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Under the newly negotiated contract language which applies to all UFT-represented employees, the Department of Education is required to maintain an environment that is “free of harassment, intimidation, retaliation and discrimination.”

 The new contract language specifically states: “The Board shall maintain an environment that promotes an open and respectful exchange of ideas and is free from harassment, intimidation, retaliation and discrimination. All employees are permitted to promptly raise any concerns about any situation that may have violated the collective bargaining agreement, rule/law/regulation or DOE policy, or that relates to their professional responsibilities or the best interests of their students. The harassment, intimidation, retaliation and discrimination of any kind, because an employee, in good faith raises a concern or reports a violation or suspected violation of any DOE policy, rule/law or regulation, or contractual provision, or participates or cooperates with an investigation of such concerns, is prohibited.”

Alleged violations of this new clause go through the regular grievance process. If not resolved, the union may take the matter to final and binding arbitration. The purpose of the grievance process in all cases but particularly in matters covered by this clause, is to resolve the matter. If you believe that you are being harassed, intimidated, retaliated against or discriminated against, you should contact your UFT chapter leader.

The contract runs from Feb. 14, 2019, to Sept. 13, 2022.