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School-Based Option (SBO)

A School-Based Option (SBO) allows staff at a school the ability to collaboratively modify contractual articles or to create positions not automatically allowed under the contract. 

Chapter leaders should have a UFT meeting with their staff to discuss SBOs, consult with the principal and conduct a survey to gauge whether the chapter wants to ratify any proposed SBOs. You should only conduct an SBO vote if your survey indicates that an overwhelming portion of your voting membership wants to ratify the SBO. If you and your chapter agree to modify the contract and your principal is in agreement, you should write an SBO ballot. The SBO ballot should include the contract language being modified and clearly explain the proposed modification. Before scheduling the vote, have your district representative approve the ballot. This will expedite the approval process.

As chapter leader, you have the right to determine whether or not to conduct any SBO. A principal or administrator cannot conduct an SBO vote. An SBO can only be adopted if 55 percent of the voting UFT members — not 55 percent of all members at the school — vote to support it.

All SBOs must be approved by

  • UFT members at the school
  • The school's principal
  • The UFT district representative
  • The superintendent
  • The UFT president
  • The DOE chancellor

An SBO remains in effect for only one school year. It must be renewed every year to continue, which requires a vote of the chapter. The only SBO modification that does not sunset at the end of the school year is for elementary schools that are changing from an eight-period day to a seven-period day. If your elementary school wishes to return to an eight-period day, another SBO is required.

Read more about SBOs: