15 p.m. to 6 p.m. Call us if you would like more information and check our website for details. Registration for this class will also be sent via email.

I hope to meet all of you during the school year. If you would like me to visit your school or to invite me to a meeting, send me an email. I am usually available on Mondays or Wednesdays to make school or district visits.

Please also make a point of visiting our chapter’s website. Here you will find special chapter information, current and past newsletters, DOE memos and information about important meetings, workshops and events. Visit our website now >>

Mindy Karten Bornemann

Important: sign up now for UFT emails!

Are you signed up for UFT emails? If you aren’t sure or if it’s possible you have an out-of-date email on the system, sign up again just to be sure! It takes a minute and it is critically important to make sure you get timely news that concerns our chapter, including on staff development.

In order for the union to save money on printing and postage, this is our only chapter newsletter that will be mailed this year. The rest will be emailed. So if you aren’t signed up, you won’t receive any further news or announcements this year.

Sign up for emails now >>

Vote Thompson on Sept. 10!

Mayor Bloomberg’s long 12 years in office are finally nearing an end. We all have to vote on Sept. 10 to make sure that our next mayor supports public schools, teachers and children. Vote for Bill Thompson: He understands what our schools need for children to learn!

The union has also endorsed Scott Stringer for city comptroller. Stringer is an ally of the UFT. He understands the role of the comptroller’s office to serve as a fiduciary check on city government for the taxpayers and working people of New York City. Vote for Stringer!

The new evaluation system and speech therapy:

Many of you have asked whether the new evaluation system applies to speech teachers and providers. Listed below is a response from the State Education Department. Based upon the language below, the UFT believes that we are not to be evaluated using the new system. The DOE, however, has interpreted the law differently and believes speech teachers should be evaluated using the new evaluation system.

Guidance on New York State's Annual Professional Performance Review for Teachers and Principals to Implement Education Law §3012-C and the Commissioner's Regulations, p. 20

If a speech teacher (i.e., certified teacher of the speech and hearing handicapped or certified teacher of the speech and language disabilities) is just providing related services, is he/she required to be evaluated under Education Law §3012-c?

No. If a certified speech and language therapist is providing related services only, as defined in Education Law §4401 and section 200.1(qq) of the Commissioner's regulations, he/she would not be considered a classroom teacher and would therefore not be required to be evaluated under Education Law §3012-c.

The UFT will continue to try to resolve this issue as soon as possible, but we are prepared to take swift action including filing grievances if necessary. Make sure we have your personal email so we can contact you to keep you informed of any resolution or grievances. The chapter will discuss this issue at our first meeting of the year on Sept. 18. We hope to see you then.

SESIS and scheduling:

Last year, the UFT won a huge arbitration on SESIS. Many of you received compensation for your time spent after school.

Those of you who are new to the DOE and unfamiliar with the SESIS arbitration can get information about the original award and a subsequent clarification on the UFT’s Teaching Students with Disabilities website >>

There are two important pieces of information that I would like to share with you for the 2013-2014 school year.  First, the DOE issued two directives last year that are relevant to your work.  These directives said:

  • School personnel must not do SESIS work outside of their regular work hours without permission from their supervisors.
  • Speech teachers are to be given the 37.5 minutes for SESIS-related work.

Under these directives, you should not work on SESIS outside your regular work hours without specific permission, which we suggest you get in writing, from your supervisor. In addition, please remember that the arbitrator has ruled that you should not work on SESIS during your lunch hour.

If you are not given the 37½ minutes or equivalent to complete SESIS-related work, you should ask for it. If it is denied, you should let us know so we can help you to get the time.  It is important that you contact us as soon as possible if you are not given the 37½ minutes or equivalent for SESIS work.

If you are scheduled for another activity during the 37½ minutes, it will be more difficult to get the issue corrected. Call the hotline number with your name, school and district, and personal telephone number if you are denied time for working on SESIS.

Second, in the second clarification award, the arbitrator directed the DOE to pay members for time spent on SESIS work outside of the school day for the period from December 2012 to March 22, 2013.  The DOE has challenged this award in court. The court challenge means that payment under the second award will be delayed.

General membership and executive board meetings on Sept. 18

Our first meetings of the year are in a few short weeks.  Register online now >>

Common Core and the speech-language pathologist:

We speech teachers want to support the Common Core. This fall on Saturday, Sept. 28, and Sunday, Sept. 29, the UFT is offering a workshop, “Core curriculum and the speech-language pathologist: goal-writing and therapy ideas across the grades.”  The presenter is Lois Kam Heymann, M.A., CCC-SLP.

You can attend either Saturday or Sunday. The workshop will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, 2nd floor, Shanker Hall B. To download a flier and view directions, visit the event page >>

Register online now >>

If you have any questions on any of the information in this newsletter you can contact your borough office for more assistance.


Related Topics: Chapter News, Special Education
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Source URL: https://www.uft.org/news/speech-improvement-chapter-newsletter-sept-2013