This Week’s Focus
City Council members hear union priorities at legislative breakfast
New York City Council members attending the UFT’s May 3 legislative breakfast heard why it’s important to continue supporting five of the union’s signature programs: Teacher’s Choice, the Community Learning Schools Initiative, the Positive Learning Collaborative, the BRAVE anti-bullying program and the Dial-a-Teacher homework helpline. “It is amazing what we’re accomplishing,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew to the packed room of elected officials. “The biggest priority is to continue the work that we’re doing.” Council Speaker Corey Johnson voiced his agreement. “All of these programs are not programs that we have to guess about or try to understand whether they’re having an impact. They are programs that were designed to really help people.” Representatives from each program spoke in turn about their successes. “All of these priorities are really the priorities of our kids,” said Mark Treyger, the chair of the Council’s Education Committee and a former city public school teacher. Mulgrew invited the attending Council members to go into schools to see firsthand why these programs deserve their support. “To actually see something that you worked on and see the results in the community — that’s the passion; that’s why we all do this work,” he said. Read the full story on the UFT website.
Mulgrew says members lack paid parental leave because of “gender bias”
UFT President Michael Mulgrew on April 30 slammed the city’s reluctance to extend paid parental leave to UFT members as “clear gender bias.” “The city is using this as a bargaining chip against a majority female union,” Mulgrew said, testifying at a joint hearing before the City Council Committee on Education and the Committee on Civil Service and Labor. “If the mayor and other city officials were to experience pregnancy, we wouldn’t have an issue at the bargaining table anymore.” Under the current city policy for municipal employees, new mothers must pay for their own maternity leaves using saved or borrowed sick days. Fathers, same-sex couples and all adoptive and foster parents do not qualify. The UFT launched its paid parental leave campaign in November 2017 after nearly two years of negotiations with the city failed to produce an agreement at the bargaining table. Thousands of UFT members sent emails to the mayor in January telling him to support paid parental leave. Council Education Committee Chair Mark Treyger, a former teacher and UFT member, urged the administration to view paid parental leave not as a bargaining issue but one of “moral justice, fairness and basic decency.” “We need equity and excellence not just as a DOE slogan, but applied in practice,” Treyger said. Read the full story on the UFT website.
Be #PublicSchoolProud and show appreciation for teachers this coming week
Send us your teacher appreciation photos! Teacher Appreciation Week is May 7-11 this year. Many schools and PTAs are organizing events this coming week to show their thanks. If you have helped organize an event or activity at your school, please send your best couple of photos (large size) with caption information including your school, neighborhood and borough to firstname.lastname@example.org. Use the hashtags #ThankATeacherNY and #PublicSchoolProud when posting your photos on social media.
Look for your UFT membership card in the mail
The UFT is issuing a membership card and a member identification number to every member this month. Your new six-digit member ID number is on the back of your card. This UFT ID number is different from your employee ID number or your NYSUT ID number. You’ll use the number from now on to register for UFT events, and we’ll also ask for it when you visit or call a UFT borough office, request union forms or contact the UFT Welfare Fund — in fact, you will use it whenever you interact with the union. This card will also enable you to take advantage of new member-only UFT discounts for restaurants, entertainment, travel, and more! When it arrives in the mail, put it in your wallet so you have ready access to it.
Know your rights on workplace discrimination and harassment
No one should have to tolerate harassment or discrimination at work, which is why the UFT-Department of Education contracts have contained protections for many years against a wide range of discriminatory or harassing behaviors, including sexual harassment. Federal, state and city laws also provide protections. Workplace discrimination or harassment can take many forms, and there are various channels for redress. Each channel has its own timeline for reporting the conduct and filing charges. It can be hard to figure out how to respond and what avenues to pursue, which is why it is so important that you contact the union for help. For detailed information about what to do if you are the victim of workplace discrimination or harassment, read the Know Your Rights column on the UFT website.
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|Advance Guide for Educators or speak with your district representative.Remind your members about key deadlines for teacher evaluations: Teachers’ summative end-of-year conferences must take place between April 27 and June 22. The end-of-year Measures of Student Learning (MOSL) assessment window is April 23 through June 8, and all classroom observations must be completed by June 1, absent extraordinary circumstances. For more in-depth information, see the|
|UFT School Secretaries of the Year Awards Luncheon: School secretaries are invited to the 32nd annual UFT School Secretaries of the Year Awards Luncheon on Saturday, June 2, from noon to 3 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, 2nd floor. Registration information will be available soon.|
Health and Safety
|Chancellor’s Regulation A-850 requires schools to remove nonessential personal equipment such as refrigerators, microwaves and personal fans from classrooms. Custodians must provide at least one location in the school where this equipment is available for use by the staff with the leeway to decide what works best for the school building. Staff and students may use fans to stay cool in classrooms without air-conditioning. However, small desk fans for individual, personal use may be removed under the regulation.
Use of personal equipment in classrooms: |
Apply for a Zero Waste Schools award: Now in its second year, the Zero Waste School awards offer students and teachers a chance to earn prizes and cash by sharing what their school does to protect the environment and achieve zero waste. To apply, email email@example.com for instructions. The submission deadline is Thursday, May 11. Winners will be announced during the first week of June. For more information, visit the ZWS Website and Awards web page on the DOE website. You must be logged in.
|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.|
Salary and Personnel
|First 2% of total 5% salary increase effective May 1: The salaries of UFT members employed by the Department of Education increased 2 percent effective 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.
May 5 deadline to apply for summer school positions: Summer school applications are 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 Msill@uft.org. 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.
Teaching and Learning
|Read some helpful instructions on how to register. Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza will join UFT President Michael Mulgrew to talk about important issues our schools face today. This year’s conference will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the New York Hilton in Midtown Manhattan. The registration fee is $50 per person with an additional $30 charge for teachers taking the 2.5-hour workshop for CTLE hours for a total of $80. Paraprofessionals and other UFT members who take the workshop for CTLE hours, pay an additional $15 charge, for a $65 total. Read a description of the choice of workshops.
Deadline extended for Spring Education Conference registration: The deadline to register for union’s signature education event of the year has been extended to Wednesday, May 9. This year, we are using a new online registration and credit card payment system instead of coupons and checks. |
Bibim bap, for dinner. Middle school students can find hidden meanings in Chinese art from the Asian Art Museum. High school students can study a Wisconsin town rocked by hate after six Sikhs were killed by a white supremacist in 2012, and how the community and law enforcement came together to fight racism. You can find thousands of other lessons and webinars on the Share My Lesson website.Lessons on Asian-Pacific American heritage: The AFT’s Share My Lesson website has lessons on Asian-Pacific American heritage. Elementary students can follow along step-by-step as a young boy and his mother make a Korean dish,
Free math conference on Staten Island for teachers and paraprofessionals: The College of Staten Island, in collaboration with the Murphy Institute at CUNY, is holding its 11th annual Mathematics Connection Conference at CSI, 2800 Victory Blvd., building 3S, room 210, through Tuesday, May 10, after school and in the evening. Teachers and paraprofessionals may attend one or more workshops at the conference. All workshops are free of charge. Space is limited so participants should enroll as soon as possible. For full workshop information and to register, see the online registration form.
Striking Arizona teachers win 19% raise: The Arizona governor signed a plan on May 3 to give striking teachers a 19% pay raise, ending their five-day walkout, reports the Associated Press. Gov. Doug Ducey awarded the state’s teachers, among the lowest paid in the country, a 9 percent raise in the fall and 5 percent in each of the next two years. Arizona Education Association President Joe Thomas said educators now should focus on a campaign for a November ballot measure that would seek more education funding from an income tax increase on the wealthiest taxpayers.
New Jersey introduces equal pay law: New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on April 24 signed the nation’s most comprehensive equal pay legislation, reports N.J.com. The new law protects women and minorities from workplace discrimination by making it illegal to offer lower pay and benefits to them. Employers who pay one person more than another will now have to demonstrate how their experience and education set them apart. Women who seek damages in court would be allowed to recoup lost wages for up to six years — three times longer than the federal law’s two-year cap. Similar legislation was repeatedly vetoed by former governor Chris Christie.
Burger chain workers vote to unionize in historic first: After a two-year effort, workers at a Burgerville restaurant in Portland, Oregon, recently became the first fast-food outlet to vote to form a union, reports CBS News. No major business sector in the United States may be more resistant to worker efforts to unionize than the fast-food industry. The Burgerville workers’ vote to unionize sets a potentially important precedent as labor activists press their case for better pay and working conditions at restaurant giants ranging from McDonald’s to Yum! Brands.
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. See the item in Teaching and Learning.
Saturday, May 5: The UFT’s fifth annual 5K Family Run/Walk takes place tomorrow from 8:30 a.m. to noon, beginning in MCU Park on Coney Island. On-site registration is permitted, but you must pay by check (no cash accepted). The fee to participate is $25 for adults and $15 for children age 12 or younger. Family and friends are welcome. Proceeds go to the UFT Disaster Relief Fund. Here is a map of the route. For more information, read the 5K Family Walk/Run flier. If you are unable to participate, please consider making a donation online to help support the UFT Disaster Relief Fund.
Tuesday, May 8: The social workers and psychologists chapter meeting will take place from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the UFT Brooklyn borough office, 335 Adam St., 24th floor.
Wednesday, May 9: The annual school nurses dinner runs from 4 to 7 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, 3rd floor, 3 north.
Wednesday, May 9: The Member Assistance Program invites Queens-based teachers in years 1-3 to The Journey to Resilience, a workshop on strategies for creating a classroom environment that supports the social and emotional needs of all students. From 4 to 6 p.m. at the UFT’s Queens borough office, 97-77 Queens Blvd., 8th floor, Rego Park. For more information and to register, see the online form.
Thursday, May 10: The Member Assistance Program invites Bronx teachers in years 1-3 toAnchoring Into the Classroom Community, a workshop on how core beliefs and practices influence classroom culture. From 4 to 6 p.m. at the UFT’s Bronx borough office, 2500 Halsey St. For more information and to register, see the online form.
Thursday, May 10: Staten Island-based members are invited to a maternity and child care leave workshop from 4 to 6 p.m. at the UFT’s Staten Island borough office, 4456 Amboy Road. Participants will learn their rights concerning maternity, childcare and FMLA leaves. Attendees should be in their last trimester. To register, fill out this online Staten Island Maternity and Child Care form.
Thursday, May 10: Queens-based members are invited to a maternity workshop from 4 to 6 p.m. at the UFT’s Queens borough office, 97-77 Queens Blvd., 5th Floor, Rego Park. Registration is required. Email Karla Jordan at firstname.lastname@example.org with your due date, file number, cell phone number, personal email address (not DOE email address) school and district. This event is only for women who are in their third trimester.
Save the Date
Saturday, June 2: The 32nd annual UFT School Secretaries of the Year Awards Luncheon from noon to 3 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, 2nd floor. Registration information will be available soon.
For more events, go to uft.org/calendar.
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.
Association of Teachers of Social Studies
Irish American Heritage
New York City Art Teachers Association