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Know Your Rights

As a UFT-represented employee of the Department of Education, you have the right to professional and fair treatment and to working conditions that help make a tough job more doable. Your rights are the product of 50-plus years of negotiations between the UFT, the Department of Education and the City of New York. It’s important to become familiar with your rights and use them — otherwise, the contract is just words on paper.

For updates on rights gained with the 2023 DOE-UFT contract, see our contract at a glance section or read the Memorandum of Agreement

Below is an alphabetical list of some of your rights, but it is by no means an exhaustive list. Click on the topic to view an easy-to-follow explanation of that right with links to the pertinent contract article in the UFT-DOE teachers’ contract, when appropriate.

If you have a question or need help, do not hesitate to ask your UFT chapter leader or call your UFT borough office, where there are experts on different topics to advise you. Also see the latest Know Your Rights columns in the New York Teacher. 



Class Size

Disciplinary Charges



Health Benefits

Health & Safety

Injured On The Job

Leaves Of Absence


Letter In The File

Observation & Evaluation

Operational Issues

Per Session

Professional Activities

Program Preferences


School-Based Option

School-Based Positions

School Safety

Shortage Areas



Teaching Help