Sunday, March 12, 2017


The UFT agreed in the 2014 contract to use part of the Tuesday teacher detention (extended time) for parent outreach and the remainder for other professional work (OPW). For those who do not know what OPW means, the UFT put out a list of what teachers should be doing during this self-directed time on Tuesdays (see below).

The UFT filed a grievance on the misuse of the OPW provision by one principal and subsequently  reached a resolution with the DOE on the issue.

This is from the March 10, 2017 Chapter Leader Weekly Newsletter:

Important new clarity on OPW time
The Department of Education has clarified to principals the use of Other Professional Work (OPW) time as a result of the resolution of an arbitration case the UFT pursued on behalf of members in a particular school where the principal was dictating on a regular basis how teachers and paras had to use the time. The DOE sent the following clarification to all principals in its Principals’ Weekly this week: “Please be aware that Other Professional Work that is done during time designated in the Teachers’ and Paraprofessionals’ Collective Bargaining Agreements for Other Professional Work should be self-directed by the teacher or paraprofessional from the menu of Activities set forth in Article 6 and Article 4B respectively. On an as needed basis principals can direct teachers or paraprofessionals to activities on the contractual list but as per the contract this direction cannot be done on a regular basis and must be the exception rather than the rule.” If the principal is not following these guidelines, file online OPW reporting form and speak with your principal — show a copy of the above DOE guidance at that meeting. Although a copy of the OPW reporting form is automatically sent to your district representative, we suggest you reach out to your district rep to discuss OPW issues at your school as well.

Here is the list of what the UFT considers acceptable for OPW:

Other Professional Work

Appropriate activities during the 35-minute book of time for Other Professional Work are:
  • collaborative planning
  • lesson study
  • inquiry and review of student work
  • measures of student learning (MOSL)-related work
  • Individualized Education Program-related work (excluding IEP meetings)
  • work with or related to computer systems/data entry
  • preparing and grading student assessments
  • mentoring
  • responsibilities related to teacher leader duties for all individuals in teacher leader positions.
Teachers can choose from the activities listed in the contract over the course of the year. Principals can direct the teachers to an activity on the list “on an as-needed basis” to improve class instruction and meet the needs of the school as outlined in its Comprehensive Education Plan.

In addition to the activities listed here, a teacher or a group of teachers may propose additional activities that may include working with a student or students for any portion of the school year, which requires approval by the principal. In addition, a School Development Committee (SDC) may choose to meet to continue its work during times when other professional work is appropriate.

Any problems on this? Tell us in the comments.


Anonymous said...

As much as I hate what the UFT has done since 2005, I gotta say that I do love the Monday and Tuesday PD/Parent engagement time. We have been doing this for about 3 years but it is so much better than the after school small group instruction that we did prior to this new format. Yes, the PD is boring, and yes, parent engagement is a sham, but it beats the heck out of tutoring small groups os kids from Monday-Wednesday. What say the hive?

Anonymous said...

At least the time went quick with the tutoring. Listening to a windbag principal that can't speak proper English for 90 minutes is excruciating. The imagination runs wild during these sessions in our isolation tanks - I would lock him in a room and stream his non stop tirades until he learned the true sound of his own voice.

Anonymous said...

A whole bunch of us at my school are teaching out of license and where coerced into choosing common planning as c6 as we were promised support at that time. Well the only other option was hall duty and there were only 6 positions so technically we had no choice. Our 3rd principal this year is trying to fix the mess ups of the last 2 but obviously doesn't know what she is doing. Then because the schedule is so messed up he couldn't actually put us together to plan and now has made it mandatory on Tuesdays after school.

Anonymous said...

More often than not the "geniuses" they have running the schools don't know what to do with teachers. They just make you stay there with no real plan whatsoever. I always called each day, irregardless of whether it was Tuesday or not. Thanks Mulgrew. This is such a valuable use of our time. Idiot.

Anonymous said...

slightly off topic, but recently the doe was recognized as a vendor for CTLE hours...

does anyone know what actually counts? i cant imagine everything.