Tuesday, October 19, 2021


Secondary school teachers all over the city are being asked to teach an extra class during their prep or professional period. If it is in a shortage area (see page 3 for list of shortage area licenses), teachers are compensated at a rate of $7,278 per semester. That is not horrible compensation for taking on an extra class. However, what if it is in a non-shortage area where a school has a class or two hanging and they won't open up more classes to hire a full-time teacher? 

The principle of equal pay for equal work should kick in. The UFT saw to it that it would be equal pay for the same work back in 1998 when they and the Board of Education agreed on Circular 6R. This very innovative document actually put teachers in charge for the most part of their professional periods and required that teachers be paid if they were teaching during their professional time at the shortage area rate, whether it was in a shortage area or not.

Randi Weingarten in the infamous 2005 giveback laden Contract gave away much of C6R when she agreed to put teachers back on potty patrol instead of making the professional period self-directed for most teachers. Giving back to the principals much more power over teacher professional time was one of her major concessions that year. However, the rest of C6R survived; the UFT still posts it on its website (see link above). This is a part of page 8:

It says 1998-99 and thereafter for non-shortage area licenses to get paid the full 7O rate which I repeat is $7,278 per term.

But is the contractual article refered to here still part of the Contract? The answer is yes. Article 7A10j is now Article 7A6d. Here it is in its entirety:

d. Provided that these periods are used to supplement, not supplant the current school program, and subject to the specific provisions regarding it, secondary teachers may use this time for a sixth teaching period compensated in accordance with Article 70 of the Agreement (Shortage License Areas). The chapter’s concurrence to ensure that this is truly supplemental is necessary. 

Please note that there is an identical provision (7B8d) for middle school teachers. The language of both is the same as the old Contract. I checked. (Yes, I still keep the old Contracts.)

What I cannot begin to understand is why teachers in non-shortage areas are not being compensated for taking a sixth class at the Article 7O rate. Circular 6R has not been altered when it comes to the provision that allows teachers to teach during the professional period. 

It seems like it should be easy for the UFT to uphold this provision, but it has been brought to my attention that teachers are being given sixth classes for the term however they are only being offered coverage pay for filling in for an entire semester. That is an extreme ripoff and insult to teachers. 

The coverage rate is $45.38 per class. If we multiply that daily rate by 85 days for a semester, the total is $3,857.30. That comes to $3,420.70 less than the $7,278 the teacher who happens to be in a shortage area receives for teaching the same amount of time.

What kind of union would let its members get ripped off like this? I hope not the UFT. 

When my friend enquired to the UFT about this, the answer has been crickets from the Union. I was under the impression that the UFT stands by the principle of equal pay for equal work; that we are one union. I hope they take up the cause of teachers who teach a sixth class all being paid at the same rate. 

If not, I have no idea why any Chapter Leader would ever approve of any sixth class as per Contractual Article 7A6d and wouldn't just tell the principal who is underpaying teachers in non-shortage areas that we are one union and we will not stand for two pay scales. There is no provision to cover vacancies in non-shortage areas in the Contract during prep time. If the principal argued back that it is a hanging class and it must be filled, my response as the Chapter Leader would be: "That's your problem. Hire more teachers and lower class sizes. No cut-rate teaching is going to be allowed here." I would then grieve if they continued to put in teachers but paid them at the coverage rate. If there were three classes, I would demand that they hire someone as that is a vacancy. I would be very hesitant about letting the shortage area work go on as well since the chapter has to concur that it is necessary. 

We need a better Union, not to abandon it commenters.


Anonymous said...

DOE and UFT:

Everything sucks right now because we are doing such a great job.

Anonymous said...

"What kind of union would let its members get ripped off like this? I hope not the UFT."

That has been repeatedly answered. You just don't like the answer. And it will never change. And you will never learn.

Anonymous said...

Dispatch from Bkln HS: Family notified TODAY child was a close contact. Wondering when the "case" was last in school? On 10/13! 6 days ago!
SR: "We encourage all close contacts to get tested for COVID-19, three to five days after exposure."
Again, this news is 6 days old.

Anonymous said...

UFT works on behalf of management. The UFT colludes with management and treats its members as dues paying peasants. James , you must be a dues payer if you have not figured this out by now.

Anonymous said...

Para max salary is still less than 60k a year. Less than half of a teacher's max salary. Does the UFT/DOE or anyone believe we are half as valuable?

Anonymous said...

Principals are not asking for volunteers to cover a 6th period for a semester. They are using professional periods, assigning clubs which is non instructional but still covering with kids for a 6th period with students. Similar to clusters serving lunch duty as life sentence, teaching 3 or more separate grades without additional preparations which is also in the last paper contract we received. In the cluster program it says, clusters shall not be scheduled for more than 20 forty-five minute periods.
They are assigning non-consistent coverages where cluster is not available to cover a class or absent. On club days, clusters have their one prep at that time instead of LAST period. How does one prepare among all other duties such as bus duty, transitions to and from lunch, dismissal duty with daily schedule changes last period for the entire day??
Starting to take it's toll.

Anonymous said...

@4:39 PM

Incompetence and criminal mismanagement of public safety.
This is the DOE that you are writing about!

Anonymous said...

What kind of union would let it's members get ripped off? Of course the UFT!

I am not surprised this is happening, the same thing happens year after year with summer school in district 75. A teacher can teach in their program side by side with a district 75 teacher who can be paid more than twice the amount.

Teacher A is paid crappy per session and is a 22 year teacher. Makes about $9300 for summer school.

Teacher B is paid 18.5% of their salary. About $22,000.

Same exact job and responsibilities. Over $12,000 less. Does that sound anywhere equal?

Yes, I know that 75 gets extra funding through grants but the teachers are doing the same job.


Anonymous said...

I hear you 6:39….I’m a cluster teacher with 1st period prep (8-8:45), teach 3 straight classes, run to my car for lunch, cover three 12:1:1 classes by myself for lunch and then teach 2 more classes. Since we don’t have changing time between periods, I don’t even have time to wash my hands, let alone have a chance to hit the bathroom. 3 straight periods wearing a mask before and after my lunch is taking its toll. Not sure how our union allows some to have 5 days of lunch coverage as a menu option while others get to catch up on paper work for circular 6. I’m drowning with no end in sight.

Anonymous said...

Yes 5:20 para are half as valuable or less as a teacher. Paras have no way as much responsibility as a teacher. Teaching is truly a difficult job with tons of paperwork especially if you are a Special education teacher. Most paras are assigned one student for the whole day, while teachers can have over 150 students. Paras compare to teachers is truly a easy job.

Moose said...


James, I have been a Cluster for 11 years. We teach a 6 Period Day on the Regular! I have been doing it my whole career. The bottom line is every department (JHS, HS, and Elementary) run totally different. We could use different representation amongst the 3 levels and within Clusters/Classroom Teachers. As you have so eloquently put, we have a lot of other issues that need to be solved first.

I hope everyone, their families, and loved ones are healthy. Hug your kids, kiss your loved ones, and realize at the end of the day that this is a job to put food on the table that comes with a 401k and a Pension. Do your best and unfortunately keep rolling with the punches.

PS: James, you think this is rough? Wait until 7-10 years from now when Tier 6 will occupy 30-40 percent of the Union. People like myself in Tier 4 will be pulling their hair out. How does a Union let different status members eventually vote against itself (due to one group now having to work until 62 to collect a full pension and the other groups at 25-55)?

James, you are a good man who provides great information and service to the Members here. I hope you are right that someone/some people can form a stronger Union for us. Removing dues is NOT the answer as you have stated. One day at a time!

Anonymous said...

518. Responsibilities may be different. School Secretaries, Aides, Parent Coordinators.. we all contribute to the success of students. As for being assigned one student, let me know when only one student is being attended to by a Para. We take on small groups, fill in for teachers, still do lunch duty thanks to loopholes, no prep period, and are at the whim of principals for whatever odd job they have in mind that day. If you want to compare responsibilities, you'd see yourself doing just as much as us. We all give our labor in exchange for a paycheck. Our labor is not half as valuable as anyone else's. The DOE, the UFT, and apparently some teachers, need to recognize that and lift us up. We are not half of what you are. All areas of education are difficult jobs.

Anonymous said...

Tier 6 is started in 2012. 60% of teachers right now are Tier 6.

Anonymous said...

Toughest job is high school social studies. The preps are murder, teaching is hard and grading is terrible.

Anonymous said...

518. really? paras don't deserve more? we won't get anything without worker solidarity. and by the numbers, paras won't get anything without the support of their coworkers.

James Eterno said...

Stop the debate about paras. Paras work hard and deserve more.

Anonymous said...

Union just sold us out again, now instead of 1 formal and 1 informal for tenured teachers with effective or highly you get 2 informal.

Much more power to admin for the "I got you." Such horseshit. How can anyone say since Biden has been in office the world is better and safer????

Anonymous said...

What does Biden have to do with formal vs informal observations? The moronia evident in this blog scares me. Aren't you aware of how stupid you sound?

Anonymous said...

Well 12:09. Some on this blog have argued a Biden presidency would mean a ny bailout that would be beneficial to nyc teachers. We’re expecting our next contract to include pay raise that at least keeps up with inflation… and any day now, for those complaining of pay disparity in prior comments, we expect them to get compensated. We’ll be very disappointed if a Biden presidency means the same plate of shit for nyc teachers that Trump, Obama, Bush presidencies served us. 9:47’s comment may be out of left field, but he didn’t deserve your insult.

Anonymous said...


What you call grading I call cooking the books. As the kids are doing or pretending to work, grade their garbage work aka pass them in google classroom.

I take no work home. Get to work early and play the game.

This system is a game. Play or be played.

If you fight the good fight, you get penalized. Who wants to do that?

Fake it until you make it(retire) and live your life!

Anonymous said...

2:09 yabbut, the poster yoi're defending said nothing about pay increases. He gratuitously brought up "better and safer". I agree with 12:09, the comment sounds stupid.

waitingforsupport said...

@654 am...most of the paras that I know simply do not have the required teaching credentials. A couple were more dedicated than some of the credentialed teachers.

Anonymous said...

I've asked before and no one ever answers. What about Tier 6 is so bad? I noticed that it doesn't have an age requirement which someone mentions above, which sounds great, but I know the City wouldn't have offered a better tier than the last, so what's the catch that makes it so bad?

Anonymous said...

There is no way paras have the same workload of level of responsibility as teachers. I remember when I started teaching and had a summer program assignment as a cluster teacher. The classes would come into the library, a couple of grades at a time, and the para would simply take a seat. They didn't lift a single finger to help with anything. As the years have gone on, they do the same thing in the classroom. They come in, take a seat in the corner, whether their student is present or not, the bell rings, and they go to the next class. I think at the lower levels they may be more engaged as far as helping with the students and being asked to do other things, but not at the higher levels. And when their day is done, that's it. We lesson plan through the evenings, and even on weekends and holiday. There's no comparison.

Anonymous said...

Tier 6 age 63 full pension. Tier 4 age 55.

Anonymous said...

Thanks @ 8:40.