The NYC UFT Contract 2018 and “The Test” For Teachers is Announced

On October 11, 2018, NYC Chancellor Richard Carranza, UFT President Michael Mulgrew, and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio had a photo-op, or press conference, to announce the new UFT Contract 2018, a Renewal Program for Teachers with a cost of $2.1 billion dollars (how many computers and needed resources for students does that never buy?) and the almost-ready new contract between the City of New York and the United Federation of Teachers, or UFT. Good for them.

Contract 2018

UFT contract-2007-2009

UFT Memorandum of Agreement 2018

Salary Schedules

It is too soon to tell what all the terms will be after a vote, as the new contract must be ratified, but I smell trouble. Not that anyone cares. The contract will be ratified by the usual landslide numbers of votes, so we will live with it, and make it work.

We are highlighting below some points which we think need to be addressed:

First of all, don’t we all remember the fanfare when former Chancellor Carmen Farina presented her Renewal Program for Schools? This was a scam, to make the general public think that failing schools could be closed/replaced by new teachers and/or charter schools and all would be okay. This scam did not work, because in NYC, pulling the wool over prying eyes doesn’t always work. In fact, it rarely works at all, in the long run. …not now with social media. Someone will tell the truth, and that truth will probably tell us that the new contract has the same holes and UFT reps not doing anything about problems, just as before this new contract was put into place (although the new Memorandum of Agreement has not been voted on yet, everyone ‘knows’ that it will be, soon). What’s this mean:

[the new contract] “gives new authority to school-based UFT consultation committees to address workplace issues”.

This sounds bad. Instead of a member grieving or appealing outside the school, now everything will be done in-house? Just what the principal always wanted. Where are the rights of members who have a conflict with the principal, and don’t get their due process? Chapter leaders become negotiators/mediators – would the UFT please pay them extra, and give them protection from the whims of a malicious administrator?

Second, it looks like Mike Mulgrew, UFT President (pictured above with NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio), gave up on any opposition to Mayoral control of the NYC public school system. This is, in my opinion, a major disaster for due process for teachers. I have uncovered the fraud existing in these teacher trials, where I have worked for over the past 16  years and I know how the rights of charged employees have been thrown aside in favor of speed and convenience for the City.

3020-a charges have very little to do with whether or not you are a good or bad teacher. Tenure rights are only as good as the person representing you and the arguments put forward on your behalf. We at Advocatz are opposed to Mayoral control. School boards need to have autonomy from politics.

Since Mayoral control began we have been battling advocates in NYC who support members, or a specific member, of the NYC school board, the Panel For Educational Policy, as they (or he/she) tramples the rights of employees of the public school system as well as parents and students. I suggest that all the politicians who appoint the PEP members as well as each PEP member be stopped through settlement/stipulation, or sued, and we once again have members voted in by a general election. Public money should never be allocated without proper representation of the stakeholders. In NYC, the stakeholders are not represented at all.

Third, the new contract seems to say almost nothing about ending the terrible trashing of teachers charged with 3020-a charges. This is closely aligned with bad teachers being kept on as Absent Teacher Reservists (ATRs) in the ATR pool. The problem is, many teachers who are excellent at what they do, are also thrown into the garbage. The UFT grievance and appeal process is broken, warped, and tainted by overlords who want particular teachers removed permanently from their classrooms. This has to stop.

Fourth, what is this new “screening test” that will decide on whether or not someone is “suitable” to be a teacher.  I believe that teaching standards are good to have, and that teaching is a very difficult profession. But the way that credentials are used, ignored, changed in education offices around town leaves open the possibility that the implementation of this test will end up being pretty creepy. Mike Mulgrew spoke about a stress test similar to that used by police recruitment. Really? Are kids criminals?

There are no deals where rights are givebacks.

And, most importantly remember that a law, rule or regulation is only as good as its implementation.

Betsy Combier, Editor,

From former teacher Jim Calantjis:

Enhanced authority for consultation committees
Building on the success of the paperwork reduction process as a way to resolve disputes, the union has secured this same process to address disputes surrounding professional development, curriculum, inadequate space, workload and basic instructional supplies — which now include paper and assessment materials.
  • At the school level, these issues may be raised by the chapter leader to the principal or appropriate supervisor and/or at UFT consultation. If the matter isn’t resolved in five school days, it can be escalated to the UFT district representative, who will bring it to the district committee.
  • If not resolved at the district level, issues surrounding workload, professional development, curriculum, basic instructional supplies and space will be addressed by the central committee.
  • The UFT can take unresolved issues surrounding PD, curriculum and basic instructional supplies to arbitration.
Starting in the 2019-20 school year, the evaluation system for teachers will be revamped to focus on quality rather than quantity and to incorporate meaningful professional development as part of the evaluation process.
Teacher Evaluations

Required minimum observations

·       Rated Highly Effective the previous year: two informal observations
·       Rated Effective or Satisfactory the previous year and Highly Effective, Effective or Satisfactory the year before: two informal observations
·       Rated Effective or Satisfactory the previous year and Developing, Ineffective or Unsatisfactory the year before: three informal observations
·       Rated Developing the previous year: one formal and three informal observations
·       Rated Ineffective the previous year: one formal and four informal observations
·       Probationary teachers not rated Ineffective or Unsatisfactory the previous year: one formal and three informal observations
·       Probationary teachers rated Ineffective or Unsatisfactory the previous year: one formal and four informal observations

Evaluation windows and timelines

·       Half of the minimum-required observations will occur in the fall window and the other half will occur in the spring window. For teachers with three or five minimum observations, the additional observation can occur in either window.
·       The fall window for evaluations begins with the Initial Planning Conference (IPC) and ends on the last day of the fall term. The spring window begins on the first day of spring term and ends on the first Friday in June.
·       A spring-window observation cycle cannot begin until all evaluator forms from the fall-window observations have been provided to the teacher.
·       Feedback following an observation must be given within 10 school days.
·       The evaluator form must be provided to the teacher within 30 school days.
·       Teachers must be informed of their MOSL selection by Nov. 15.

Professional development on evaluation

·       A professional learning team consisting of UFT and DOE representatives will plan and conduct annual training sessions on the implementation of the evaluation system by the last Friday in October. 
·       The professional learning team will also ensure that teacher development tools and resources will be developed and distributed, including resources regarding evaluation of specific school settings such as co-teaching, special education settings, ENL and physical education.
·       The professional learning team will provide support to school-based professional development committees to align PD to the observations conducted throughout the year. 
Expedited process for class size
Timely relief from teaching oversized classes was a priority in these negotiations. The UFT has negotiated a new procedure that will address oversized classes in a way that violations that can be resolved will be resolved sooner and those that must go to arbitration will also be addressed faster.
·       During the first 10 school days, chapter leaders and principals work to resolve class size overages.
·       Between days 10 and 20, the UFT district representative and the superintendent will work to resolve any remaining oversized classes in their district. Between days 15 and 20 of the term, the UFT district rep and superintendent will each fill out an electronic form for each school indicating which, if any, classes are still oversized and the cause.
·       No later than the 21st day of school, the central class size labor management committee will work to resolve remaining oversized classes. The central committee will meet at least three days per week until it has reviewed the oversized classes in every school.
·       The central committee will also meet no later than the 10th school day to address schools that are chronically out of compliance.
·       Arbitrators will have the authority to determine the appropriate remedy for any school that goes to arbitration. No more DOE action plans.
Paraprofessional due process
Paraprofessionals will no longer be suspended without pay for long periods without due process while their cases are being investigated.
·       Prior to a paraprofessional being suspended without pay in connection with an arrest or an investigation, the Office of Personnel Investigations (OPI) will conduct a review. If OPI finds that the allegations constitute serious or sexual misconduct, the paraprofessional may be suspended without pay for up to two months while the case is under investigation. The two months can be extended to three if an arbitrator finds probable cause.
·       If OPI finds that the allegation is a significant violation of a DOE rule or policy or of the law but does not constitute “serious misconduct” or “sexual misconduct,” the DOE may request a probable cause hearing with a neutral arbitrator. If the arbitrator finds that the violation is significant, the paraprofessional can be suspended without pay for up to two months. But if an arbitrator finds that the DOE does not have probable cause for a suspension, the paraprofessional will be returned to school or reassigned with pay pending the outcome of the investigation.
·       If after an investigation, the allegations against the paraprofessional are found to be unsubstantiated, within 30 days the paraprofessional will receive back pay for the amount of time of the suspension without pay.
·       The Central Paperwork and Operations Committee will establish system-wide standards for school safety and positive school culture and climate. Once the standards have been established, they will be distributed to all schools and key stakeholders.
·       Borough-based safety committees will be created and meet monthly to resolve issues that could not be resolved at the school level.
·       The chapter leader will be provided with coverage in order to attend meetings of the School Safety Committee.
·       The chapter leader will receive a copy of the enhanced School Safety Plan within 30 days of its endorsement.
·       The chapter leader will receive a copy of the consolidated School Safety Plan.
·       The chapter leader will receive the following OORs information at least 48 hours prior to the School Safety Committee meeting: occurrence snapshot, level 1-5 summary, occurrence summary by code; location summary; and hourly incident analysis.
·       At the principal’s discretion, a dean’s position can be established and filled without an SBO based upon student enrollment (up to 500 students, one dean; more than 500 students, two deans; more than 1,000 students, three deans). Each fall, the DOE will provide training for all deans during the workday.
·       The DOE will provide PD to chapter leaders in the first month of school during the workday on school safety protocols, emergency readiness and school culture and climate.
MA+30 differential
Teachers will now be able to earn their MA+30 differential by taking courses, called A+ courses, that are approved for this differential and are aligned to the work that they do every day.
·       Teachers who already have an MA+30 differential are unaffected by the change.
·       A+ courses are approved by a committee with equal numbers selected by the UFT president and the schools chancellor and are aligned with the educational priorities of the school system.
·       A+ courses can include pre-approved workshops, courses provided by vendors, college/university courses and other courses approved by the committee. Some CTLE workshops will be in the mix.
·       In order for teachers hired on or after Sept. 1, 2019, to achieve this differential, they must obtain a minimum of 18 A+ credits. The remaining credits can be obtained through traditional college credits.
·       Teachers hired after Sept. 1, 2017, but before Sept. 1, 2019, who want to achieve this differential must obtain a minimum of six A+ credits. The remaining credits can be obtained through traditional college credits.
·       National Board for Professional Teacher Standards certification and an approved doctorate will continue to qualify for the second differential.
Bronx Collaborative Schools Model
This model is a joint effort to help students achieve their highest potential through a transformation of school culture based on genuine collaboration. Attracting and retaining staff is a priority of this model. Up to 120 schools, mostly in the Bronx, will participate.
  • Eligibility is based on criteria including teacher turnover, staff retention/attrition, academic achievement, persistent vacancies, repeated use of shortage-license-area waivers, student demographics and enrollment, leadership turnover, transportation issues and/or state identification. Both the chapter leader and principal have to agree to be part of the model.
  • A central committee composed of an equal number of representatives appointed by the UFT president and the chancellor will oversee the pilot.
  • Each school will form a school-based committee composed of between six and 12 people; 50 percent of the committee members will be UFT-represented employees selected by the UFT. These committees will receive joint professional development on collaboration, facilitation, shared decision-making, “Speak up Culture,” DOE data dashboard and other topics.
  • School committees will assess the school’s needs, review and analyze data, identify strategies, engage parents and community, select supports/strategies from a menu of options and collaboratively work to transform their schools while being supported by the central committee.
  • This pilot program will sunset in June 2022, unless the UFT and the DOE agree to extend it.
This contract contains several new ways to resolve grievances more quickly:
  • Five grievances regarding salary, religious observance and injury in the line of duty that are not resolved at the chancellor’s level will be arbitrated in one day. This means five times as many of these cases can be heard.
  • In cases where the chancellor failed to issue a timely decision, the UFT may take five cases per day to arbitration. These dates will not count toward the contractual limit on arbitration days. The result is that UFT-represented employees who file grievances will get an arbitration decision more quickly. Paraprofessional grievance procedure and personnel files:
  • The time limits for how long a disciplinary letter can be placed in a teacher’s personnel file will apply to paraprofessionals.
  • The timelines for filing grievances in the teachers’ contract will apply to paras as well.
Functional chapter working conditions
 The procedures for summer school assignments for one-on-one paraprofessionals change. If the student that the para works with during the regular school year attends summer school, that para will be offered the opportunity to continue working with that student during summer school.
  • Joint DOE-UFT guidance will be issued to principals on what assignments school counselorsmay have during the final two days of the school year. The UFT and the DOE will also form a labor management committee to discover home visit procedures.
  • School secretaries will receive tuition reimbursement for the two-credit School Records and Accounts course. The Department of Education will provide vacancy lists for school secretaries twice a year, on Oct. 1 and March 1. The UFT and the DOE will form a labor management committee to discuss how to align the professional development that school secretaries receive with their job duties.
  • Occupational and physical therapists will have the right to return to their previous workplace when they return from leaves of less than one year. Therapists will also now have the same indemnification protections as speech teachers have. Under the tentative contract, the current obligation to represent and indemnify employees for work performed as part of their usual duties and responsibilities will be extended to ensure therapists are adequately protected for Medicaid-related actions. Therapists will also have the right to take a leave of absence without pay for study not to exceed one year to upgrade their professional knowledge and skills after a minimum of three years of full-time service provided an appropriate replacement is available.
  • The annual cap for per-session activities for school social workers and psychologists will increase from 270 hours to 400 hours. A labor management committee will be created to discuss the creation of a standardized rating sheet for social workers. Another labor management committee will be created to discuss issues related to the Single Shepherd program. The SESIS menu will be updated to include state-required documents. A new psychologist intern position will be created in schools.
  • A new labor management committee for speech teachers will be created to discuss SESIS, the blended model and creating time for parent engagement. The DOE will provide vacancy lists for speech teachers twice a year, on Oct. 1 and March 1. The speech language pathologist title will be added to the collective bargaining agreement.
  • For members of the Nonpublic Schools Chapter, excessing will be limited to the district of superintendency of the employee’s assigned public school.
  • School nurses will be paid for CPR training; going forward, this training will take place as part of the regular workday. Professional development for school nurses will be scheduled on non-attendance days. The head nurse position has been reinstated. A new process has been created to expedite payment for school nurses’ overtime work and escalate issues of delayed payment.
  • 30 days’ notice must be given if teachers assigned are scheduled to work during winter or spring recesses.
  • Attendance teachers will have the same per-session rules as classroom teachers, and the DOE has agreed to meet once a month to discuss ways to standardize professional development for attendance teachers.
  • FDNY certification for lab specialists will take place during the workday and will be reimbursable. The UFT and the DOE will also form a labor management committee to continue to address certification requirements, transfers and staffing issues that are of concern to lab specialists.
  • The UFT and the Department of Education agreed to discuss with the city’s Department of Citywide Administrative Services the frequency of civil service exams for supervisors of nurses and therapists.
  • Comp time for travel to mandatory weekend conferences will be given to directors of alcohol and substance abuse programs.
  • For Home Instruction Chapter members, consultation committee meetings with supervisors will occur during the work day and chapter meetings will take place at the      beginning or end of supervisory monthly meetings, outside the workday, in DOE-provided space.
Teacher leadership positions
The contract creates two new teacher leadership positions for exemplary teachers:
  • Teacher Development Facilitator, who will take on additional responsibilities to support the instructional practice of individuals participating in teacher preparation and induction programs. These activities include modeling, observation and feedback, coaching and support. Teacher Development Facilitators will receive $3,000 per term in additional compensation and work an additional four hours per month.
  • Teacher Team Leader, who will work as Teacher Assigned to support the work of other teacher leaders. Teacher Team Leaders will receive $14,000 additional compensation per year and will work five additional days beyond the Teacher Assigned schedule.
PROSE Plus schools are schools with demonstrated success at collaborative innovation that have been in the PROSE program for at least one year.
  • PROSE schools may submit an application to join PROSE Plus to the PROSE panel with approval from the steering committee and school leadership team in their schools.
  • The application must include the challenge the school is seeking to address and the innovation designed to address it.
  • The decision to remain a PROSE Plus school must be ratified each year by staff or the school will return to PROSE status.
Remote teaching pilot program
In this pilot program, high school students with limited access to AP courses or foreign language courses for an Advanced Regents Diploma will have the opportunity to enroll in remote courses.
  • A joint labor management committee will determine all aspects of this three-year pilot program.
  • Students receiving remote instruction will be supervised by “on-site staff” (teachers, lead teacher assistants or assistant principals).
  • This pilot provides tenured high school teachers with opportunities to participate in several different ways: either teaching remotely with no students physically in front of them or teaching with some students physically in front of them and students in up to two remote locations.
  • An ATR’s salary will no longer affect the average salary calculation of a school that hires the ATR, eliminating any financial disincentive for a principal to hire ATRs.
  • The DOE can place an ATR into a vacancy in the ATR’s license and borough as of the first day of school.
  • ATRs will be able to apply to a posting for the “4×4 Program,” which is a literacy program in which educators work with small groups of students for the remainder of the school year.
Pre-employment screening
·       The DOE will also institute a pre-employment screening process for new hires.
·       New pedagogical employees will have four days of training prior to their first day of work.
Health benefits
  • All contracts in this bargaining round were contingent on New York City reaching a health savings deal with the Municipal Labor Committee, the umbrella group of nearly 100 municipal labor unions including the UFT. On July 1, the city and the MLC reached an agreement on a plan to save $1.1 billion in employee health care costs while maintaining premium-free health insurance for city employees.
  • As part of the agreement, city employees hired after July 1, 2019, will automatically be enrolled in HIP and, after one year, can select another plan if they choose.
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NYC and teachers union reach 43-month deal

OCT 11, 2018 

Top teachers union officials approved a new multi-billion-dollar teachers union contract at a Thursday morning meeting at the United Federation of Teachers’ headquarters.

The tentative 43-month contract follows the same wages negotiated by District Council 37 in June.

If ratified, UFT members will receive wage hikes of 2% in February, 2.50% in May of 2020, and 3% in May of 2021.

But officials focused Thursday on other aspects of the labor deal — namely, a program dubbed the “Bronx Plan” aimed at improving performance at 180 struggling schools in the Bronx by encouraging teachers to work in, and stay at, those schools by providing a “hard-to-staff pay differential” for certain jobs at those schools, where there has historically been high turnover.

That should not be mistaken for a longtime third-rail for the teacher’s union: merit pay, officials said.“This is not merit pay — what this is addressing an issue that we know is important to address,” Carranza said. “This will allow you now to target, not only recruit teachers in those hard to staff areas, but to keep teachers in those hard to staff areas as well.”

Once a school identifies a subject area where it is struggling to attract or keep staff — math, for example — the school will be able to give extra pay to math teachers at the school in question.

“This is about all schools who face this challenge of being able to attract and retain staff who have constant churn of not just the people who work in the building but of the students themselves,” Mulgrew said, stressing the differential is not tied to student performance the way merit pay would be.

The deal also expands “teach leader” roles, and changes requirements for what kinds of post-masters education can result in increased pay for already working teachers.

“This is not just about a fair agreement for working people, it is about making schools better,” de Blasio said.

While Labor Commissioner Bob Linn noted he and UFT President Michael Mulgrew had negotiated past 3 a.m. Thursday morning, there was no acrimony between workers and management in the Blue Room Thursday. Education Chancellor Richard Carranza referred to Mulgrew as his brother from another mother.

“In an environment where it seems like teachers have become the pinata of public discourse — everybody takes a hit — in the City of New York, we are saying that is not the way we view our educators,” Carranza said.

Mayor de Blasio’s current contract with the city’s 75,000 public school teachers expires in February.

United Federation of Teachers president Michael Mulgrew called for an emergency meeting of all members of the union’s negotiating committee with an email sent late Wednesday night.

“The DOE has released all members of the negotiating committee to attend a crucial meeting,” Mulgrew’s message read. “I am sorry for the last-minute notice. It could not be avoided.”

Sources with knowledge of the situation said that a new contract is extremely close to completion and its terms are favorable to teachers.

“I’m happy,” one UFT rep said as she left the union’s lower Manhattan headquarters.

De Blasio’s current contract with the city teachers union was enacted in 2014. Talks on the new contract began in June.

United Federation of Teachers president Michael Mulgrew called for an emergency meeting of all members of the union’s negotiating committee with an email sent late Wednesday night.

“The DOE has released all members of the negotiating committee to attend a crucial meeting,” Mulgrew’s message read. “I am sorry for the last-minute notice. It could not be avoided.”

from NYC EDUCATOR blog:

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Money—2% February 2019, 2.5% May 2020 and 3% May 2021.

Evaluation—Anyone rated HE gets two. Anyone rated E or higher for two years running gets two. Anyone rated I plus E gets 3 informal. Developing and probationers 3 plus one formal. Ineffective 4 plus one formal.  UFT has asked for joint training in evaluation rather than simply supervisors norming. Feedback will be given in 30 days rather than 45.

Paraprofessionals will get enhanced due process rights. They will be subject to teacher grievance timelines and will no longer be suspended without pay as a result of a single incident.

ATRs will be placed day one if there are openings in their license areas.

Safety, Curriculum, PD, Supplies, Workload issues will go to committees, districtwide and then citywide. This will mirror the current paperwork process, as I understand it. Hopefully grievances will be utilized less frequently.

Schools must have and adhere to student removal process.

Chapter leaders will have access to OORs.

Dean positions can be created for each 500 students, up to 1500, without need for SBO.

Class size  will not change. Action for oversized classes must be taken within 21 days. Chronically oversized schools will have only ten days. These will go to superintendent and chancellor and will hopefully result in fewer arbitrations.

DOE shall maintain an environment free of harassment and retaliation. I believe complaints of such will also go directly to superintendent and chancellor.

There will be additional teacher leadership roles aside from previously established ones.

There will be a Bronx Collaborative School Model, though it will not be restricted to the Bronx. No, I don’t know why they named it that. This will help schools via consensus building. Chapter leader must buy in or school will not be considered. This will apply to up to 120 schools. There will be a hard to staff differential for all UFT titles.

MA plus 30 will be more flexible. Various lower-cost credits will be permitted, including some CTLE credits. DOE will offer a minimum of 3 CTLE credits per year in school, and will promote and support further CTLE.

There will be an employment screening process in the summer. Those employed after September will get five months to complete the process. website Oct. 11, 2018:

Tentative contract empowers members

Deal reduces observations and gives greater due process to paras


Empowering educators to fight for the working conditions they need to do their jobs is the overriding theme of a tentative new contract agreement the UFT reached with the Department of Education on Oct. 11.

The agreement, announced four months before the current contract expires, gives new authority to school-based UFT consultation committees to address workplace issues. It provides new due process rights for paras, and it reduces the minimum number of times that a teacher must be observed.

“This agreement recognizes your hard work and dedication and empowers us to improve the teaching and learning conditions in our schools so we can provide the best possible education to our students,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew said in an email to members.

“What’s happening here is a lot bigger than just signing a contract,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at the City Hall press conference to announce the agreement. “This is lifting up 1.1 million students and 130,000 educators.”

The UFT’s 400-member negotiating committee voted nearly unanimously to recommend the contract to the Delegate Assembly. A special Delegate Assembly will be held on Oct. 12 to decide whether the contract should go to the members for a ratification vote.

The tentative 43-month contract provides a 2 percent salary increase on Feb. 14, 2019, followed by an increase of 2.5 percent on May 14, 2020, and 3 percent on May 14, 2021.  After the May, 2021 increase, the maximum teacher salary will jump to $128,657 from today’s high of $119,472. Starting teacher salaries will go from the current $56,711 to $61,070.

UFT-represented employees will still receive the lump-sum payments scheduled for this October and the following two Octobers that were negotiated in the 2014 contract.

The process began a year ago and ended in the wee hours on Oct. 11. When meeting with the negotiating committee a few hours later, Mulgrew said the “early contract” included “no givebacks” and was based on “members’ priorities” gleaned from their responses to online contract surveys sent to all divisions and functional chapters.

The agreement will expand the authority of school-based UFT consultation committees, empowering them to raise and address issues of professional development, basic instructional supplies, curriculum, inadequate space and workload. Those issues will be raised first at the school, but the chapter leader can escalate them to the district and central levels if resolution isn’t reached. The contract also provides stronger protection for members who voice concerns from attempts by a supervisor to retaliate against or harass them.

In a major victory for paras, the tentative contract provides due-process rights for paras that are similar to those of teachers. “It used to be you’re off payroll and we’ll get you a hearing when we get to it,” Mulgrew said. “Those days are over.”

Paraprofessionals Chapter Leader Shelvy Young-Abrams got choked up when thanking Mulgrew. “I’m so glad to be able to look a member in the face and say the union has made us proud,” Abrams said.

Paras, the union’s lowest paid title, will also receive a new $500 longevity on top of the contractual raises if they have less than five years on the job. Paraprofessionals will receive another $700 longevity increase at the five-year mark.

Responding to what teachers told the union in their contract survey responses, the UFT negotiated a reduction in the minimum number of mandatory annual observations. Teachers who have been rated Highly Effective and teachers rated Effective for two years in a row will have a minimum of two informal observations. Teachers rated Effective for the prior school year, but rated Developing, Ineffective or Unsatisfactory for the year before, will be observed a minimum of three times. Teachers rated Developing will have three informal and one formal observation; and teachers rated Ineffective will have four informal and one formal observation. Probationary teachers will have at least four observations each year.

Teams composed of UFT and DOE representatives in every school would conduct annual training sessions on the evaluation system in September or October.

The tentative contract also creates new procedures that will offer faster relief for teachers in oversized classes. All class-size overages that the chapter leader and principal cannot resolve by the 10th day of school will be sent to the UFT district representative and the superintendent to work to fix and later up to a central class size labor management committee.

Teachers will now be able to earn their MA+30 differential by taking courses, called A+ courses,  that are approved for this differential and are aligned to the actual work they do. In addition to college credits, College Level Examination Program credits and P-credits, the UFT and the DOE will pre-approve a range of workshops and courses, including certain CTLE workshops, as A+ credits.  Teachers who already have an MA+30 differential would be unaffected by the change. Teachers hired after Sept. 1, 2017 who want to achieve this differential would have to obtain a minimum of six A+ credits. Teachers hired after Sept. 1, 2019, will need a minimum of 18 A+ credits.

The tentative contract establishes a Bronx Collaborative Schools Model for up to 120 high-needs schools, mostly in the Bronx. Schools will be identified based on staff turnover, student achievement and other criteria, but the chapter leader and the principal must both agree to participate. These schools will form joint labor-management committees and be provided with support to make significant changes in school operations. Each school will make its own decisions on how to improve school climate, reduce teacher turnover and increase academic achievement. The changes could include an additional $5,000 to $8,000 per year for teachers in a hard-to-staff license or title.

Mulgrew said the Bronx plan has a greater chance of success because it will be driven from the bottom up, not the top down. “We will be tackling a problem that most people skirt around,” he said.

If the Delegate Assembly votes to recommend the tentative contract, UFT members will be able to access the complete Memorandum of Agreement and the salary schedules for every title in a special Contract 2018 section on the UFT website.  Ballots will be sent to schools and worksites. Itinerate employees will have ballots mailed to the home.

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