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Latest updates

Deadlines for NYS Emergency COVID-19 Certificate and edTPA Safety Net extended: State certification requirement deadlines for the Emergency COVID-19 Certificate have been extended from Sept. 1, 2021 to Sept. 1, 2022. Some candidates may also be eligible for the edTPA Safety Net, and may pass the Assessment of Teaching Skills-Written (ATS-W) exam in lieu of passing the edTPA. See the NYSED website »

Temporary restraining order on city vaccine mandate has been lifted: A judge has removed a temporary restraining order, which had stopped the city from moving ahead with a vaccine mandate for DOE staff. A final decision on the case is expected over the next few days. Read the court order »

Union calls on members to raise questions about new DOE quarantine policy: In an email to members, Michael Mulgrew noted the many unanswered questions about the city's updated quarantine policy for students (see below) and asked members to direct their own concerns about the policy directly to Mayor de Blasio. Read the email » 

Mayor announces increase in COVID-19 testing and new quarantine policy: As of Sept. 27, all elementary, middle and high schools will move to weekly COVID-19 onsite testing, an increase from biweekly testing currently in place. The mayor also announced that unvaccinated students who are close contacts to a positive student will not have to quarantine as long as they are masked and keep three feet of distance, also starting Sept. 27. Read Michael Mulgrew's statement » 

State judge signs temporary restraining order against city vaccine mandate: A New York State Supreme Court judge signed a temporary restraining order in the case brought by the Municipal Labor Committee (MLC) against the city’s mandate of COVID vaccines for city workers. While temporarily restraining the city from enforcing the mandate, the order schedules a hearing on the lawsuit for Sept. 22, though it is possible the city will take further legal initiatives before that time. We will keep you apprised of all updates as this situation advances. See the statement from the MLC »

DOE releases policies on COVID-19 related absences and leaves: Absences related to COVID-19, such as time off for vaccine and booster side effects, CAR balances, required quarantine periods and leaves, are detailed in the DOE's personnel memo of Sept. 10. Read the agreement »

Arbitrator rules in union’s favor on medical accommodations: The city must offer work outside school buildings to immunocompromised members who—even vaccinated—are at high risk of serious illness from COVID-19, and exemptions for those unable to take the vaccine for medical or religious reasons. Application forms will go live on SOLAS on Monday, Sept. 13. Members will have until Sept. 20 to apply. See more information » and Read the arbitrator's decision »

Agreement regarding remote instruction: The UFT and the DOE reached an agreement on members' rights and responsibilities regarding remote instruction for this year only. We made sure that you would be appropriately compensated for the work of setting up your digital classroom or platform. We also finalized guidance on remote instruction for quarantining students that minimizes the disruption to your workday and provides compensation for holding office hours and doing other work that supports these students. Read the full agreement »

DOE releases health and safety guide for 2021-22 school year: The guide outlines COVID-19 school-based health and safety protocols, covering areas like masking, PPE, quarantines, testing and tracing, ventilation and remote options. Read the full plan »

City announces vaccination mandate for all DOE employees: The Mayor announced that all DOE staff must receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 27. Read Michael Mulgrew's statement »

Teacher's Choice has been restored to the city budget: The Teacher's Choice program has been reinstated for the 2021-22 school year. Purchases for applicable classroom supplies can start as early as Aug. 1. For this school year, purchases of PPE will be allowable expenses. See the UFT's Teacher's Choice page for spending amounts per title and more information about the program. 

Fully vaccinated staff and students not required to quarantine: The Mayor announced that vaccinated students and teachers in the city's public schools will not have to quarantine when there is a COVID-19 case in the classroom, in accordance with CDC guidelines. However, vaccinated people should still get tested 3-5 days after exposure, even if they do not show symptoms of COVID-19. See the CDC's guidelines for the fully vaccinated »

New city employees required to show proof of vaccination: Effective August 2, 2021, all persons newly hired for employment by any city agency, including the DOE, must provide proof of having received at least one dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine, unless granted a reasonable accommodation for religious or medical reasons. Read more on the DOE's New Employees Page »

Calendar for 2021-22 school year has been released: The DOE has published the calendar for the upcoming school year which includes 180 days in session, inclusive of four staff development days during which students will not be in attendance. See the calendar »