Responsibilities of the chapter leader
The role of the chapter leader has singular importance in the United Federation of Teachers. The chapter leader is the vital link between the member and the school administration, as well as the union’s officers, borough representatives and district representatives. Members thinking of running for this office should consider the many responsibilities they must fulfill, including:
- Holding at least six regularly scheduled chapter meetings each year.
- Establishing a chapter consultation committee, meeting monthly with the committee and principal, and reporting the results of the meeting to the chapter.
- Ensuring the contract is enforced properly and services are provided.
- Representing all chapter members in informal resolution of problems with the administration and in grievances.
- Encouraging members’ involvement in the union by advising members of meetings, programs and other activities in the chapter and unionwide.
- Attending Delegate Assembly, district and citywide chapter leader meetings, and other union meetings.
- Distributing and collecting union membership applications and submitting them to the Membership Department.
- Encouraging participation in VOTE/COPE by the members and collecting VOTE/COPE checkoff cards.
- Relaying the citywide union issues and the Delegate Assembly’s decisions to the staff.
- Providing for informal resolution of problems between members.
- Serving as a resource for members about pensions, health coverage and other matters.
- Producing a chapter newsletter and maintaining the UFT bulletin board.
- Working with the UFT district representative, and/or UFT borough representatives and officers.
- Inviting union speakers into school regularly: officers, staff, DRs, Welfare Fund speakers and pension experts.
- Contacting and lobbying elected officials.
- Providing voter registration materials to members.
- Working with parent groups.
- Taking the lead in seeking to ensure that the health, welfare and rights of members are protected.
- Disseminating UFT newsletters, brochures, fliers and other materials.
- Participating in the union’s campaigns and other activities.
- Attending training sessions to learn how to better serve members.
- Distributing Welfare Fund forms.
- Protecting the confidentiality of all members.
- Involving members of functional chapters in the life of the school chapter.
- Leading the chapter in discussion, development and implementation of educational, labor and other policies in the school in accordance with union policy.
While it is imperative that every school have a chapter leader, it is also essential that the person who accepts this role fulfills the responsibilities that go along with the title.