Thursday, May 21, 2015

FW: Inside AFT--May 15

Subject: Inside AFT--May 15



AFT: A Union of Professionals: AFT Teachers


Survey shows need for focus on workplace stress

worklife survey report coverThe results of a new AFT survey on well-being, working conditions and stressors for teachers and school support staff across the country provide much-needed information about sources of stress on the job. The first-of-its-kind, 80-question survey was filled out by more than 30,000 educators. Among the findings:

  • Only 1 in 5 educators feel respected by government officials or the media.
  • Fourteen percent strongly agree with the statement that they trust their administrator or supervisor.
  • More than 75 percent say they do not have enough staff to get the work done.
  • Seventy-eight percent say they are often physically and emotionally exhausted at the end of the day. Eighty-seven percent say the demands of their job are at least sometimes interfering with their family life.
  • Among the greatest workplace stressors were the adoption of new initiatives without proper training or professional development, mandated curriculum and standardized tests.

More investment needed in early childhood education

Preschool report cover photoA sliver of hope shines through the latest "The State of Preschool" report, released by the National Institute for Early Education Research on May 11. The organization concludes that state prekindergarten programs may have turned a corner in 2013-14, after the recession and significant cuts in previous years. However, NIEER is quick to stress that investments must be stepped up decisively if the nation expects to reach, within the next 20 years, even the modest goal of making pre-K available to all children from families with incomes below 200 percent of the poverty level. The small increase in overall state funding, along with a slight bump in enrollment growth for public pre-K programs, "shows that we are headed in the right direction toward our goal of giving every early learner a strong start," AFT President Randi Weingarten says. "However, progress has been small and uneven, and not nearly enough to catch up from the dismal effects of the recession. At our current rate of investment, it would take 150 years for publicly funded pre-K to reach 70 percent of 4-year-olds."

Read the full report

Nurses gather on Capitol Hill for lobby day

Nurses lobbying Rep. WaldenAs National Nurses Week came to a close on May 12, members of AFT Nurses and Health Professionals convened in Washington, D.C., to lobby their members of Congress on improving the quality and safety of healthcare. AFT NHP members shared their personal stories with lawmakers about the need for adequate nurse staffing and comprehensive safe patient-handling programs in healthcare facilities. Decades of research has linked nurse staffing levels to patient outcomes. Many of the findings show the tipping point in patient care assignments that result in increased readmissions, higher mortality rates and poorer outcomes; yet such findings often are ignored and hospitals choose to cut nursing staff. In April, Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) joined Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) to introduce the National Nursing Shortage Reform and Patient Advocacy Act to address nurse staffing. "Staffing equals safety. A bill to address staffing would give us the structure we need to achieve that," says Jessie Frymyer, a registered nurse and member of the Ohio Nurses Association.

AFT, Mexican union sign joint education declaration

Weingarten and DiazAFT President Randi Weingarten and Juan Diaz, president of the Mexican National Educational Workers Union (Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación, or SNTE), signed a joint Declaration in Defense of Public Schools on May 14 in Mexico City. "This declaration is a testament to our shared commitment to reclaim the promise of public education, not as it is today or as it was in the past, but as it can be—to fulfill our collective obligation to help all children succeed," Weingarten says. "It reaffirms our commitment to work together toward a better future for every child—in the United States, in Mexico and throughout the region. Our teachers face many of the same challenges, whether they are in Juárez or El Paso, Durango or Florida, Mexico City or New York City. Teachers need to have the necessary tools, time, training and trust in order to do their jobs well. And this declaration is a powerful testament to the friendship between our two unions, a friendship forged by our shared challenges and our shared aspirations."

World Bank's support of for-profit schools misguided

The AFT has signed a joint letter questioning the World Bank's promotion of for-profit, fee-charging schools in Kenya and Uganda. "Free, high-quality public education should be a fundamental human right for all children throughout the world, especially for vulnerable families living in poverty," AFT President Randi Weingarten says. "The World Bank's promotion of the fee-charging, for-profit Bridge International Academies in Kenya and Uganda is not an appropriate role for the institution and reveals a tragic disconnect with the gravity of poverty in these countries. Many families in Kenya and Uganda live below the poverty line and can barely afford food, much less education. It promotes a Hobson's choice—further subsistence or their children's future."

Read the joint letter

Texas bill would deny voluntary payroll deductions

The Texas Senate found a curious way to mark Teacher Appreciation Week: State senators voted to take away the freedom of teachers and all other school employees to make voluntary payments from their earnings to the labor, employee or professional organizations of their choice via safe and secure payroll dues deduction. For good measure, the state Senate majority did the same disservice to most other state and local public employees. Two Texas AFT members—Andy Dewey, a Houston Independent School District teacher and a leader in the Houston Federation of Teachers, and Traci Dunlap, an Austin ISD teacher and a leader in Education Austin—testified against the bill at a committee hearing. Dunlap, a pre-K public school teacher with 27 years of experience, told lawmakers the bill would infringe not only on local school control but also on the personal economic freedom of public employees who choose to have dues deducted.

Honoring great teachers who have DACA status

More than 650,000 people have received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status since June 2012, when President Obama announced the establishment of the DACA program, which allows select undocumented individuals who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines to obtain temporary relief from removal and to apply for work authorization. Many of them are working as teachers. In July, the White House will honor some of these educators for their work inside and outside the classroom. They are looking for teacher nominations in three categories: classroom leader, school leader or community leader. May 24 is the deadline to submit nominations.

Where & When


AFT President Randi Weingarten will address the AFT Connecticut convention on May 16 in Plantsville, Conn. On May 19, she will participate in Election Day activities in Philadelphia. On May 20, Weingarten will speak at a breakfast, hosted by the AFT, at the New York Ideas Festival in New York City. Later that day, in Washington, D.C., she will address an event on "Achieving Gender Equality in our Lifetimes: A Bold Vision for Advancing the Status of Women," hosted by the Institute for Women's Policy Research. On May 21, Weingarten will speak at the AFT NHP Professional Issues Conference in Chicago.

AFT Secretary-Treasurer Lorretta Johnson will attend the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists convention in Chicago May 20-22, including a meeting of the CBTU executive council on May 20.

AFT Executive Vice President Mary Cathryn Ricker will attend the National Democratic Institute board of directors and related meetings in Bogota and Cartagena, Colombia, from May 20 to 23.


May 15, 2015

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Overpaid CEOs
CEOs of the nation's largest corporations received a 16 percent pay raise in 2014, and the pay gap between CEOs and the typical worker widened to 373-to-1, according to the latest data from the AFL-CIO's Executive PayWatch. Top executives of the Standard & Poor's 500 Index companies received, on average, $13.5 million in 2014, even as the average production and nonsupervisory worker earned only $36,000 in annual salary in 2014.



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The AFT turned 99 on May 9. Share your AFT story and watch a video introducing our 100th anniversary celebration.



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Inside AFT, an electronic newsletter for leaders and activists, is prepared by the AFT communications department.Contributors and sources for this week's edition include AFT media affairs, Mike Rose, Adrienne Coles, Texas AFT, Education Austin, the White House, the AFL-CIO, Thomas Petrillo, Catherine Mason and Mary Kaniewski. Dan Gursky, editor; Jane Feller, copy editor.

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FW: UFT Weekly Chapter Leader Update May 15

Subject: UFT Weekly Chapter Leader Update May 15








In this issue

The DA is this coming Wednesday, May 20

Photo of the Week

Photo of the Week - May 15, 2015

AND THEY'RE OFF!: More than 300 runners and walkers made waves at the UFT's 2nd annual 5K on Saturday, May 9 in Coney Island.

News of the Week

Join the campaign to keep public education public

Thanks to our #AllKidsNeed campaign last spring, the final state budget did not contain an education tax credit scheme that would benefit hedge funders or a 100-school increase in the charter cap as Governor Cuomo had wanted. But now, as we predicted, Cuomo and his fat-cat donors are making another full-force push. Earlier this week, the governor introduced an education tax credit bill that is a thinly veiled voucher program. And Cuomo's hedge-fund supporters have bankrolled a new 30-second TV ad pressuring state lawmakers to lift the cap on charter schools and approve the tax credit. We want Albany to maintain the current cap on the number of charter schools in the state and to pass state legislation that requires charters to educate all children and abide by the same rules and standards as district public schools must. Please join our campaign to keep public education public. Go to the UFT website to get the facts on charters and share this information with other members of your chapter. Use the hashtag #EducateAllKids on Twitter to share the facts about charters.

Use social media to tell the City Council to restore Teacher's Choice

Teachers know better than anyone what they can accomplish with adequate supplies. Hundreds of teachers have shared with us their stories about the essential work they've been able to do with their Teacher's Choice funding. Now we need you to begin sharing these powerful stories on social media to convince the City Council to substantially increase its funding for Teacher's Choice for the coming school year. We've created a Teacher's Choice campaign website that makes it easy to share six of the compelling stories we've heard. And if you are on Twitter, we want you to share why Teacher's Choice matters to you using the hashtag #RestoreTeachersChoice as the sentence starter. For Twitter, please tweet at City Council Members. Here's a list of Council members' Twitter handles. The City Council and the mayor must pass a final budget by July 1. We have six weeks to convince the Council to restore Teacher's Choice funding. Please add your voice.

It's time to begin the SBO process for next school year

If your school is considering a school-based option (SBO) for the next school year, you should begin the process immediately. Since all SBOs sunset every year, with the exception of the 7/8 period day SBOs in elementary schools, all SBOs implemented during the 2014-2015 school year must be reviewed and revisions (if any) should be discussed. The UFT and the DOE agreed to continue the current workday configuration for the 2015-16 school year, but single-session schools can use the SBO process if they want to vary their session time from a standard 6 hour and 20 minute day followed by 80 minutes of professional development on Mondays and a 75-minute block of Parent Engagement and Other Professional Work time in Tuesdays. The DOE deadline for submitting to the DOE approved extended-time SBOs that affect student arrivals and dismissals is May 29. The UFT procedure for SBOs has not changed. The chapter committee or the principal may propose SBOs for the coming school year. You should survey your chapter regarding any proposed SBOs. The chapter committee, led by the chapter leader, should then hold a consultation meeting with the principal to discuss the SBOs. As chapter leader, you have the right not to put to a vote any SBO that your chapter does not like. While an SBO requires the support of 55 percent of voting members in order to be ratified, you should not put to a vote an SBO that does not have the near-unanimous support of your membership. Give your district representative an opportunity to review your SBO before your members vote. Make sure your members (and not just your principal) benefit from any SBOs you choose to put to a vote. Aside from the extended time SBOs that are due on May 29, all other SBOs should be submitted by the second week of June using the online forms which will be available from your district rep beginning Monday, May 18. Please make sure your district representative is kept informed at every stage of the process. Consult the UFT's SBO Manual for detailed guidance.

Great professional learning opportunities await you at the UFT Spring Education Conference

The UFT Spring Education Conference celebrates, nurtures and inspires our work as public school educators. This year's conference will take place on Saturday, May 30 and will feature an address by UFT President Michael Mulgrew as well as great workshops, informative exhibits and the opportunity for you to network with colleagues. Workshop topics will include "Community Learning Schools — Where Do I Fit in?" "Creating Caring Schools through Social Emotional Learning," and "Cultivating the Power of Teacher Leaders." The conference will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the New York Hilton at 1335 Avenue of the Americas. The $50 registration fee includes breakfast and a gala luncheon. For those of you on Twitter, we will once again be using the hashtag #UFTspring on the day of the conference. Let's celebrate and publicize the hard work we do to educate children. For a description of the workshops and to download a mail-in registration coupon, see the event listing on the UFT website. The registration deadline has been extended to Friday, May 22.

And on don't miss

To Do

  • Tell teachers and guidance counselors in your school who are participating in the Advance Student Survey Pilot that they are eligible to apply to participate in a per-session focus group to give feedback on the Advance Student Survey Pilot. By sharing their experiences concerning the survey, teachers and guidance counselors have an opportunity to inform the DOE for the future. The focus groups will consist of two-hour per-session blocks that will take place from May until the end of June. Members who are interested in applying should review the per-session posting that corresponds to their title: Teachers or Guidance Counselors. For more information, contact the DOE's Survey Initiatives Team.
  • It's time for schools to hold their chapter elections. We strongly encourage you to hold chapter elections in May, although they may be held in either May or June.  Any full-time member may nominate, run for a position and vote in a school's election if he or she is on the school's permanent table of organization or assigned to the school on the first Monday in May of an election year. Of particular note for members who are in excess, those members who were not on the school's table of organization but were assigned to the school on the first Monday in May must be added to the election roster. It is your responsibility to provide these excessed members with the election information and make arrangements for them to participate in the election process, even if they are no longer assigned to your school when your chapter election takes place. Once your school's election has been held, the election chair must fill out the chapter certification form. You should have received your 2015 chapter leader election kit at your school. Detailed information about the nuts and bolts of the position and the election process is available on the UFT website. Please contact your district representative if you have not received your election kit or if you have any questions.
  • The more than 300 colleagues, families and friends who participated in our 2nd annual 5K Family Run in Coney Island last Saturday raised more than $15,000 for survivors of the Nepal earthquake through the UFT Disaster Relief Fund.  If you collected donations for 5K Run display boards from members at your school, please bring the money to the Delegate Assembly this Wednesday, May 20. If you don't plan to attend this DA, please bring your school's donation to the Middle School Division's office at 50 Broadway, 14th floor, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., or email Adelina Santiago at or call her at 212-598-6839 to make arrangements for a pickup. You can make an online donation to help the Nepal relief effort via the UFT Disaster Relief Fund on the UFT website.
  • Advise your members that the UFT and the DOE have posted career pathway positions for Model Teacher and Peer Instructional Coach at selected schools. Let your members know that the qualification requirements and the application process for the Model Teacher and the Peer Instructional Coach are available on the DOE website. Teachers interested in either position must use the online application process. The application deadline for both positions is Thursday, May 21.
  • Advise your members that the UFT and the DOE have posted a Peer Validator position. Peer Validatorsplay a critical role in the implementation of the city's teacher evaluation system. This is a teacher assigned position. Members should view the online posting entitled Teacher Assigned Vacancy Circular No. 3, Peer Validator (2015-2016), for qualification requirements and information on the application process. More detailed information about the position has been posted on the DOE website. Teachers interested in the Peer Validator position must use the online application process. The application deadline is Thursday, May 21.
  • Members in the Absent Teacher Reserve — ATRs — who are assigned to your school should be treated as full-time staff members, not as visitors. ATRs are members who have lost their position in their school through no fault of their own from excessing or school closings. They have and deserve the same rights and benefits as members who have permanent positions. Be sure to extend a warm welcome to ATRs on rotation in your school and do all that you can to make them feel a part of your school community. For example, ATRs have the right and should be encouraged to participate in the life of your chapter as voting members in this year's chapter leader elections. Any ATR assigned to your school on the first Monday in May must be added to the election roster and contacted to vote even if he or she is no longer at your school when the election takes place. For information about ATR rights as they relate to the new contract, see the FAQ on the UFT website.
  • Make sure that paraprofessionals in your school are aware that they may be among the more than 250 paraprofessionals across the system who have to provide proof of completion of 75 hours of professional development by the end of June. These are paraprofessionals who received their Level III Teaching Assistant certificates from the state on Sept. 1, 2009, or Feb. 1, 2010, and will reach the first five-year Professional Development Cycle of 75 hours on June 30. They should have received notification and a tracking form from the DOE, and they should follow the directions in the letter and submit the tracking form by June 15. Paraprofessionals can go to the State Education Department's website for suggested activities as well as for further information. The UFT has posted an FAQ on the PD requirement for paras on its website. You can also help the paraprofessional reach out to an educational liaison in your UFT borough office.
  • Let members know that the Summer School Online Application is available on the DOE website. Encourage members with retention rights to apply as early as possible for summer school postings. Advise your members that they must register as a new user, even if they have registered in prior years. This year, all CSE summer positions will be posted with all the other summer school positions under the title Student Evaluations and Review. You may contact Amy Arundell at if you have any questions or concerns regarding the application process. The submission deadline is Thursday, May 28.   
  • Inform members who serve students with disabilities that a recent Principal's Weekly spelled out federal mandates for special education compliance. The programs and services on a student's IEP, such as integrated co-teaching classes, SETSS and special classes; related services such as speech, occupational or physical therapy, and counseling; and the support of paraprofessionals, are legally mandated and necessary for the student to make progress in school. Therefore, special education teachers and other providers of these services must serve each student as mandated and may not be assigned to other duties like exam scoring or coverage/proctoring for other classes that would prevent them from doing so, except in extraordinary circumstances. Please work with your principal to ensure that these mandates are followed at your school.           
  • By now, all teachers in your school should have gotten their preference sheets for next year, according to the contract. The contract spells out what options members have in choosing their positions. Make sure to advise probationary teachers in your school when they fill out their preference sheets for next year to ask for assignments in their license area. Teaching out of license might result in an extension of probation, delaying those teachers' tenure. For complete information on your rights and responsibilities on program preference and professional activities, see the Know Your Rights column on program preferences and professional activities from the April 30 issue of the New York Teacher. Remember to speak to your principal and your district rep if the preference sheets have not been distributed at your school.
  • The DOE has released its latest version of Advance at a Glance, a newsletter for teachers that highlights key dates and deadlines in this year's teacher evaluation system. Encourage your teachers to use Advance at a Glance to guide them through the rights and responsibilities of the evaluation process. You can access the May/June 2015 issue of Advance at a Glance on the UFT website.
  • The Open Market Transfer Plan period is underway.The annual transfer period began on April 15, although most vacancies are not posted until late May or June, after principals have received their budgets for the following school year and know which staff members are returning in September. The Open Market Transfer Plan offers all pedagogues access to job openings throughout the city through an online registration process. During this period, which ends August 7, you do not need a release from your principal to change schools. You may even apply to schools without current openings, and your application will be kept in an electronic file in the event an opening occurs. We suggest following up all electronic applications with a hard copy that is mailed, emailed or dropped off at the school. The Open Market Q&A on the UFT website offers more information about the process.
  • Make sure that you have a consultation committee that meets regularly. This committee has a simple, yet critical purpose: to discuss and attempt to resolve issues at the school level before they escalate. When an issue cannot be resolved by the consultation committee, you should bring that issue to the attention of your district representative. Consultation meetings are vital to maintaining the health of our school system, and for the first time in a long time, we have an administration that is willing to engage and consult at every level of the system. We fought for teacher voice in our contract. It is up to us to make sure that these new rights are exercised. Ensuring the success of this process requires a change in mindset, a shift away from the days when chapter leaders and principals were permanent adversaries unwilling to even try to resolve conflicts. Find out more about the role and responsibilities of the UFT consultation committee. Because we know the Office of Labor Relations has given different advice to certain principals, we have filed a union-initiated grievance.
  • Alert members that a six-hour training in the prevention and intervention of bullying, discrimination and harassment is now required for certification by the New York State Dignity for All Students Act. This course is mandated for all teachers and school-related professionals who apply for their state certificate on or after Jan. 1, 2014. The UFT is an approved provider of this course and offers it at 52 Broadway and in the union's borough offices at a cost of $25 for paras, $50 for all other members and $100 for nonmembers. Check the UFT Safety Workshop page for dates, times and registration information or call 212-598-9287.
  • Teachers holding a Professional Certificate who were certified on Sept. 1, 2009 or Feb. 1, 2010 should have received a letter and a tracking form from the DOE in February alerting them that they have to submit proof of completing 175 hours of professional development during the past five-year cycle. Make sure your members understand that 175 hours of professional development every five years is a requirement only for those who hold a Professional Certificate. Currently there are 2,500 members who are in jeopardy of losing their certification if the documentation is not submitted on time. Documentation must be submitted no later than June 13. It is very important for chapter leaders to alert their members that any professional development taken outside the school should be approved in writing by their principal prior to taking the PD. At the end of each year, the tracking sheet should be approved and signed by the principal. At the end of the five years, all signed tracking sheets must be submitted to the DOE, which will report your completed professional development hours to the State Education Department. Direct your members to the NYS Education Department website to review the range of available PD. And read the Q&A in the current New York Teacher called Maintaining your professional certificate. If you have any questions, please contact the educational liaison in your UFT borough office.

For your information

Spring safety checklist: As the school year winds down, spend some time reviewing the Chapter Leader Safety Checklist for this time in the school year. The checklist includes items that provide security for those working in the building and protect the personal property of your members. Some items on the checklist can be addressed in consultation with your principal or during school safety committee meetings.

UFT certificates for graduates: The UFT's officers and the chairs of the Professional Committees have a long tradition of supporting and rewarding our schools' graduates by awarding certificates for excellence in academic achievement. Certificates may be presented to the most deserving students in each subject area. Download the certificates of excellence in academic achievement from the chapter leader section of the UFT website. For more information, read the joint letter from UFT President Michael Mulgrew and George Altomare, the director of the UFT Professional Committees. You can contact the Office of UFT Professional Committees at 212-598-7772.

Know your per-session rights: Beginning with the winter sports seasons and continuing forward, the Public School Athletic League (PSAL) has lifted the four-hour reduction in the number of sessions that coaches could earn, allowing coaches to claim the full number of sessions listed in the contract for each sport. Coaches and other affected members in your school should know that last fall the UFT fought for and gained the restoration of this member right and the PSAL has authorized payments. Many coaches as well as the administration in some schools, including some athletic directors, are unaware of the restoration of hours. Coaches should be able to put in timesheets reflecting these hours and have them accepted. It is also important to raise awareness with teachers both in coaching and in other per-session activities who may not know that members earn Cumulative Absence Reserve (CAR) time for per-session work. If you work in the same per-session activity between September and June, you can accrue per-session sick leave hours after every 20 consecutive sessions worked. For per-session athletic coaches with verifying schedules, the hours at the end of 20 consecutive sessions, regardless of the number of hours in each session, adds up to the total hours worked in the 20-session period. The total is then divided by 20 to arrive at the average length of a session for sick leave to be transferred. All other teachers earn one session of sick leave for each 20 sessions worked after 20 consecutive sessions. At the end of the activity, the payroll secretary fills out the Per-Session Unused Sick Time Transfer Form documenting the accrued per-session sick time to be transferred to the member's regular sick bank. This form is signed by the payroll secretary, the head of the activity and the member to certify the time is accurate. Make sure you receive a copy. More detailed information on per session rights and CAR time is found on the UFT website.

Build a better school contest: New York City public school students from elementary through high school are invited to submit a three-minute video telling why their school is in need and what project they would undertake to make it better. The winning school will receive a monetary prize of $10,000. Selection will be based on the school's need, its spirit of collaboration, the creativity of the project and how the project will help strengthen the school community. The submission deadline has been extended to Wednesday, May 29. For details, including submission information, see the flier and the submission form.

Labor history film festival: The UFT Association of Teachers of Social Studies and Women's Rights Committee will co-sponsor with the New York Labor History Association the 4th annual WorkersUnite! film festival on Thursday, May 21 at 6 p.m. at Litho Hall, 113 University Place at 13th Street, 3rd floor. This event will feature the film "We Are Wisconsin — This Is What Democracy Looks Like" and present speakers from the labor movement. For more information or to purchase tickets, see the flier.  

New LODI instruction manual: A newly revised instruction manual and checklist are available to guide pedagogues (not paraprofessionals) should they suffer awork-related injury. The most important procedural change concerns leaves for Injury in the Line of Duty (LODI), which must now be submitted on the Self-Service Online Leave Application System (SOLAS). Please work with your school secretary to make sure that pedagogues know that forms OP198 and OP407 are obsolete for LODI and are no longer used to establish leave dates and medical documentation requirements. All information and documentation requirements are now handled by SOLAS. You can share the new LODI procedures with your members. If you have questions, contact Thomas Bennett at the UFT at 212-598-7711 or by email at

Teaching with media arts: TheEducational Video Center is accepting applications from Pre-K–12 teachers for its three-day Summer Institute, a hands-on experience to learn the technical tools and pedagogical strategies to engage students in project-based inquiry. Participants will collaboratively plan, research, shoot and edit a digital video project and then reflect on the experience and discuss effective facilitation strategies and lesson plans for scaffolding the same critical and creative process for their students. For more details, including application information, see the Educational Video Center brochure.

3 percent pay raise on May 1: The salaries of UFT members employed by the DOE increased 3 percent on May 1 as part of the 2014 contract. Members received a regular wage increase of 1 percent coupled with a 2 percent wage increase that is the first step of the phase-in of the 8 percent retroactive rate increase arising from the 2009–11 period. All teachers and other pedagogues including paraprofessionals paid on the Q Bank payroll should have received the 3 percent increase in their May 15 paycheck. Nurses, therapists, education officers, education analysts and other titles on the H Bank payroll should have begun to see the 3 percent increase in their May 8 paycheck (for two days, May 1 and May 2). The May 22 check will be the first to reflect the 3 percent increase for the entire pay period. All teachers and other pedagogues who work per diem or per session will first see the new pay rate in the June 3 paycheck for any days worked from May 1 to May 15. Para per session will be calculated based on the new salary rate in their regular, semi-monthly check dated May 15. If you have any questions, please contact a salary rep in your UFT borough office.

Sustainability Excellence Awards: The DOE's Office of Sustainability is seeking nominations and applications for the 2014–15 Sustainability Excellence Awards. The awards will recognize outstanding individuals and teams for excellence in environmental leadership and contributions to the DOE's sustainability initiative. The awards will be presented at the Sustainability Summit on Friday, July 24. Anyone can nominate an outstanding person, group, school or themselves for the following award categories: sustainability coordinator; facility staff; principal; student green team or event. Eligibility for the award is not contingent upon first receiving a nomination. Schools may submit entries in more than one category. Read the eligibility guidelines and rules and then use the online nomination form to nominate an individual or team. Nominations are due by 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 21.

Library information session: UFT members who are interested in library studies to expand their role as an educator while accumulating credit for a salary differential are invited to attend an information session organized by the DOE to find out how to pursue this career. At the information session, members will be able to talk to school librarians about their role in a school's instructional plan, discuss with representatives from local and online information studies and library science graduate programs possible paths to school librarianship, and explore the long-term benefits of a degree in demand in many related fields. The session will be held on Thursday, May 21 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Graphic Arts Campus Library, 439 West 49th Street. See the event listing to register online. For more information, please visit the Librarian Recruitment LibGuide or contact Richard Hasenyager from the DOE at

AFT National Latino Caucus scholarships: All UFT membersare invited to join the AFT National Latino Caucus to learn about Latin culture and history. The caucus, a strong advocate for our schools and students, is the sponsor of the annual Maria Portalatin National Freedom Scholarship, which awards three Hispanic high school seniors a $1,000 book stipend and a laptop to use in college. High school chapter leaders, please tell your members to encourage your school's eligible seniors to apply for the scholarship. The application deadline is Friday, June 12.

Labor History Month 2015 events: May is Labor History Month and a great time to learn about the struggles and experiences of the leaders who paved the way for us. Throughout the month, you can attend panel discussions, live performances, film screenings and more. Many of these events are free or low cost. For a comprehensive list of citywide labor history events, see the Labor History Month 2015 poster.

Rapid response crisis care: New rapid response assistance is available to schools and families in the Bronx and certain parts of Brooklyn and Queens when a child is behaving in a threatening manner, is in crisis or displaying active symptoms of depression. The Visiting Nurse Service of New York's Children's Mobile Crisis Team offers crisis care and counseling to children ages 18 or younger who are in need of additional support. Services include crisis assessment, crisis stabilization, prevention planning and caregiver support. For details and a list of school districts in the geographic coverage area, see the Children's Mobile Crisis Team page on the UFT website. If these new services are available to your school, please spread the word to staff and families.

Functional chapters on Did you know that you and your functional chapter members can find targeted information in the UFT's functional chapter web pages? Most functional chapters have their own web pages which offer important resources, chapter news, contact information for chapter representatives, contract details and more. The nearly 20 chapters with dedicated sections include paraprofessionals, guidance counselors, social workers and psychologists, speech teachers, occupational and physical therapists, school nurses, school secretaries, hearing education services and more. To view the full lineup of our functional chapter pages, hover your mouse over Our Chapters in the top navigation of the UFT website's homepage or go to Our Chapters.

In the News

Stress and under-appreciation for the nation's teachers: A survey of 30,000 of the nation's teachers reveals feelings of being over-stressed and under-appreciated, with only about half of respondents enthusiastic about their jobs, reports the Star Ledger. In the survey, conducted by the American Federation of Teachers in conjunction with the Badass Teachers Association, educators point to elected officials and the media's negative portrayal of the profession as prime sources of their anxiety. The largest stress factor is the adoption of new initiatives without proper training or development.

KFC to pay damages to employees: New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has announced a $375,000 settlement with the owner of 13 KFC franchises in New York City, according to Laborpress. More than 700 current and former employees will benefit from the settlement, which offers restitution for unpaid overtime and required off-the-clock work, non-reimbursed uniform maintenance allowance and unpaid "spread of hours" wages for long shifts, among other violations.

New charter network looks to "disrupt" education: A former Google executive has raised $100 million for AltSchool, a startup K–8 charter network, reports Business Insider. The company which runs each school centrally without principals, organizes into 100-student, multi-age groups called "microschools." Its proprietary technology teaches children from "playlists" that consist of 20 to 25 individual or group activities per week. The network plans to open a school in Brooklyn this fall.

Events Calendar

Saturday, May 16: Celebrate the 29th Annual School Secretaries of the Year Award Luncheon from 12 to 3 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway.

Saturday, May 16:  All UFT members are invited to District 5's Super Saturday: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Expo from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Harlem Armory, 40 West 143rd Street, between Lenox and Fifth Avenues. There will be more than 100 hands-on activity booths, interactive demos and dissections, new technology, robotic demos and competition, a chess tournament, a math competition, a meeting of STEM professionals, the presentation of student-led projects and more. For more information, call 212-769-7500, ext. 236 or see the event listing.

Wednesday, May 20: The Education Officer/Education Analyst Chapter Meeting will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, 19th floor, Room H. Any agenda items or suggestions for these meetings should be emailed to

Wednesday, May 20: The District 20 Scholarship Dinner Dance will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. at El Caribe, 5945 Strickland Avenue, Brooklyn. The registration deadline has passed. See the event listing for more information.

Wednesday, May 20: The Delegate Assembly will be held from 4:15 to 6 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, 2nd floor.

Thursday, May 21: Manhattan members are invited to attend the Manhattan borough office's Maternity Leave Workshop from 4 to 6 p.m. at 52 Broadway, 10th floor, Conference Room A-B. Members can RSVP to Monique Ross-McCoy by completing the attached flier and faxing it to 212-510-6424 or by emailing Monique at with their name, telephone number, school and district. For more information, call Monique at 212-598-6800. Light refreshments will be served.

Thursday, May 21: New Brooklyn teachers are invited to attend the New Teacher Series: Workshop 4 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Brooklyn UFT office, 335 Adams Street, Room E/F. This workshop will provide the opportunity for new teachers to gain a deeper understanding of Department of Education regulations and practice professional versatility. Topics will include the tenure application process and information on current regulations and how to navigate them. Space is limited. Members can register online.

Thursday, May 21: All members are invited to attend the Capably Disabled Meeting from 4:15 to 6 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway. The guest speaker will be Renee Setteducato from the Federation of Nurses/UFT. She will discuss "Your Rights when Entering a Hospital." Refreshments will be served. For additional information, contact Renee Setteducato at 212-420-7981 or Carolyn Herbst at 212-510-6389. This event is free, but registration is required. See the event listing for more information and to register.

Thursday, May 21: Paraprofessionals are encouraged to attend the Monthly Paraprofessionals Chapter Meeting from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway.

Thursday, May 21: All members are invited to the District 26 Scholarship Dinner Dance from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. at The Inn at New Hyde Park, 214 Jericho Turnpike, New Hyde Park. There is a registration fee of $75, which includes cocktail hour, dinner, dancing and an open bar. RSVP by sending a $75 check made payable to UFT District 26 Scholarship Fund. Space is limited. See the event listing for more information and to register.

Wednesday, May 27: New Queens teachers are invited to the New Teacher Series: Workshop 4 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Queens UFT office, 97-99 Queens Blvd., 8th floor, Rego Park. This workshop will provide the opportunity for teachers to gain a deeper understanding of Department of Education regulations and practice professional versatility. Topics will include: information on current regulations, how to navigate them, and the tenure application process. Space is limited. See the event listing to register.

Wednesday, May 27: Members who are looking to expand their professional growth are encouraged to come to Polishing Your Professional Profile (Resumes), our workshop on resume writing. This workshop will take place from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Bronx UFT office, 2500 Halsey Street. See the event listing for more information and to register.

Wednesday, May 27: Speech chapter members are invited to the Speech Chapter Meeting from 4 to 6 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, Room 19G. Members are asked to bring their questions and concerns. Refreshments will be served. Pre-registration is required. 

Thursday, May 28: Members who are looking to expand their professional growth are encouraged to come to Polishing Your Professional Profile (interviewing and portfolios), our workshop on interviewing and portfolios. This workshop will take place from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Bronx UFT office, 2500 Halsey Street. See the event listing for more information and to register.

Thursday, May 28: All Queens newly-hired paraprofessionals and substitute paraprofessionals are invited to a meeting at the Queens UFT office, 97-77 Queens Blvd., 8th Floor, Rego Park from 3:30 to 6 p.m. See the flier for details and registration information. Preregistration is required.

Thursday, May 28: The Middle School Chapter Leader Committee would like to invite middle school chapter leaders to an end-of-year celebration from 4:15 to 6:15 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway. RSVP to Adelina Santiago at

Friday, May 29: All members are asked to join District 5 for the 7th Annual Scholarship Boat Ride aboard the Skyline Princess for a night of fun to celebrate the end of the school year. The registration fee of $100 includes a dinner, dancing and giveaways. Boarding will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Chelsea Piers, 18th Street and Hudson River Park. The cruise will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Register online by Monday, May 18.

Saturday, May 30: There is still time to register for the UFT Spring Education Conference. For a description of this year's workshops and to download a mail-in registration coupon, see the event listing on the UFT website. The registration deadline has been extended to Friday, May 22. For details see the item in News of the Week.

Monday, June 8: Members are invited to the 46th Annual Albert Shanker College Scholarship Awards Ceremony and Reception at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway. The reception will be held at 5:30 p.m. on the 3rd floor and the awards will be given starting at 7 p.m. in Shanker Hall, 2nd floor.

For more events, go to

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. Check the lobby for exact locations. For further information contact us at 212-598-7772 or visit us online.

ATSS/UFT (Assn. of Teachers of Social Studies)

  • Thursday, June 4, 8 a.m. at Brooklyn Technical HS, "Globalization and Change," a professional development conference for social studies educators.

ELAC/UFT (English Language Arts Council)

  • Wednesday, May 20, 4:30 p.m., Looking Back and Looking Forward: Planning for 2015/16.

Humane Education

  • Saturday, June 13, 1:15 to 3:30 p.m., Humane Education Field Trip: Monk Parakeets in Brooklyn, grades pre-K to 12. All members are invited to join the UFT Humane Education Committee and Gabriel Willow, an urban ecologist, science director and tour guide for NYC Audubon and the Wild Lab, for an exciting birding adventure. This workshop qualifies for two hours of professional development. The fee is $5. For additional information and to request a flier, call 212-410-3095.

NYCATA/UFT (NYC Art Teachers Assn.)

  • NYCATA/UFT presents an opportunity for New York City art educators to submit student work (K–12). Selected work will be exhibited during the United States Society for Education through Art Regional Conference at the Queens Museum, July 17 to 19. For "An Inclusive World, Young People's Voices," electronic submissions of four student works are due by Friday, May 22.  Download the exhibition callout for full information at the NYCATA website.


  • Friday, June 4 and Thursday, June 11, 50 Broadway, 2nd floor. "Solo Performances: Journeys into Self 2015"


  • STEMteachersNYC presents summer modeling workshops in New York City. Physics/Mechanics or Chemistry, July 20 to Aug. 7; Middle School Science, July 13-31; Graphical Problem solving for Physics, July 13 to 17. Net cost $299 for three-week course or $99 for one-week course.  All eorkshops take place at Columbia Teachers College, 525 W. 120th St., New York, NY. For more information, go to STEM teachers website.

Editor: Peter O'Donnell

Contributors include: Kenneth Achiron, Carmen Alvarez, Amy Arundell, Bob Astrowsky, LeRoy Barr, Thomas Bennett, Hannah Brown, Joseph Colletti, Maia Davis, Lila Ezra, David Kazansky, Lisa Lau-Kim, Junior Linton, Richard Mantell, Ebony Martin, Maisie McAdoo, Deidre McFadyen, Gary Mehra, Rachel Nobel, Jeffrey Povalitis, Emil Pietromonaco, Ellen Procida, Michael Sill, Laura Tamburo, Liz Truly, Miriam Vega and Bernadette Weeks.



























United Federation of TeachersA Union of Professionals
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