FAQ on coronavirus
The following FAQ gives answers to questions commonly asked by UFT members who work in New York City public schools.
Will state tests be administered as scheduled?
The State Education Department on March 20 suspended a half-dozen state assessments — including the math and English language arts tests for grades 3-8 — for elementary and middle school students for the remainder of the school year.
Here is a full list of state assessments which have been suspended:
- New York State Grades 3-8 English language arts test.
- New York State Grades 3-8 Mathematics test.
- New York State Grade 4 Elementary-Level science test.
- New York State Grade 8 Intermediate-Level science test.
- New York State English as a Second Language Achievement test in grades K-12.
- New York State Alternate Assessment for students with severe cognitive disabilities in grades 3-8 and high school.
All June Regents exams have been cancelled, too.
What is the status of the pension consultation I had scheduled with the UFT?
The UFT Pension Department is no longer available to provide in-person pension consultations at UFT headquarters and the union's borough offices. Starting March 18, all preliminary pension consultations are canceled for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. When the schools and UFT offices reopen, we expect to begin booking preliminary appointments again. UFT pension consultants will be contacting all members who have scheduled a final pension consultation to discuss how to provide you with the vital information and forms you need to retire this school year.
What happens if I am up for tenure while public schools are closed?
Conversations are ongoing with the New York State Education Department about guidance on tenure decisions. In the meantime, superintendents can approve tenure for pedagogues who have completed probation.
If you have been notified that your tenure has been extended, union attorneys can review and provide advice about your tenure extension. If you would like such a review, please scan or take a photo of your extension document and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org along with your name, file number, school and district. Be advised that if you do not accept the DOE’s extension of your probationary period, the DOE may discontinue your employment.
Can I be disciplined for being absent at this time?
During the COVID-19 outbreak period an employee's absence related to their own health or for the care of a family member shall not be deemed excessive or used as the basis for discipline.
What kind of documentation do I have to provide for absences?
You don’t need to provide documentation now, but you may need to later. When using CAR or sick days during the COVID-19 outbreak period, rules regarding the need to provide documentation will be relaxed. You can self-certify the reason for such absences, without the need to provide documentation. Supervisors can follow up later to request documentation regarding the reasonableness of time taken or other concerns.