Sunday, September 14, 2014

FW: UFT Weekly Update Sept. 12

Subject: UFT Weekly Update Sept. 12

 

 

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UFT Weekly Update – September 12, 2014     

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In this issue


Photo of the Week

Photo of the Week - Sept. 12, 2014

SHOWING UNION PRIDE: Teachers Maria Patterson (left) from PS 88 in the Bronx and Megan Moskop from MS 324 in Manhattan were part of the big UFT contingent in Saturday's Labor Day Parade.

News of the Week

Teachers to have additional choice for classroom observations

Classroom teachers will now have another option for observations under the teacher evaluation system. The UFT has agreed with the Department of Education that teachers who are rated Effective for the 2013-14 school year will have the option this school year to choose four informal evaluations instead of the previously required six. Teachers choose the observation option they want for the school year at the mandatory initial planning conference, which must be held on or before the last Friday in October. More information on observation options is available in the evaluation section of the UFT website.

Tell us how the contract is being implemented in your school

Thanks to the nearly 800 chapter leaders who have filled out our Contract Implementation Survey. Your participation in this survey lets the UFT leadership know if the provisions in our new contract concerning professional development and curriculum are being implemented at the school level. If you have not yet done so, please complete the online survey as soon as possible.

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. Hundreds of UFT members braved the heat as they marched alongside their fellow union members as well as workers trying to organize into unions in the parade up Fifth Avenue. Check out our photos from the parade.

Report your Day 10 class-size numbers next Wednesday

The UFT is making a big push again this September on class size, which has been creeping up for six straight years, but we need your help. The 10-day resolution period for class-size grievances ends on Wednesday, Sept. 17. Please be sure to report to your DR the oversize classes on that day and the union will file for expedited class-size arbitration on your behalf. To report your school's numbers, you'll need to obtain from your school secretary the school's RACL for elementary or intermediate schools or the Master Schedule Final for high schools, which indicates class sizes on that date. Then use that information to report to your district representative the number of oversize classes in your school. Please use the form given to you by your district rep to provide this information. Class size limitations are in Article 7M of the contract.

Share materials created by your PD committee

To help the school-based professional development committees reach their goals, we've created a special section of the UFT website where you will find professional development resources. (Because of copyright restrictions on some of the content, only UFT members may enter this section. You must be logged in to UFT.org to access it.) The initial materials, created by the UFT Teacher Center, are intended to support the work of the Staff Development Committee and the PD participants in building a schoolwide consensus around the best use of the new professional development block. We envision this new section becoming a repository of relevant and useful resources and tools for UFT educators to pursue professional learning. If you have materials that you would like to contribute, we invite you to use this online form to submit PD materials for review. The New York Teacher is also looking for schools to profile that are doing meaningful and relevant professional development. If you would like your school to be considered, please email Executive Editor Deidre McFadyen at dmcfadyen@uft.org.


And on uft.org don't miss


To Do

  • Chapter Leader Training, Part I will be held Saturday, Sept. 20 and Sunday, Sept. 21 at the Hilton Westchester in Rye Brook, New York. All new chapter leaders, as well as any chapter leaders who have served for 10 years or more, are strongly encouraged to attend this training. We recommend that you attend all three sessions, but each session can be attended independently of the others. You can register online for the training. Please note that the registration deadline is today, Friday, Sept. 12. Rooms are limited and will be given on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, please call 212-598-7747 or email cltraining@uft.org.
  • Spread the word to your members about the People's Climate March, which will take place on Sunday, Sept. 21 beginning at 11:30 a.m. Participants will leave Columbus Circle and set off east on 59th Street. The UFT is supporting this event, which is expected to be the largest climate march in history, along with over 1,000 other organizations across the country. For more information, see the route map. Sign up to march on the organization's website.
  • Chapter leaders, it is up to you to make sure that your union has a voice in your school community and that your members are informed. Be sure to hold a monthly chapter meeting so your members can see their union in action. You are the driver in setting agendas and holding monthly UFT Consultation and School Leadership Team meetings. In addition, our new contract also establishes two new school-based groups, the Measures of Student Learning (MOSL) Committee and a Professional Development Committee, both of which are intended to facilitate educator input in decisions. You should be a member of both of those committees. Keep an up-to-date UFT bulletin board and use it as an organizing tool. Finally, remember to 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 members of the ATR pool, do all that you can to make them feel a part of your school community.
  • If your members wish to grieve their programs or assignments, they must act quickly. Within two school days of knowledge of their new program, the member must submit a Step 1 grievance using the online grievance procedure located in the grievance part of the chapter leader section of uft.org. You must be logged in to the website to access the online grievance form. The principal has two days from the date that he or she was notified to meet with the member and render a decision. If the principal has not met and/or rendered a decision by the close of the second day, contact your district representative immediately; the UFT has two days to file a Step 2 grievance with the superintendent. If the grievance is denied by the principal, you should contact your district representative immediately; the UFT has two days from date of denial to file a Step 2 grievance with the superintendent. The superintendent then has three days to schedule and meet and four days to write a decision.
  • Let members know that reports of larceny in our schools are increasing. Members should take care to secure all personal belongings and valuable school equipment such as laptops, camcorders and projectors.
  • Chapter leaders should ensure that members know that under the new contract the DOE must provide teachers in all core subjects (ELA, math, science, social studies and foreign language) with a year-long or semester-long curriculum that is aligned with the Common Core standards. The contractual definition of curriculum is:  a) a list of content and topics; b) scope and sequence; and c) a list of what students are expected to know and to be able to do after studying each topic. Principals should not ask members to write curriculum unless they either give time during the workday or ask members to volunteer for paid work outside the school day.
  • The UFT and the Department of Education have negotiated new citywide standards on unnecessary and duplicative paperwork — both paper and electronic. These standards take effect immediately. District and high school committees are being created to ensure that the new standards for paperwork reduction are properly implemented. If you believe your school is not adhering to the standards, you should meet with your principal and contact your district representative.  
  • Each school should have formed a staff development committee to collaboratively review, consider and develop the professional development that is offered during the new time set aside for PD in the new contract. Be sure your principal meets regularly with this committee to create the plan for your school for the coming school year. If you have not yet notified us of the names and email addresses of the UFT members on your school's professional development committee, please submit the names now. Please know that members of the PD committee can choose to meet during the time set aside for Other Professional Work.
  • Since teachers and paraprofessionals are supposed to be offered appropriate and relevant professional development according to their titles in the repurposed time on Mondays, chapter leaders are encouraged to include both teachers and paras on the School-Based Staff Development Committees.
  • Please advise your members of a time change for the two-part Dignity for All Students (DASA) workshop that will be held on Tuesday and Thursday this fall. The class will now take place from 5 to 8:30 p.m. on both days. Members must attend both classes in order to fulfill the DASA requirement. Members should view the Fall 2014 DASA schedule for complete information on location and dates of the workshops.
  • Every new teacher in your school without prior teaching experience is entitled to a mentor. The mentor should be an experienced classroom teacher, coach or lead teacher, ideally in the new teacher's subject area. The mentor will provide a minimum of two periods a week of confidential, non-evaluative and nonjudgmental support. Consult with your principal for a list of new teachers and their mentors. As a chapter leader, you are a required member of your school's New Teacher Induction Committee, which ensures new teachers receive mentoring services. If new teachers in your school have not been assigned a mentor or if you have questions about the mentor program, contact your district representative.
  • The UFT is once again participating in the annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer fundraising walk on Sunday, Oct. 19 at locations throughout the city. Last year, along with NYSUT members, UFT members helped to raise over $1 million for the American Cancer Society to combat the disease with research, information and services. Participants will all walk under the UFT banner, but first you must sign up and create a "team" for your school. Please encourage your members and parents to join your team for the walk. For more information, contact your UFT borough office and ask for the Strides coordinator.
  • Please advise your teachers that now is the time to prepare for their Initial Planning Conference. Remember that this meeting should be one-on-one with your principal and held during a mutually agreed-upon time. Each member has the right to choose to have this meeting serve as their initial pre-observation conference under option 1 of the evaluation system. Otherwise, a separate pre-observation conference should be scheduled. Explain to teachers that they should use this meeting with the principal to discuss the supports and resources needed to ensure student success. See this article for planning the Initial Planning Conference. For teachers of students with disabilities, this checklist on the Initial Planning Conference can be helpful.
  • Don't miss the opportunity to honor your colleagues who keep the union strong and vital. The UFT's Teacher Union Day will be held on Sunday, Nov. 2 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. This event includes breakfast, the awards ceremony and a reception, at a cost of $50 per person. The annual event, this year at the New York Hilton Midtown, marks the anniversary of the 1960 strike that won collective-bargaining rights for city educators. Download the flier to register.
  • What's creative, unique or inventive about your classroom or the classroom of a fellow teacher? The New York Teacher is looking for photographs to showcase in its "Inside my classroom" feature, which highlights teachers' favorite aspects of their classrooms — from well-organized libraries to imaginative anchor charts. Chapter leaders, please advise teachers that they can send their high-resolution photos (450 KB and up, please) to uftphotos@gmail.com and should include their name, school, borough and a brief description.
  • Do you or a fellow teacher in your school have creative ideas, interesting practices or innovative methods for improving classroom instruction that you feel could benefit fellow educators? The New York Teacher is looking for educators to write Teacher to Teacher columns. The articles should explain pedagogic techniques, approaches or resources that educators can use to help students. The pieces should be about 750 words. Columnists will be paid $150 for accepted works. If you are interested, please call Rachel Nobel during business hours (10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday) at 212-598-9201 or email her at rnobel@uft.org.

For your information

100 percent attendance at DA: Delegates who attended all Delegate Assembly meetings of the 2013-2014 school year will celebrate their perfect attendance immediately following the Oct. 15 Delegate Assembly at 52 Broadway.

ATRs must attend interviews: The new contract contains some important changes specifically for members of the ATR pool.  One important change going into effect next week involves mandatory interviews. ATRs will be sent on interviews starting on Sept. 15. ATRs will be notified of interview appointments via email on Saturday. All interview appointments will be on Tuesdays through Thursdays during the school day. They will be within the ATR's district, high school superintendency or the borough. These interviews are mandatory. Members who fail to attend two interviews will be considered to be voluntarily resigned

Chapter Leader section of the website: The UFT website has a special chapter leader section, accessible only to chapter leaders, where you can find union directories, the archive of the Chapter Leader Update plus detailed information about grievances, safety & health, school budgets, chapter elections and much more.

Academic High Schools Award Nominations: The UFT Academic High School Awards honor the unsung heroes who deserve to be recognized for their exemplary contributions to our students, our profession and our union. Please nominate a colleague, community or school whose work you appreciate and whose contributions to our union and our city may be hidden from your colleagues. Nominations are due no later than 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 31. Use the online form to submit a nomination.

Salary differentials and arrears: Any teacher or other pedagogue who was due to receive a new salary differential starting on Sept. 2 will see that differential take effect in the Oct. 15 payroll. The member will receive arrears back to Sept. 2 for that differential in the Oct. 30 payroll.

New guides on teacher evaluation: Let teachers know about two new guides now available on the UFT website. The Measures of Student Learning Selections Guide, which was created by the DOE and the UFT, is designed to support schools in making thoughtful MOSL selections that are aligned to their student needs, instructional priorities and strategic assessment plan to drive improvements in student learning for the 2014-15 school year. The Advance Educator Guide, created by the DOE, explains the key features of the new teacher evaluation and development system, including what changes teachers can expect in the 2014-15 school year and where teachers can find support.

Grow to Learn Grant: Grow to Learn NYC is accepting applications for mini-grants of $500 to $2,000 to start or enhance a learning garden program at NYC public and charter schools. To apply, schools must register the garden and submit the mini-grant application by Nov. 3, 2014. Need help with the application? Attend a grant-writing and garden planning workshop on Tuesday, Sept. 30; Wednesday, Oct. 15; Tuesday, Oct. 21 or Monday, Oct. 27. To RSVP for the workshop or for more information, see the Grow to Learn grant page.

UFT Welfare Fund: UFT Welfare Fund kits have been mailed to all chapter leaders. These kits contain valuable information about dental, prescription, optical and other benefits offered to UFT members. Chapter leaders may also request to have a Welfare Fund speaker come to their school and present to their staff by completing and faxing the Welfare Fund Speakers Bureau Request Form.

Transfer period for changing health plans: In-service members and retirees who want to change their New York City Health Plan will have the opportunity to do so this fall during the NYC Health Benefit Transfer Period. The transfer period is October for in-service members and November for retirees. To assist members in choosing the health coverage for themselves and their dependents, the UFT Welfare Fund will include copies of our Summary Comparison charts in the special health pull-out section of the New York Teacher in October. These charts have also been sent to chapter leaders in our Welfare Fund kits. In-service members may use the HR Connect process to change their plans. Retirees use the ERB form available on the NYC website at www.nyc.gov/olr (click on health benefits) or at 40 Rector Street (3rd floor), in Manhattan. The new plan will take effect on Jan. 1, 2015.

First rate increases and retro payment: The first rate increases under the new contract are taking effect this fall. The contract featured a 1 percent pay increase retroactive to May 1, 2013, and another 1 percent pay increase retroactive to May 1, 2014. For detailed information on the payments for in-service members, please read the New York Teacher article. If members have questions, they should contact the salary representative in their borough office.

MOSL Workbooks coming this week: The MOSL Workbooks, which were supposed to be emailed to teachers on Monday, Sept. 15, will be delayed until Thursday, Sept. 18.  The window for roster data corrections will be extended by two days, as well.


In the News

99 percent of B.C. teachers vote for arbitration: British Columbia's striking teachers are turning up the pressure in their ongoing dispute by overwhelmingly endorsing a third-party resolution process that's been repeatedly rejected by the provincial government, says the Huffington Post. The provincial government has twice rejected arbitration as a way to end the strike, saying this would lead to unacceptable tax increases. The B.C. Teachers Federation, which represents the 31,000 striking teachers, said the government is alone in its stance, adding that teachers, students, parents, mayors, school boards, legal experts, union leaders and editorial boards have called for binding arbitration.

Georgia budget cuts send teachers home: School districts across Georgia are in the midst of another bleak year of furlough days, high class sizes and underfunded classrooms, according to the Augusta Chronicle. The state gave Richmond County School District $13.9 million less than what it was entitled to under the state education budget formula this year, but that is still a relief from the $19.9 million it withheld in fiscal year 2014. Although the small budget restoration allowed the district to return to the 180-day instructional calendar, teachers and employees are still furloughed on four student nonattendance days.

Washington State lawmakers face judge on ed funding: The Washington Supreme Court has found the state Legislature to be in contempt for its lack of progress on fixing the way the state pays for public education, reports the Times Union. In its most recent budget, lawmakers added about $1 billion in education funding. However, the Legislature has been unable to agree on where to cut elsewhere or how to raise taxes to satisfy the court. The Supreme Court ruled in January that Washington's system of education funding is unconstitutional. It gave the Legislature until the 2017-18 school year to fix the problem


Events Calendar

Wednesday, Sept. 17: There will be a meeting of the Education Officer/Education Analyst Chapter from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, Room H. Please email emendez@uft.org with agenda or suggestions for this meeting.

Thursday, Sept. 18: The UFT Manhattan Borough Office invites you to its Sabbatical Workshop from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 19th floor, Room D. RSVP to Monique Ross-McCoy at mmccoy@uft.org with your name, school and district and telephone number. For more information, call 212-598-6800 or see the flier. Light refreshments will be served.

Thursday, Sept. 18: The CTE Chapter Committee meeting will hold its monthly meeting from 4:15 p.m. to 6 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 50 Broadway, 2nd floor, Rooms E and F. Dinner will be served.

Thursday, Sept 18: You are invited to the Safety Policy and Protection in the Science Classroom and Laboratory workshop from 7:15 p.m. to 9 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway. This session will cover some things that are often overlooked or covered perfunctorily during the annual Know Your Rights training session. Registration is not required. See the flier for more information.

Saturday, Sept. 20: You are invited to explore music reading skills through repertoire with skills that connect to the Common Core in Musicianship through Repertoire from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. This workshop is $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Continental breakfast will be served at 8:30 a.m. See the flier to register.

Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 20 and 21: Chapter Leader Training I. See the item in To Do for more information.

Tuesday, Sept. 23: Come to the Maternity, Childcare and Leave Workshop to learn your rights concerning maternity, childcare and FMLA leaves. This workshop will be held at the Staten Island UFT Borough Office, 4456 Amoy Road, Staten Island, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. See the flier for more details.

Tuesday, Sept. 23: You are invited to iPad in the NYC Public Schools - Creating Multi-Touch Books and to unleash the full potential of iPad in your classroom. This event will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 2nd floor, Albert Shanker Hall. For more information and to register, see the flier. Refreshments will be served.

Tuesday, Sept. 30: High school teachers are welcome to attend High School Workshop — Getting the Jump on Evaluations from 4:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway. This workshop will focus on component 3d of the Danielson Framework. Participants will discuss innovative student-centered assessment strategies for measuring students' reasoning and performance skills. There is a $10 fee to participate.

Sunday, Oct. 19: Save the date for the Making Strides against Breast Cancer walk. See the item in To Do for more information.

Tuesday, Oct. 28: Save the date for the BRAVE Anti-Bullying Conference on Tuesday, Oct. 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, 2nd floor. More details to follow.

Sunday, Nov. 2: Save the date to honor your colleagues who keep the UFT strong and vital at Teacher Union Day. See the item in To Do for more information.

For more events, go to uft.org/calendar.


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)

  • Tuesday, Oct. 7, 5 p.m., CSPSS Meeting.
  • Saturday, Oct. 25, 8 a.m., Annual Fall Bus Trip. Bus leaves from 52 Broadway.

ELAC/UFT (English Language Arts Council)

  • Wednesday, Oct. 1, 4:30 p.m., Common Core Learning Standards Workshop.

ESL/Bilingual Committee

  • Thursday, Nov. 6, 4:30 p.m., The Geography of Food:  A Menu of Activities, Concept and Ideas for ELLS.

Humane Education

  • Saturday, Nov. 8, 9:45 a.m., Mutt-I-Grees Curriculum.

Italian American

  • Friday, Oct. 17, 4:30 p.m. Annual Heritage Celebration.

NYCAFLT/UFT (NYC Assn. of Foreign Language Teachers)

  • Saturday, Sept. 20, 9:30 a.m., Planning Committee.
  • Saturday, Nov. 1, 8 a.m., Annual Professional Conference.

NYC Music Teachers Association/UFT

  • Saturday, Sept. 20, 9 a.m., Musicianship Through Repertoire.

NYCATA/UFT (NYC Art Teachers Assn.)

  • Wednesday, Sept. 17, 4:30 p.m., Open Executive Board Meeting.
  • Thursday, Oct. 16, 5:30 p.m., Pre-Conference Dinner.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 22, 4:30 p.m., Steering Committee Meeting.
  • Saturday, Oct. 25, 8 a.m., Annual Artworks Conference at High School of Art & Design, NYC.

Per Diems

  • Thursday, Oct. 2, 4:30 p.m., New Contract Issues.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 21, 4:30p.m., Smartboard Training.
  • Thursday, Oct. 23, 4:30 p.m., Certification.

Science

  • Thursday, Sept. 18, 6:45 p.m., Workshop.

Editor: Peter O'Donnell

Contributors include: Amy Arundell, LeRoy Barr, Hannah Brown, Carl Cambria, Jessica Cepeda, Mark Collins, Maia Davis, Ellen Gallin-Procida, Janella Hinds, Anthony Klug, Nyree McCray, Deidre McFadyen, Rachel Nobel, Arthur Pepper, Sterling Roberson, Laura Tamburo and Bernadette Weeks

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United Federation of TeachersA Union of Professionals
52 Broadway, New York, NY 10004 • 212.777.7500 • www.uft.org

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