Wednesday, October 31, 2018

UFT DOUBLES DUES FOR PARENT ON PAID PARENTAL LEAVE (Updated with UFT Response and Parent who did NOT Have Double Dues Taken)

The email below came from a reader yesterday. The UFT Welfare Fund is paying the salaries of parents on Department of Education unpaid parental leave who are eligible for the UFT's Paid Parental Leave program. We learned that the UFT is of course taking a nice cut for themselves. (UFT denies this.)

James,

I am probably one of the first members to take advantage of  parental leave. I thought you and your readers should know that the UFT takes over $400 in dues for the duration of the 6 week parental leave. This is absurd and even worse than the retro situation.

The exact amount was just shared with ICEUFT on email. It is $421.98 in union dues.

Normal dues are around $60 per twice monthly pay period so if we multiply the $60 by three for six weeks, we would get around $180. Therefore, we are talking about more than doubling of dues when on Paid Parental Leave.

Gotta love this union. The fun never ends. Has anyone else had problems?


Update--Dealing with DOE-UFT bureaucracy. We all can relate.

1) The DOE never sends you an email or any communication for that matter after you apply for Parental Leave (aside for a submission received from SOLAS).  Nothing indicating that they received your documentation and nothing about whether or not you've been approved/denied.

2) I found out after hounding the UFT that my parental leave was approved the day before I returned back to school.  Which means that there would be no parental leave lumpsum in the beginning of my leave as originally promised.  I got the actual parental leave check in the mail between 7 to 8 weeks after the birth of my child.

3) I applied weeks before the birth, uploaded all the documentation within 24 hours upon receipt (footprints, birth certificate), but it didn't matter.  SOLAS will state that you are missing documentation even if you've submitted it multiple times.  And again, you will not receive any communication or emails confirming that the docs that you uploaded were received.

4) When you are on parental leave your direct deposit gets disabled when you return back to service.  My first paycheck back (today, Oct. 31st) was sent to 65 court.  I have to go in person to pick up my checks unless I send a notarized letter telling the DOE that I authorize them to mail them to me.  Payroll portal's direct deposit does not allow me to change my information online.

UPDATE 2: Someone from the UFT just reached out to me on this topic on Thursday morning.

The UFT response:
I believe there has been a mistake but can't confirm or fix it without the member's specific information. The UFT does not intend to charge more/extra dues to those on PPL. That is a fact. So, if she was overcharged as you describe, it's clearly a mistake.

We hope this gets cleared up and will keep our readers posted.

UPDATE 3: We are very happy to report that we heard from another parent that the UFT only took out $180 (the regular amount) for union dues from the Paid Parental Leave money. It looks like the UFT's word holds up and the $400 was a mistake.  That member should get a refund.

24 comments:

Your friendly UFT staffer said...

I am really surprised that you are shocked by this. You know how many grievances and representation issues the UFT must handle for people on parental leave? Next you'll want to stop paying dues when you are facing charges or when you're terminated or maybe when you're on vacation in the summer? What gall you ungrateful parasites. We work hard here. Just look at this great contract we got you. You think this comes cheap?

Anonymous said...

When the union writes the rules and has access to your payroll, beware.

Anonymous said...

Call a salary rep...extra amount might be because of a lump sum or a mistake. Bad press if UFT is overcharging new moms.

Anonymous said...

Why call the union and inquire when you can simply post it here with no investigation whatsoever?

Anonymous said...

Not exactly sure why James would post a story about this with out checking out the underlying facts.

Obviously dues are not 400 bucks for six weeks, but no no no, scream the untruth on your board.

There could be many explanations.

1) totally misreading the deductions
2) A technology error- this is a whole new system.
3) Perhaps it did not happen at all.

Anonymous said...

If they are one of the first people, maybe they should assume there will be glitches.
Did they call the union and have them explain everything?

(No, i’m not a Unity apologist, I just know dealing with the DOE is a nightmare and she is a trial balloon.)

James Eterno said...

I checked and was sent a copy of the pay stub. Is that sufficient fact checking? Six weeks is about three pay periods. $400 in dues I hope is a mistake and the teacher will be refunded.

James Eterno said...

If the teacher is refunded part of those dues, we will gladly report on it.

Anonymous said...

Re: lump sum issue causing increased dues for maternity leave... Thought lump sums were deferred when on any sort of leave?

Anonymous said...

James. I have respected you because i thought you were above politics. On this issue you missed an opportunity to show yourself as being fair and responsible. If what you said is true, that there is someone out there who was charged 400 for union dues for 6 weeks, then any smart person like yourself would know it just simply cannot be, that it may be an error, or that it’s simply not true. Instead you chose to write an entire article that is malicious in its intent. You knew it could not be true or it was a mistake. A retraction may be enough for you to sleep better but it will not be enough for me to have the same respect i had for you.

Anonymous said...

So easy to call and check. Easier still to write it up without bothering to do so.

James Eterno said...

I saw the pay stub.

James Eterno said...

You can email me at ICEUFT@gmail.com. Happy to see that this was a mistake.

James Eterno said...

Someone from the UFT reached out. We have sent the parent an email and have updated the posting to reflect that the UFT has responded.I hope this is cleared up and the member gets some money back.

Anonymous said...

Good thing you wrote it up before reaching out. Good thing you didn't bother reaching out at all and waited for someone to come to you. That's really the sort of proactive leadership we need nowadays.

James Eterno said...

I'm happy that we put this out there and it is being taken care of. Problems with administration of program are real. We hope the kinks are ironed out.

Anonymous said...

Glad you have no problem posting outright lies.

James Eterno said...

What lies?

Anonymous said...

Unity slugs out in force. I'm sure they took double and thanks for telling us. That's why the only thing to do is opt out. How do I opt out?

James Eterno said...

Opting out now is stupider than stupid because you cannot contractually opt out of dues until June 2019 but you can opt out of the union now so you will still be paying dues but not eligible to vote in the UFT election in the spring.

Pria Kennedy said...

I’m not worried about getting union dues, I’m worried about the arrival of my check. I did all my online applying correctly and timely and I’ve had my baby 3 weeks ago, still no check. I wish I didn’t live check to check, but I do. People on the nyc doe Facebook chat are saying they received their check at the end of the leave.
I’m grateful I’ll be getting paid, but this way puts huge pressure on my family. Huge.

James Eterno said...

Sorry Pria. Hope you got your money and that you and baby are well.

Anon2323 said...

Paid parental leave is a joke! Especially if you are married to another DOE teacher because that is where they get you. Split the 6 weeks with my wife. I have 95 days in CAR cannot even give her the 2 for 1 since she only has 10 days.

If the union considers us as "one" then why the fuck are we both paying 1,500 a year. We should be paying 1,500 between us.

Such a joke I do not have my own 6 weeks of leave after 17 years n the system just bc I am married to another doe teacher.

James Eterno said...

I agree you should both be able to use PPL like I just used welfare fund to buy glasses on my voucher and then sunglasses on my wife's.