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Probationary Period

If you are appointed under a new license, state law requires that you serve a probationary period of four years and a day. Each time you change your license and are reappointed, you must serve a new probationary period.

As of the 2023 contract, the DOE will have to provide reasons, in writing, for the need to extend a UFT-represented employee’s probationary period if the employee makes a written request to their supervisor for an explanation. Principals can no longer extend someone’s probation without giving them any clue as to why.

You may be able to reduce your probationary period in one of the following ways:

  • Jarema Credit: A teacher or other non-supervisory pedagogue who has rendered satisfactory service as a regular appointee or a regular substitute for up to two years or more and has been appointed to the same rank, subject and level area at an annual salary, may have the probationary period reduced by as much as two years upon verification of such previous service. For purposes of awarding Jarema Credit, no period of substitute service shall be counted as equivalent to probationary service unless it is under supervision and consists of not less than 80 school days of service in any 90 consecutive school days in the same school; and a credit of one year shall be based on not fewer than a 160 days of actual service extending over a period of one year.
  • Traveling Tenure: If you received tenure in one license area and elect to take an appointment in a new license area, or if you were tenured in another school district in New York State, you can apply to have your probationary period reduced to three years. This is commonly known as “traveling tenure.” If this applies to you, call your UFT borough office for more information.

Generally, at the end of four years of satisfactory service, you are granted tenure. If the DOE intends to discontinue your service prior to your obtaining tenure, you must be given 60 calendar days’ notice prior to the end of your probationary period. If you are discontinued, call your UFT borough office. The DOE will schedule a hearing for you during the next school year. At that time, the UFT borough office will assign an advocate to represent you.

In some cases, a principal may ask you to sign a document stating that you agree to an extension of your probationary period beyond the four years. If this occurs, contact your UFT borough office immediately so we can arrange, if necessary, for an attorney to review the document in order to protect your rights as a probationary teacher.

For more information, see Chancellor's Regulation C-205.

The DOE should reduce your probationary period automatically, but if you think you are eligible for Jarema Credit or traveling tenure and it hasn’t been recognized, you should apply using the DOE's application for a reduction in probation form

Return the completed form to the Division of Human Resources, Office of Regional Field Services, 65 Court Street, Room 811, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Make sure to keep a copy of the application for your record, along with the “return receipt requested” notice. If you have any questions, call the union at 212-331-6311 for assistance.

See more information about achieving tenure