NOTABLE GRADS: Cardozo HS in Queens welcomed back its two Olympians, Dalilah Muhammad and Deajah Stevens, on Tuesday. In Rio, Muhammad became the first U.S. woman to win the gold medal in the 400-meter hurdles while Stevens finished seventh in the 200 meters.
Notify the UFT about paperwork issues
Excessive paperwork is a top concern among members in our schools. That’s why the union in its 2014 contract with the Department of Education negotiated a new provision, Article 8I, on the reduction of paperwork. As a result of Article 8I, the UFT and the DOE negotiated a set of fivepaperwork standards in May 2015 intended to reduce unnecessary paperwork. These standards stipulate that, among other concerns, educators should not be required to perform “redundant, duplicative, unnecessary or unreasonable amounts of record-keeping.” Chapter leaders who believe that their members have been assigned unnecessary paperwork should first seek to resolve their concerns at the school level. Consider making it an agenda item at your next UFT consultation committee meeting with the principal. The UFT has created an online reporting form as the next step toward reaching a resolution. Use the online paperwork reduction reporting form (you must be logged in to access it) to notify the union about a paperwork issue at your school.
Fill out our curriculum survey
In the 2014 contract, the UFT negotiated a provision requiring the DOE to provide teachers with appropriate year-long or semester-long curriculum aligned with the state standards in all core subjects (math, social studies, English Language Arts, science and foreign languages). This Wednesday, just before the citywide chapter leaders’ meeting, the UFT sent chapter leaders a curriculum survey to identify schools where principals have not provided teachers with the required curriculum. This survey will help us to enforce the applicable provisions of our contract. If you have not yet taken our curriculum survey, please go to the email from UFT President Michael Mulgrew and fill it out. Or use the link to the survey in the chapter leader section of the website (you must be logged in to access it).
Request a visit to your school from a UFT representative
Various UFT officers and representatives from UFT departments are available to visit your school and speak with members of your chapter. You may request a visit from the following UFT offices and officers: the Office of Personnel, Payroll and Special Projects, to discuss the evaluation system, school budgets, SBOs and more; theGrievance Department, to discuss contract empowerment, APPR complaints, grievances and more; the Safety and Health Department, to discuss environmental issues, school safety, incident reporting and more; the Welfare Fund, to discuss supplemental health benefits and more; a UFT certification specialist, to answer teachers’ certification questions; Vice President for Education Evelyn De Jesus, to discuss support for English language learners, professional development, mentoring and more; the Vice President for Academic High Schools Janella Hinds, to discuss issues involving high schools; Vice President for Middle Schools Richard Mantell, to discuss issues involving middle schools; Vice President for Elementary Schools Karen Alford, to discuss issues involving elementary schools; and Vice President for Career and Technical Education High Schools Sterling Roberson, to discuss issues involving CTE schools.
Remember to report class sizes in your school next Thursday, Sept. 22
Today is day six of the school year and you should have reported oversize classes to your district representative. We need you to report oversize classes again to your district rep next Thursday, Sept. 22, which is the tenth day of school. As before, you’ll need to obtain the school’s RACL for elementary or intermediate schools or the Master Schedule Final for high schools, which indicates class sizes on that date. Please use the form given to you by your district rep to provide this information. It is important that you speak to your principal before next Thursday about resolving any oversize class issues, as this is the informal resolution period when the DOE has 10 school days to equalize registers and resolve any class-size violations. (The contract requires that the principal and the chapter leader attempt to informally resolve class-size problems, so send your request for such a meeting by email so you can document that you made the attempt.) As in all grievances, do not sign any formal resolutions without speaking to your DR. Next Thursday, the end of the informal resolution period, your DR must know of any classes still oversize so the union can file demands for expedited arbitration. Please be sure to report this information to your DR as early in the day as possible. Class-size limitations are inArticle 7M of the contract. Thanks for monitoring class sizes at your school.
Labor Day parade a great success thanks to you
Once again, chapter leaders were amazing at turning out their members for last Saturday’s Labor Day Parade. It was a great opportunity for UFT members to come together and show pride in our union. Hundreds of members marched alongside the UFT float with thousands of fellow New Yorkers who are members of labor unions. Check out our photos from the parade.
Salary & Personnel
Talk to your members about Welfare Fund and health-plan transfer deadlines: Chapter leaders should be on the lookout for the UFT Welfare Fund packet of materials over the next few weeks. In the meantime, make sure your members know that the Welfare Fund dental plan transfer period runs from September through Oct. 15. New plans become effective on Nov. 1. In-service members may change their city health-plan coverage between Oct. 11 and Nov. 11. New coverage begins the first payroll in January. The New York Teacher special health pull-out section will be in the October issue.
Free flu shots for members:Members with Emblem Health coverage (GHI-CBP and HIP) can get a free flu vaccination from Sept. 12 through Nov. 23 by showing their health plan card at participating pharmacies. All UFT members can visit the Advantage Care Physicians (ACPNY) and receive their free flu vaccination regardless of their health plan. More information is available on the city Office of Labor Relations’ website atnyc.gov/olr (under the Wellness Tab).
New members on payroll:Check with your school’s payroll secretary to make sure new members of your chapter are on payroll. Newly appointed pedagogues and paraprofessionals who were placed on payroll by Sept. 1 should have received their first paycheck yesterday, Sept.15. If payroll processing is completed between Sept. 1 and Sept. 15, they should receive their first paycheck in the Sept. 30 payroll. New H Bank members, including therapists, nurses and supervisors of nurses and therapists, who were placed on payroll by Sept. 9 should receive their first paycheck on Sept. 23. If payroll processing was completed between Sept. 10 and Sept. 26, they should receive their first paycheck in the Oct. 7 payroll. New members can ask the payroll secretary for an emergency check if they need it to tide them over until they get paid; however, the members should call their UFT borough office before making this request.
Stretch Teacher’s Choice with Yoobi: Thanks to your advocacy on social media, teachers will receive $148 in Teacher’s Choice money this year — a 21 percent increase. You now have an opportunity to stretch these dollars even further and give back to New York City classrooms in need by shopping online on theYoobi website. Yoobi offers hundreds of colorful, vibrant supplies for schools for under $5. Educators can use thecode UFT-25, exclusive to UFT members, for a 25 percent discount on everything. And for every Yoobi item you buy, another Yoobi item will be donated to a classroom in need, including classrooms right here in New York City. Remember to save your receipts for Teacher’s Choice purchases. As in previous years, you will need to submit receipts as proof of purchase along with the DOE’s Statement of Purpose/Accountability formin early 2017. Purchases must be made between Aug. 1, 2016 and Jan. 15, 2017 to qualify for Teacher’s Choice. For more information, please see the Teacher’s Choice section of the UFT website and the Teacher’s Choice page on the DOE website.
Check out the member obituary section on the UFT website: Please let your members know about the new obituary section for UFT members on the UFT website. This feature honors the memory and service of colleagues who pass away. The name, age and date of passing of in-service and retired UFT members is listed. Clicking the link to the name will direct you to a brief bio of the individual and a photo, when available. Please email the obituary firstname.lastname@example.org. To read obituaries of recently deceased members, see the obituary section of the UFT website.
File appeals for Ineffective ratings ASAP: All returning teachers covered by the Advance teacher evaluation system should have received their year-end rating for the 2015–16 school year via Department of Education email on Sept. 1. For those who received a rating of Ineffective, there is a process to appeal the rating. Regardless of the reason members believe their rating is unfair, the first steps they should take are the same: Call the UFT borough office to make an appointment to file the appeal. At that time, a UFT representative will guide them through the steps to take prior to the appointment.To prepare for the appointment and appeal, members should be proactive and organized. They must submit the specific, detailed reasons for the appeal as well as all of the documents they plan to use to support their arguments. The UFT has posted online a checklist of materials to gather in preparation for the appeal. These include Overall Rating Report, Observation Reports, Learning Measure results, documents related to the Teacher Improvement Plan (TIP), if applicable, and any other documents that they believe are pertinent.
Remind members about new certification requirements: Be sure to remind your members that new certification requirements took effect on July 1. The State Education Department has published two online step-by-step guides to help members navigate the changes on how it is managing certification and the tracking of professional development hours. Members can now consult the TEACH account guide for help creating their accounts and then use the registration requirements guide to complete registration. Although these changes went into effect on July 1, members register during the month of their birth; therefore, the process will take a year. For information about the new registration process, including who must register and when they should register, and how members will track professional development hours, also known as Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) hours, you can read the information on the UFT website and review the chart designed by the UFT certification staff for specific details on how these changes affect your members. The UFT website also has the registration link to the login page for TEACH. Please note: Teachers who hold Initial, Transitional A, Transitional B, Internship or Conditional Initial certificates and paraprofessionals who hold Level I or Level II Teaching Assistant certificates DO NOT need to register. Members must register during the month of their birth. For example, if you were born in September, you register in September. Members without a TEACH account must create one before logging on to TEACH. Members with a professional or Level III teaching certificate issued after July 1, 2016 were registered automatically.
Prepare for this year’s political battles: We will be calling on you again this year to mobilize your members in support of our work at the city, state and national levels. The UFT and the AFT are committed to electing Hillary Clinton president of the United States in November. The alternative is unacceptable for our children, our families, our schools and our nation. In Albany this year, school funding will be a centerpiece of our lobbying. Albany still owes New York City schools $1.6 billion under the 2008 settlement of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit. We will also be making a big push in Albany to make permanent the current moratorium on the use of Grades 3–8 standardized tests. We are counting on you because our success in these fights will depend on the engagement of UFT members in our campaigns.
New members can use an online form to join the UFT: Make sure new members in your school know that they can enroll in the union on the UFT website. These members include any newly appointed or in-service agency fee payer or a New York City Department of Education pedagogue, paraprofessional, hourly group employee or retiree. Encourage these members to join the UFT. As a union member, they will have access to valuable benefits and have a voice in their professional life that non-members don’t have.
Welcome new members:Encourage your members to extend a warm welcome to new educators working in your school. Whether they are just beginning their careers, are veterans who have filled a vacancy or are members of the ATR pool, do all that you can to facilitate a smooth transition.
New teacher support and information groups: The UFT Member Assistance Program and the UFT Teacher Center invite your new teachers to attend a series of professional learning opportunities. Members will gain knowledge about our union, our benefits and our profession. They will meet their peers through a supportive network. These groups are intended for members with one to three years of service. All meetings will be held on Wednesdays from 4 to 6 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway on the 19th floor. Refreshments will be served. Members canview the session topics and register online on the UFT website. Two professional development hours will be available for a select number of the professional information groups. Space is limited, with each session capped at 50 members, so new teachers should register as soon as possible to secure a spot.
Resources for new teachers:Encourage teachers in your school with one to three years of experience on the job to review the available resources in the New Teacher section of the UFT website. This section contains information about mentoring, certification and licensing, the New Teacher Handbook, and much more.
English Language Learners
UFT conference for all educators who work with English language learners:Save the date for the UFT’s inaugural English language learners’ conference, “ELL Raising,” on Saturday, Oct. 29 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway. Five hours of continuing teacher credits are available for all professionally certified teachers who attend. Registration will begin later this month. Please post this flier on your UFT bulletin board.
Professional Learning Opportunities
Fall middle school workshops: Middle school educators are invited to attend workshops throughout the fall. Download the mail-in coupon for workshop dates and locations.
Study abroad on a Fulbright award: All pedagogues are invited to apply for the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching program for the 2017-18 school year. Participants will conduct educational research abroad, learn new instructional methods and assessment methodologies, and share best practices with international colleagues and students. Participants will also have the opportunity to enrich their schools and local communities with global perspectives. The application deadline is Thursday, Dec. 1. For more information and to begin the application process,see the Fulbright Teacher Exchange website.
Solar power workshop: The UFT, in partnership with American Solar Partners, will be hosting a workshop on the benefits of solar power on Thursday, Sept. 22 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Manhattan UFT office, 52 Broadway, 10th floor. This is a great opportunity for members to learn about how solar power can cut their utility bill. American Solar Partners staff will be on hand to answer any questions that participants may have about solar power. For more information, see theAmerican Solar Partners website.
Donate new coats or winter clothing: Help take the chill out of winter for homeless students in our city’s schools by donating new winter gear in the third annual clothing driveorganized by the UFT Middle School Division and the Coalition for the Homeless. Tell your members that the union is asking each school to organize a clothing drive in order to collect new winter coats and accessories, such as sweaters, scarves, mittens, gloves and hats. Emphasize that we can only accept new articles of clothing. The garments may range in size from toddler to adult. Please bring your school’s donations to the Oct. 19 or Nov. 9 Delegate Assembly. You can also drop off donations at your UFT borough office or at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, 14th floor. In the case of large donations, please email Adriana O’Hagan at AOhagan@uft.org to arrange for a pickup. All donations must be received by Nov. 15. For questions or for more information, contact Adelina Santiago atAsantiago@uft.org. Post this flier on your UFT bulletin board.
Our Functional Chapters
UFT welcomes a new chapter:On July 11, the UFT and the Department of Education executed an agreement enabling the UFT to become the bargaining representative for more than 450 Administrative Education Analysts and Administrative Education Officers. For more information about this new chapter of the UFT, see the Administrative Education Officers and Analysts Chapter News section on the UFT website.
Functional chapters onuft.org: Let your functional chapter members know that they can find information tailored to their needs on the UFT website. Nearly 20 functional chapters have their own sections, which offer important resources, chapter news, contact information for chapter representatives, contract details and more. To view the full lineup of our functional chapter sections, hover your mouse over Our Chapters in the top navigation of the UFT website’s homepage or go to Our Chapters.
LIU lockout ends, classes resume: A 12-day faculty lockout at Long Island University- Brooklyn ended on Wednesday, with the administration and faculty agreeing to extend a contract that had expired at the end of August, reports Inside Higher Ed. The announcement came the day after students held a mass walkout to protest the replacement teachers who conducted classes. After failing to reach an agreement on a new faculty union contract, the university’s administration had locked 400 faculty members out of their offices and their email accounts and canceled their health insurance over the Labor Day weekend.
New law provides overtime pay to farm workers: Farm workers in California, the nation’s largest agricultural state, will be entitled to the same overtime pay as most other hourly workers under a new law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, reports the Associated Press. The new law, which will be phased in beginning in 2019, is the first of its kind in the nation to end the 80-year-old practice of applying separate labor rules to agricultural laborers. Farmworkers will be entitled to time-and-a-half pay after eight hours in a day or 40 hours in a week. Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, the bill’s author, said farm workers “will finally be treated equally under the law.”
Incomes for lower and middle class workers on the rise: The Census Bureau reported on Tuesday that middle-class Americans and the poor enjoyed their best year of economic improvement in decades in 2015, a spike that brings incomes close to pre-recession levels, according to the Washington Post. Real median household income was $56,500 in 2015, up from $53,700 in 2014 with the highest income growth in the bottom fifth of workers. The poverty rate also fell by 1.2 percentage points. An improving job market, low inflation and rising wages, particularly for minimum wage earners, drove the boost.
Sunday, Oct. 16: The Making Strides against Breast Cancer walk will take place in all five boroughs and Long Island. See the item in Your Chapter Leader Checklist for more information.
Saturday, Sept. 17 and Sunday, Sept. 18: Speech teachers are invited to attend a 6-hour seminar about how to create hands-on interactive journals with literacy intervention from Dr. Janice Carter Smith. This event will be held at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants should choose either the Saturday, Sept. 17 or Sunday, Sept. 18 session. Continuing education credit is available for a $55 fee. See the flier for details.
Tuesday, Sept. 20: New math teachers are invited to attend a math workshop from 4:15 to 6:15 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway. For more information and to register, see the event listing.
Tuesday, Sept. 20: The first meeting of the social worker and psychologists chapterwill take place from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 50 Broadway, 2nd floor, room B.
Wednesday, Sept. 21: The monthly speech chapter meeting will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, room 19G. For more information and to register, see the event listing.
Thursday, Sept. 22: Bronx members are invited to attend a maternity workshop from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Bronx UFT office, 2500 Halsey Street, to get answers to all maternity and leave questions. Topics will include what forms are needed, allowed length of leaves and health insurance. Dads are welcome. To register, see the event listing.
Thursday, Sept. 22: All members are invited to thesolar power workshop, which will take place from 4:30 to 6:30 at the Manhattan UFT office, 52 Broadway, 10th floor. See the item in Opportunities for more details.
Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 24- 25: Chapter Leader Training, Part 1 will be held on Saturday, Sept. 24 and Sunday, Sept. 25 at the Hilton Westchester in Rye Brook, New York. See the item in Your Chapter Leader Checklist for more details.
Save the Date
Sunday, Nov. 6: Register early to celebrate the history of the UFT and show support for your colleagues at our annual Teacher Union Day on Sunday, Nov. 6 at the New York Hilton. This event will feature a continental breakfast, awards ceremony, luncheon and reception. There is a $50 fee to attend. Register early by downloading the mail-in coupon.
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. Check the lobby for exact locations. For further information contact us at 1-212-598-7772 or visit us online.
ATSS/UFT (Assn. of Teachers of Social Studies)
ELAC/UFT (English Language Arts Council)
NYCAFLT/UFT (NYC Assn. of Foreign Language Teachers)
NYC Music Teachers Association/UFT
NYCATA/UFT (NYC Art Teachers Assn.)
Editor: Peter O’Donnell
Executive Editor: Bernadette Weeks
Contributors include: Karen Alford, George Altomare, Carmen Alvarez, Amy Arundell, LeRoy Barr, Joseph Colletti, Rita Danis, Evelyn DeJesus, Paul Egan, Brian Gibbons, Anthony Harmon, Sarah Herman, Janella Hinds, Richard Mantell, Samantha Mark, Ebony Martin, Deidre McFadyen, Gary Mehra, Cara Metz, Arthur Pepper, Debra Poulos, Jeffrey Povalitis, Ellen Procida, Tina Puccio, Nadine Reis, Nanette Sanchez-Rosario, Howard Schoor, Servia Silva and Michael Sill.
Chapter Leader Weekly 09.16.16
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