Chapter Leader Update, April 27th, 2018

This Week’s Focus

UFT joins City Council to demand paid parental leave now

City Council Education Chair Mark Treyger on April 24 called on Mayor Bill de Blasio to negotiate a fair paid parental leave policy for New York City public school educators at a press conference on the steps of City Hall. Flanked by UFT members and fellow Council members, Treyger, a former public school teacher and UFT member, denounced the city’s current leave policy for forcing mothers to pay for their own maternity leaves from their bank of sick days and leaving fathers and adoptive parents out in the cold. “Raising a family is not a sickness,” Treyger said. “We’re not going to stop until this gets done. Our working families are worth it.” Treyger scheduled a Council hearing for April 30 to probe the issue and question city officials. He was joined by UFT President Michael Mulgrew, who pointed out that despite New York City’s reputation as a bastion of progressive values, the city has never taken pioneering action on parental leave for public school educators. “The city has balked over and over, and enough is enough,” Mulgrew said. “It’s a sad day when Walmart is more progressive on this issue than New York City.” Read the full story on the UFT website.

State bill would nix mandate to use standardized tests in teacher evaluation

A bill introduced in the State Assembly on April 26 would eliminate the requirement that school districts use student results on state standardized tests to evaluate teachers. A state moratorium is in place through the 2018-19 school year on the use of state exams in ELA and math for grades 3–8 to rate teachers. Under the new legislation, the use of all state tests, including science and social studies tests and Regents exams, in teacher evaluation would become optional. Student performance could be measured instead by authentic assessments such as portfolios, performances and the like. The use of standardized tests in teacher ratings would become a matter of collective bargaining in each school district. “The State Assembly has taken an important step toward halting the misuse of standardized tests — a problem that has plagued the state’s schools, teachers and children,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew. “Now it’s time for the State Senate to step up and do its part to ensure that New York finally puts an end to the years of testing mania that did so much damage to public education in New York State.” Governor Cuomo has indicated he is open to revising the teacher evaluation system.

Join the May Day Rally for Immigrant and Worker Rights

Take Action  In a year when workers and immigrants are under unprecedented attack, please join your fellow UFT members and thousands of other union members, immigrants and their allies at a May Day celebration and rally on Tuesday, May 1, at 5:30 p.m. at Washington Square Park in Manhattan. The event will feature speakers, musical performances and appearances by community members harmed by the federal government’s anti-immigrant and anti-worker policies. The New York May Day coalition, to which the UFT belongs, is composed of worker and immigrant rights organizations from across New York City who are working together to create positive change in our communities. Register online to join the UFT contingent, and see the May Day rally flier for more details.

Check out the new UFT app!

The new UFT app has been released — download it today! Chapter leaders and delegates have the chance to be among the first to download the UFT’s new app. You can use UFT-Mobile to access special member-only discounts for apparel, gifts, travel and more. The app contains a digital version of the UFT membership card that you’ll be receiving in the mail shortly. You can use it to prove you’re a UFT member, whether for UFT services or for member discounts. UFT-Mobile offers a simple, fast way to connect with your union, from registering for classes to calling a specific UFT program or service to getting involved in the latest campaigns. If you haven’t done so already, please download the app for Apple phones or the app for Android phones. You log in to the app using the same username and password you use for the UFT website. Please alert us about any technical issues and share your ideas for improving the app in later releases. In addition, let us know your suggestions for local and national merchants you want us to approach for discounts. Use this online form to give us your feedback.

Help make the UFT website better

The UFT is undergoing a website update and is looking for a few chapter leaders to tell us what would improve their experience on the website. We are offering a free pair of movie tickets as a token of our appreciation for each chapter leader chosen to participate in these interviews. During the course of a 50-minute interview, you will be asked to complete a series of tasks on the website and answer some questions about your impressions of the current site and how it could be better. The interviews will be conducted between May 14 and 25. Those willing to participate will be notified via email by May 18 if they have been selected. The union will be using the information it gathers from these interviews to make the updated website more useful and user-friendly. If you’re interested in participating, please fill out this brief expression-of-interest form.

Join the 5K Family Run/Walk next Saturday, May 5

There is still time to register for the UFT’s fifth annual 5K Family Run/Walk, which will take place on Saturday, May 5, from 8:30 a.m. to noon, beginning in MCU Park on Coney Island. You can register online. The mail-in form is no longer available, but you can register in person at the site by check (no cash accepted). The proceeds will go to the UFT Disaster Relief Fund. If you are not able to participate this year, please consider making a donation online to help support the UFT Disaster Relief Fund. Please bring colleagues, family and friends for this untimed run/walk sponsored by the UFT Middle School Division. The Family Run/Walk is fun and a great way to build friendships with members of your school community. There will be complimentary water, snacks and giveaways for each participant and the chance to win raffle prizes. The fee to participate is $25 for adults and $15 for children age 12 or younger. You can run or walk as an individual or as part of a team. You can also raise additional funds for this cause by asking sponsors to pledge a dollar amount for your participation. Here is a map of the route. Download the 5K Family Walk/Run flier.

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Your Chapter Leader Checklist

  • Show our video about teachers in Wisconsin at your next chapter meeting: We’ve produced a powerful five-minute video for you to share with members of your chapter at your next meeting. Seven years ago, Kim Kohlhaas was working at her dream job in Wisconsin as a well-paid, respected teacher. When Scott Walker, the newly elected Republican governor, decided to go after public employee unions in 2011, Kohlhaas and her colleagues had no idea how quickly everything they took for granted as public school educators would be taken away from them. Wisconsin teachers now have less prep time during the school day. They no longer have an impartial grievance procedure and are all at-will employees who can be terminated at any time. They work 45 minutes longer each day and have to attend three more PD days each school year with no additional compensation. There is no seniority. Teachers must now pay an additional $5,000 deductible in their health care plan and contribute $5,000 annually toward their pensions. Now, with the help of your school’s membership team, it’s your turn to relay Kohlhaas’ account to your members. At your next chapter meeting, we encourage you to show this video of Kohlhaas telling her story. Set aside time afterward for a conversation among your members about what Kohlhaas said and why it’s relevant for us as we await a decision in the Janus v. AFSCME case before the Supreme Court. You can read more about what happened to teachers in Wisconsin on the UFT website. If you have trouble accessing the YouTube video at your school, you can watch it on the UFT website.
  • Share the name and contact information for your election committee chair:Elections for chapter leader, delegate and paraprofessional representative must be conducted by secret ballot under the supervision of an election committee. The election committee may be designated by you (the chapter leader) with the approval of the chapter or can be elected by the chapter. The candidates for these positions cannot serve on the committee. The first and most important part of the election process is to choose an election committee chairperson. The chairperson, along with the committee, has the following responsibilities: 1) Preparing a Notice of Elections; 2) Creating a list of the positions to be filled; 3) Creating an appeals process; 4) Preparing the ballots and the ballot box; 5) Determining eligible voters on the basis of UFT established rules; 6) Conducting the actual election; and 7) Counting the ballots. Please fill out this brief online form to give your district representative the contact information for your election committee chairperson. After the election, the chairperson must certify the election to the UFT Membership Department on the appropriate form, whether paper or electronic. We strongly encourage you to hold your elections in early May. For more information about how to run a school chapter election, chapter election procedures and the responsibilities of the chapter leader, see the chapter elections page on the UFT website.
  • Fact sheets on professional activity periods: To empower chapter leaders and chapters, the UFT’s Contract Empowerment Department, in consultation with the Grievance Department, created a Professional Activity Fact Sheet for Elementary Schools and a Professional Activity Fact Sheet for Middle and High Schools. Please use these fact sheets to guide you as you consult with your principal on professional activities. For additional support, each of the bulleted activities outlined on the fact sheets cites the relevant contractual article, circular or arbitration. The Professional Activity Manual is under revision, and we anticipate providing it as a valuable resource in the coming weeks. Questions can be directed to your district representative or Debra Poulos, the director of the union’s Contract Empowerment Department, at

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Share With Your Members

2018-19 school calendar

May is Labor History Month flier

May Day rally flier

5K Family Walk/Run flier

New Teacher Professional Learning Opportunities flier

Campaign fact sheet on UFT’s current parental leave benefits

10 reasons to be #PublicSchoolProud flier

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You Should Know


New May 4 deadline for student roster maintenance and verification for MOSL: Teachers should be sure to verify their class rosters before the Friday, May 4, deadline. Roster verification is important because it determines which students are linked to them for the Measures of Student Learning (MOSL) for their final rating as part of the Advance evaluation system. NOTE — Teachers should also review Teacher-Level MOSL Selections (TLMS) in the Advance Web Application in order to confirm that selections accurately reflect a teacher’s course load over the entire year and the correct MOSL selections. This is especially important if there have been corrections during roster maintenance verification. For more information, see the DOE guidance on roster verification.

Health and Safety

New The Zero Waste Schools awards application is now live: Now in its second year, the Zero Waste School awards will offer students and teachers the opportunity to earn prizes and cash awards by sharing what their school is doing to protect the environment and achieve zero waste. New York City public school teachers, sustainability coordinators, students and principals, join together striving to achieve zero waste in schools. There are different ways to win. To apply, email for instructions. The submission deadline is Thursday, May 11, with winners announced by the first week of June. For more information visit the ZWS Website and Awards web page on the DOE website, but you must be logged in.

School safety is a UFT priority: We want every New York City public school to have a safe environment where our students can learn and our members can work. The UFT is here to support you and your fellow members in creating a safe climate at your school. Here are some things to know about safety incidents: You should report safety incidents using the union’s online reporting system on the UFT website. All injuries and incidents must also be reported to your administration within 24 hours. A UFT health and safety specialist will follow up with you within 24 to 48 hours of receiving an incident report. The UFT Safety and Health Department can also help you process line-of-duty injury claims and Workers’ Compensation claims; address your concerns regarding environmental safety in your school; and conduct a safety walkthrough at your school to offer suggestions about ways to improve your overall school culture and climate. You can read more information on the Safety and Health Department on the UFT website.

Learn about the benefits of exercise: All members are invited to the 2018 UFT Welfare Fund Medical Learning Series lecture “Benefits of Exercise and Tips to Get Moving,” presented by Nina Brojan, an exercise physiologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering. This event will take place on Thursday, May 17, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, 19th floor, rooms B/C. Light refreshments will be served. To register, call Christine Jittan at 212-539-0667. For more information, see the UFT Welfare Fund Medical Learning Series 2018 flier.

New Members

Spring 2018 professional learning opportunities for new teachers: The UFT Member Assistance Program, in collaboration with the UFT Teacher Center, is offering workshops for teachers in years 1-3 to help them get oriented and accumulate the teaching and learning credits needed for their careers. These workshops will take place in the union’s borough offices. The fee is $30, which includes two CTLE hours. For more information and to register for the remaining two sessions, see the New Teacher Professional Learning Opportunities flier.


New Scholarships for undergraduate Puerto Rican women: Members are encouraged to reach out to eligible women in their school, family or community for the New York League of Puerto Rican Women 2018 College Award Scholarships, which are granted annually to undergraduate Puerto Rican women who demonstrate academic excellence and service to the community. Applicants must be currently matriculated as an undergraduate student in an accredited institution of higher education, having earned a minimum of 12 accumulated credits with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and no failing grades. For full eligibility requirements and to download an application, see the New York League of Puerto Rican Women website. The application deadline is Monday, May 28.

New Labor film festival: All members are invited to the opening night of the seventh annual Workers Unite Film Festival, which will be held at Cinema Village, 22 E. 12th Street. A reception will take place at 6 p.m., and the program will start at 6:30 p.m. There will be a full menu of speakers and films, including “The Cost of Construction,” a documentary about the dangers of nonunion building projects. For more information, including the full film selection, see the 7th Annual Workers Unite Film Festival flier.

Creative workshop opportunity for NYC music teachers on May 5: Music for People is offering a special opportunity to New York City music teachers who are members of the New York City Music Teachers’ Association during its “Adventures in Improvisation” weekend series of workshops. On Saturday, May 5, at the Stony Point Center, 17 Cricketown Road in Stony Point, NY, Music for People invites New York City music teachers to join in with New York metro area musicians for a day of beautiful music and new approaches to music-making — the perfect way to recharge your musical spirit and inspire new teaching ideas. A special 50 percent scholarship rate for members of the New York City Music Teachers’ Association is available for Saturday only. Association members can attend for the entire day for just $50. To register at the scholarship rate, please email Bonnie at Music for People gives music teachers a unique way to highlight the artistic and creative parts of their craft, by making music entirely “in the moment,” while connecting with musicians from diverse musical backgrounds. For more information, including video clips from workshops, please see, or email

Peer Intervention Program vacancies: The Peer Intervention Program (PIP) provides voluntary, confidential assistance for tenured teachers who believe their teaching would benefit from such assistance. PIP is accepting applications for full-time positions as Peer Intervention Program Intervenor. Applicants for the position must have a minimum of eight years of full-time teaching experience and have demonstrated outstanding classroom teaching ability and successful experience working with adults. Priority will be given to teachers licensed in middle and/or high school social studies and English as well as special education. For full selection criteria and responsibilities, see the position posting or email The application deadline is Tuesday, May 8.

Salary and Personnel

First 2% of total 5% salary increase coming on May 1: The salaries of UFT members employed by the Department of Education will increase 2 percent on May 1 as part of the 2014 contract. All UFT pedagogues and paraprofessionals on the Q Bank payroll will receive the 2 percent increase in their May 15 paycheck. This 2 percent is the last step of the phase-in of the 8 percent retroactive rate increase arising from the 2009–11 period. Nurses, therapists, education officers, education analysts and other eligible members who are on the H Bank payroll will begin to see the 2 percent increase in their May 19 paycheck (for 13 days, May 1 to May 13). All pedagogues who work per diem or per session will first see the new pay rate in the June 1 paycheck for any days worked from May 1 to May 15. Substitute paras and paras working per session will see the new salary rate in their regular, semi-monthly check dated May 31. UFT members will receive another pay increase of 3 percent on June 16. If you have any questions, please contact a salary rep in your UFT borough office.

Deadline approaching to apply for summer school positions: Summer school applicationsare available on the DOE website. The deadline for applying for summer school is Saturday, May 5. Before beginning the application, you must register as a new user, even if you have previously registered as an applicant for the Summer School Instructional Program. You should claim retention rights if you are entitled to them. If you believe you are being improperly denied retention rights, use the Contact Us form on the left column of the Summer School Instructional Program website and email Michael Sill at Be aware that if you edit your application after you have submitted it, the date of the application is reset. So, if you edit your application after the May 5 deadline, the application will be marked late.

Special Eduation

Review new guidance for IEP assigned paraprofessionals in revised Special Education Standard Operating Procedures Manual: The revised Special Education Standard Operating Procedures Manual (SOPM) contains significant new information about IEP assigned (1:1) paraprofessionals. IEP assigned paraprofessionals provide behavioral, health, language, toileting, and orientation and mobility supports to individual students with disabilities. The union encourages chapter leaders, IEP teams and paraprofessionals to become familiar with the Special Considerations: IEP Assigned Paraprofessionals and Supports for School Personnel on Behalf of the Student sections of the SOPM, where these new updates can be found. Members may also source this information on the Special Populations Special Education section of the DOE website, but they must be logged in. For the first time, this manual explicitly requires IEP teams to consider and document students’ needs for paraprofessional support during non-instructional activities such as lunch and transitions as well as in-service training required for paraprofessionals to effectively implement students’ IEPs. There’s new guidance directed to IEP teams considering a recommendation for an IEP assigned paraprofessional, as well as guidance on documenting and implementing recommendations for these members. Going forward, for example, behavior support paraprofessionals will be required to receive training in behavior management in general and specifically on how to implement a student’s behavior intervention plan with fidelity. If you need any clarification and/or have questions or concerns, please contact the UFT Special Education office.

Teaching and Learning

New Free math conference on Staten Island for teachers and paraprofessionals: The College of Staten Island, in collaboration with the Murphy Institute at CUNY, will hold its 11th annual Mathematics Connection Conference at the College of Staten Island, 2800 Victory Blvd., building 3S, room 210, from Monday, May 2, to Tuesday, May 10 after school and in the evening. The workshops will be on topics such as using paradoxes to teach probability and practices that explore the mathematical discourse of measurement. Teachers and paraprofessionals are invited to attend one or more workshops at the conference. There is no charge for these workshops. Space is limited so participants should enroll as soon as possible. For full workshop information and to register, see the online registration form.

Teacher Center conference for CTE educators: The UFT Teacher Center is pleased to offer a citywide conference titled “Building College and Career Readiness in Career and Technical Education” on Sunday, May 6, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. This conference will offer a variety of approaches and online resources that can be integrated into curriculum to support demonstration of understanding, collaboration and student engagement. During this conference, participants will: 1) Promote higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills through project-based learning activities; 2) Explore options and strategies for teachers to connect CTE instruction with related academic instruction; and 3) Engage students by infusing technology throughout the curriculum to expose them to 21st-century tools and skills. For the fee breakdown and to register, see the online registration form.

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This Week in Education and Labor News

Americans support higher teacher pay: Following a wave of teacher walkouts across the nation, a poll released on April 23 found that half of Americans are willing to pay higher taxes so that educators can have better wages, according to Newsweek. The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll reported 50 percent of Americans support increasing taxes to raise teacher pay and local public school funding, while 26 percent would oppose a tax increase and 23 percent remain indifferent.

Harvard teaching assistants to join union: Teaching and research assistants at Harvard on April 19 voted in favor of unionizing, reports the Detroit Free Press. The vote means roughly 5,000 eligible graduate students can now collectively bargain with the university as members of Harvard Graduate Students Union-United Auto Workers, ending a multi-year effort that included litigation. Many college researchers barely make rent while generating millions of dollars for a university. These researchers may wait months for their paychecks or be required to work in poorly equipped laboratories. Union membership offers job security, health benefits, fair wages and other benefits.

N.J. union wins contract: New Jersey’s largest state employee union on April 16 forged a contract with Gov. Phil Murphy that includes salary increases and back pay, according to New Jersey members of the Communications Workers of America, whose 32,000 members have been without a contract for three years, will receive two 2-percent pay bumps along with step increases that former Republican Gov. Chris Christie had suspended, setting off a years-long battle.

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Events Calendar


Saturday, May 5: The UFT’s fifth annual 5K Family Run/Walk takes place from 8:30 a.m. to noon in Coney Island. Register online or in person on the day of the event. For more information, see the item in This Week’s Focus.

Saturday, May 19: Online registration is available for the UFT’s Spring Education Conference, which celebrates, supports and inspires our work as public school educators. Schools  Chancellor Richard Carranza will speak at the event. This year’s conference is from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the New York Hilton in midtown Manhattan.

This Week

Sunday, April 29: The UFT Teacher Center citywide conference for educators and paraprofessionals of English language learners, “Preparing Our ELL Students for 21st-Century Learning: Utilizing the Four Cs to Promote Academic Success,” will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway. For more information, including fee breakdown and to register, see the online registration form.

Monday, April 30: Staten Island-based members are invited to “Specially Designed Instruction: Putting the Individual in IEP.” This workshop will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at RO68, 1625 Forest Ave. Participants will learn to define specially designed instruction; understand the barriers to learning as it applies to the most common classifications for students with disabilities; identify strategies to address student needs; and specially design instruction (using an IEP) to meet the unique needs of a student. Register online.

Tuesday, May 1: Manhattan-based members who are five to 10 years from retirement and their spouses are invited to Ready-or-Not Retirement, the first session in a program about how to plan for retirement, covering topics like financial planning, legal matters, Social Security benefits, health and health insurance. Other dates for this program are Tuesday May 8, 15, 22 and June 5. This event will take place from 4:15 to 6 p.m. at the UFT’s Manhattan borough office, 50 Broadway. Register by printing the mail-in coupon, filling it out and sending it to UFT Retiree Health Benefits Department, 52 Broadway, New York, NY 10004. Be sure to write on the flier the name, date and borough of the workshop you are attending. Those accepted should bring a $15 check made out to NYSUT for the first session.

Tuesday, May 1: The social workers and psychologists general membership meeting will take place at the UFT’s Staten Island borough office, 4456 Amboy Road, from 4:40 to 6 p.m.

Wednesday, May 2: The occupational therapists/physical therapists board chapter meeting will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, 19th floor, room A.

Wednesday, May 2: The occupational therapists/physical therapists supervisors chapter meeting will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, 12th floor, room 3.

Wednesday, May 2: Brooklyn-based members who are five to 10 years from retirement and their spouses are invited to Ready-or-Not Retirement, the first session in a program about how to plan for retirement, covering topics like financial planning, legal matters, Social Security benefits, health and health insurance. Other dates for this program are Wednesday, May 9, 16, 23 and 30. This event will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. at the UFT’s Brooklyn borough office, 335 Adams St. Register by printing the mail-in coupon, filling it out and sending it to UFT Retiree Health Benefits Department, 52 Broadway, New York, NY 10004. Be sure to write on the flier the name, date and borough of the workshop you are attending. Those accepted should bring a $15 check made out to NYSUT for the first session.

Thursday, May 3: Bronx-based members who are five to 10 years from retirement and their spouses are invited to Ready-or-Not Retirement, the first session in a program about how to plan for retirement, covering topics like financial planning, legal matters, Social Security benefits, health and health insurance. Other dates for this program are Thursday, May 10, 17, 24 and 31. This event will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. at the UFT’s Bronx borough office, 2500 Halsey St. Register by printing the mail-in coupon, filling it out and sending it to UFT Retiree Health Benefits Department, 52 Broadway, New York, NY 10004. Be sure to write on the flier the name, date and borough of the workshop you are attending. Those accepted should bring a $15 check made out to NYSUT for the first session.

Thursday, May 3: Staten Island-based members who are five to 10 years from retirement and their spouses are invited to Ready-or-Not Retirement, the first session in a program about how to plan for retirement, covering topics like financial planning, legal matters, Social Security benefits, health and health insurance. Other dates for this program are Thursday, May 10, 17, 24 and 31. This event will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. at the UFT’s Staten Island borough office, 4456 Amboy Road. Register by printing the mail-in coupon, filling it out and sending it to UFT Retiree Health Benefits Department, 52 Broadway, New York, NY 10004. Be sure to write on the flier the name, date and borough of the workshop you are attending. Those accepted should bring a $15 check made out to NYSUT for the first session.

For more events, go to

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New on

Union Proud video testimonial: Knowing the union is there when a loved one is seriously ill

Union Proud testimonial: Seung Lee on working in a charter school

Photo Gallery: Meet the President for Districts 75 & 79

Resolution in support of 2018 May Day rally for worker and immigrant rights

Beautiful in Blue: District 75 members take a stand for students with autism and Down syndrome

School Nurses Chapter Newsletter – April 2018

Staten Island Parent Newsletter – April 2018

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Professional Committees

UFT Professional Committees offer a wide range of workshops, presentations and exchanges, enabling all members to take an active part in their professional growth. Unless indicated, meetings are at UFT headquarters at 52 Broadway, Manhattan. Check the lobby for exact locations. For further information, contact us at 212-598-7772 or visit us online.

Albanian American Heritage

Capably Disabled

  • Thursday, May 24, 4:15 to 6 p.m., General Membership Meeting. This month’s speaker is Patricia Hazell, television host of “Patricia’s Potpourri.” For more information, see the Capably Disabled flier.

Irish American Heritage

New York City Art Teachers Association

Pride Committee

  • Thursday, May 24, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., LGBT City Council Legislative Caucus Meet & Greet. We will have a forum with City Council members. For more information, contact Rashad Brown at
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