Tuesday, November 02, 2021


The latest from President Mulgrew and the UFT negotiator Mike Sill is below. The DOE and UFT managed to agree to add SEL screening tests to teacher responsibilities but the two sides also agreed to limits to when teachers should do it and there is a limit on how many each teacher has to screen.

Dear ______,

We are writing to inform you about the agreement we reached with the Department of Education in impact bargaining over the social-emotional screener.

In our previous discussions with DOE officials, they told us that the screener would consist of a manageable five to seven questions. When the DOE couldn't figure out how to proceed, it went out and purchased an assessment tool with an excessive 43 questions per student.

That decision clearly had an impact on our work lives, which is why we filed for impact bargaining.

We were able to negotiate time during your regular workday for you to complete the DESSA SEL screener — and your ability to do this work off school grounds at your discretion.

The SEL screening should be completed by Saturday, Dec. 4.

If you have already begun or completed this work, you must be given an equal amount of self-directed time, off school grounds if you choose, during the same periods of time as outlined for screeners in the agreement.

Agreement highlights

For Screeners

1. School-based staff members who have been assigned to screen students will be given four hours to complete the screening for one class of students plus another 50 minutes for related training.

2. The class may be up to the contractual class-size limit but in no case more than 34 students.

3. Here are the options for when the work can be completed:

Option 1: In schools that use an 80/75-minute model or other 155-minute reconfiguration for professional development, parent engagement and Other Professional Work (OPW), screeners may use a combination of this extended time.

Option 2: In schools that have an SBO and use a 150-minute-per-week model when students are not in attendance, screeners may use a combination of professional development, common planning, Other Professional Work, and/or parent engagement time.

Option 3: In multi-session high schools only, screeners may use a combination of professional development, Circular 6, faculty and department conference time. In lieu of completing this work during Circular 6 assignments, screeners who prefer option #4 below should not be denied.

Option 4: In lieu of using time during the regular workday, if a staff member prefers and the principal agrees, per session can be paid to complete the screenings and the related PD outside school hours.

4. In all the above options, the screener can choose to do this work remotely and off school grounds.

5. In options 1-3, the screener should submit the schedule of this time to the supervisor for approval, which cannot be unreasonably denied.

For SEL Leads:

For school counselors and other UFT members who have been identified as Social Emotional Learning (SEL) leads within their school, we were able to negotiate the following:

1. SEL leads may work remotely on Election Day and complete the first five hours of required training and begin the screening process for their own caseload of students.

2. The DOE will allocate 20 hours of per-session pay for each SEL lead to complete the 13 hours of training plus answer screeners’ questions.

3. In the rare circumstance that a SEL lead is unable to complete some or all of the required work, the lead will inform their direct supervisor and the work may be redistributed.

Please ask your chapter leader to file an operational issues complaint if your principal violates this agreement.

If you have any questions, please reach out to us at 212-331-6311.

While we all agree about the importance of supporting our students’ social-emotional well-being, we don’t agree with the DOE’s choice of such a time-consuming screener — especially in a year where we are already spread so thin. While we are glad that we were able to carve out time to get this work done, it shouldn’t have been necessary. The adoption of this tool once again shows the DOE’s disconnect with what’s happening in our schools and classrooms this year.



Michael Mulgrew

UFT President


Anonymous said...

A small victory, but the concession bargaining trend and the piling of work on teachers and then making it next to impossible for them to get paid for it continues. We are being told to do hours and hours of work that, supposedly, we can do during times we choose, times when when the bosses are piling work up for us. How many hours of work can we do in the period when we are not teaching or eating lunch? The pressure on teachers to do work without pay has never been this great and our union's compromises are mostly wind and tough talk, not real compensation for work we must get done.
My plan is to get paid per session, not even half my current rate of pay, but better than nothing. Hey, when are they going to let us submit our per session form online? Everything else is done online. Shouldn't we have an easy per session form online by now?

Anonymous said...

Besides all of the bargaining, the actual screening is just awful in terms of not being user-friendly. You can't easily scroll up or down, and it's like being in an Excel file where the top row is frozen so you can't see the full screen at one time and there are always missing files so you have to go back and see what's missing. It's horrible and once again they don't care about teachers.

Anonymous said...

Um most schools did it today.. Alll day

Tom said...


Anonymous said...

I did mine today. If you think I actually read through each question, I have news for you.

I love all of you guys, but this is part of the nonsense of the job run by politics. These results will sit in cyberspace so they can say ‘look. We did something!’ And the civilians will eat it up and on goes this thing of ours.

FYI, within ten years I receive a full pension and can go work a job I’m interested in. What’s so bad?

Anonymous said...

Although I did this all day, it’s a joke

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why all schools weren't allowed to do them today. This is so stupid. Where do you access these?

Anonymous said...

Although responding to a 43 question assessment for each student is ridiculous, the time it will take to respond is not my greatest concern. I think it is immoral that we teachers are being told to play mental health professionals.

Automatically involving my students in all this mental health stuff is a huge concern for me. What are we doing to our students? Is the goal to spend less time on school subjects? The students are way behind already! So we will have happy children who know nothing! perhaps that is the goal?

The lack of information for parents regarding the opt-out option is a huge concern.

Where is the money coming from and going? More contributions to the DOE money pit.

The vaccine mandate made me consider retirement. All this SEL nonsense will be the final straw.

Anonymous said...

With de Blasio gone, this foolish garbage must come to a full stop. What a bunch of morons
running the NYC Department of Education!

Anonymous said...

#Change is coming to the UFT in 2022 #Use your power to vote and take out the trash known as Mulgrew. We cannot continue to let Mulgrew destroy our profession allowing for more and more responsibilites.

anonymous said...

there is no union - when one teacher was let go because of the vaxx mandate, every teacher should have walked - that's a union.

Anonymous said...

I took the survey today. The questions were absolutely ridiculous. How can we fairly evaluate students we see only 40 minutes a day that we have know for 6 weeks? Some questions included:
Does the student praise other classmates?
Does the student work to potential?
Does the student welcome responses if the first response is incorrect?
Does the student ask peers for feedback?
Does the student accept change well?
Does the student take a leadership role in class or at home? (REALLY)
I can't believe they paid a company for this. This was absolutely insulting to the teachers and the kids. We can't give fair evaluations like this. I agree with what a commenter said earlier that this is just something for the doe's checklist and that the surveys are going to get lost in cyberspace and become meaningless.

Anonymous said...

7:49 - Ha! I'm not walking out in support of wild conspiracy theories.

Anonymous said...

de Blasio, don't let the swinging door hit you on the way out!

Anonymous said...

With an attitude like yours, you might not last 10 years. You don't deserve to.
Then who do you think would ever hire you, if they knew about your attitude?

Anonymous said...

The money invested in nonsensical programs is why we don't get raises.
BTW, someone told me that didevil replaced the unvaxxed emt workers with outside contracted employees workers who don't have to be vaxxed.miney waste, union busting, disrespect, and hate.just elected his clone.god bless america.people never learn.my coworker thinks bozo did a good job!

Anonymous said...

Oh I forgot to add LIAR! Really?now our city is protected for unvaxxed emts?but u just replaced them with unvaxxed emts! wtf!

Anonymous said...

Don’t tell me this garbage: “with an attitude like yours”…

Teachers are disrespected every day by an irreverent work load and getting sick over work demands there NOT BEING NEGOTIATED left and right by our SUPPOSED LABOR UNION…who collects our dues and takes SHAMELESS VICTORY LAPS whenever we get morsels of respect that have been hard fought.

You bet that I , we you, and we should be EXPECTED to have an “attitude,” as you put it.

Take your head out of your a—.

Anonymous said...

The teachers that don’t last are those who think it’s a calling. Who think they are saviors. Those who see it as just a job do just fine.

Anonymous said...


Do you think this job is a ‘calling?’ That’s adorable. Hey, maybe the Easter bunny and tooth fairy are real as well and this year, the blind will be given sight.

Look. Most people in this job do work. But, most people are doing things to get through the day, stay out of hot water and go enjoy the rest of their day.

I do not dislike this job, but I don’t love it. That doesn’t mean I have an attitude problem or I am not a good teacher.

I’m in my mid forties and have had enough of this job. I’m not looking to make enemies or fight the good fight on every issue. To me, it’s not worth it. I did that at age 25 and all it did was perceive me for having a ‘bad attitude’ and I was miserable.

To go back and hate going into work each day is something I never want to do again. I’m sorry you do not live in reality. You may want to join reality one day. Haha.

Be well !

Anonymous said...

This is a serious question I ask with no judgment or hidden agenda attached:
Who is able to leave at the end of the day and flick a switch in your mind and turn off this job until the next day?

Full disclosure, I can and I feel that is why I have been able to last over twenty years. Like I said, no judgment either way. Just curiosity.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, buti is a calling for me.i always wanted to be a teacher.yes I agree that having a bad experience can quickly cancel that.i love my students.i miss them when remote.i am thankful that I am not stuck doing a job that I hate although I admit that when I had very badly behaved classes, I dreaded working.so I get that.you can hate the employer and love the work.i get that being in a miserable place can squash your dreams.i know I helped many students and I am grateful for the opportunity to make a positive contribution to the world.It Is paying forward what my teachers gave me.

Anonymous said...

And btw, I did last.i lasted thru 3020a bs.i have 22 years in doe.again, hate the die and love the kuds.it isn't their fault that the system sucks.you can be a light that they need.

Anonymous said...

Finally, many kids from dysfunctional homes really appreciate a kind face and a giving spirit.some have awful families.at least we can be a positive person to them.

Anonymous said...

Change is coming in '22. Incremental change. Unity 79%, Solidarity 15%, MORE 4%.

Anonymous said...

My first five years I hated everything about the job. Looking back, I was too immature, however, I was made to feel like I was doing everything wrong and that wore on me. I started using sick days, drinking on week nights and just being miserable to be around. I should have had more direct conversations w my principal.

Now, close to two decades in the system, I will have direct conversations and I feel that helps.

Mostly, I work for a great administration who actually facilitate improvement. For example, if they feel you can improve in an area, you get help. They appreciate effort and a rapport with students.

Had I had that my first few years I would have been happier.

Finally, I hate to say it, but the principal makes or breaks the tone of a school.

Anonymous said...

Today, Scranton educators have gone on strike. They have sacrificed for five years because of the fiscal mismanagement of the district and state oversight: Teachers are leaving, positions and services are being cut, and students are being denied resources—all while the district refuses to bargain a fair contract.

Scranton’s schools have been in bad shape for a long time. It was our teachers and school staff who kept the schools and kids afloat for years. And now the state has nearly $60 million in tax-free federal aid, but state bureaucrats and the school board want to continue cutting programs for kids and help for our educators.

That’s why the AFT is asking for our members and supporters across the country to help us show our union family we have their backs by donating to the Scranton Federation of Teachers Strike Solidarity Fund.

It’s time for the state bureaucrats and the school board to change course and reverse the terrible damage done to our children and our schools. So far, the state-imposed financial officer has:
Cut prekindergarten;
Cut libraries, music and instructional assistance for special education students;
Eliminated bus routes;
Closed Bancroft Elementary School;
Frozen teacher pay and proposed that educators take on huge healthcare cost increases;
Canceled healthcare coverage effective Nov. 3, in retaliation against educators for speaking out;
Sat by as the Republican-led state Legislature refused to fix the enormous wealth gap between rich and poor school districts created by Pennsylvania’s school funding system; and
Proposed slashing another $7 million from our kids’ education.
The school board and state have starved these schools and ignored the problems for too long. That’s why educators are going on strike to fight for our students and our community. Stand with us.

Let’s show Scranton’s teachers that they have statewide support. We have all supported strikes around the country—from John Deere to Kellogg’s.

Please consider donating to support our members in Scranton and the community they serve.

Together, we can accomplish what is impossible to do alone.

In unity,
Randi Weingarten
AFT President

Anonymous said...

A rare sensible entry on this blog.
Let us see how many contribute to help their Scranton brothers and sisters.

Anonymous said...

Love all the talk about SEL. Our principal can care less about SEL. My HS students get nothing in the form of SEL because of the all important curriculum calendars. Please SEL is not important as long as we have detailed Student Facing Learning Targets. No one "big wig really cares about students well being as long as there is a perfect learning target placed on the board that students can completely ignore. Who cares if students really learn Learning is not important. Student Learning Target is the most important. Student Learning Target, Student Learning Target, Student Learning Target, had to be mentioned at least times.

Anonymous said...

Following DOE curriculum, protocols and policies is bad for kids’ education but the residents of NYC have yet to complain about it. Some teachers who post here might be upset about it but not the parents. Parents have yet to demand real standards in nyc schools. Until that changes, nothing else will.

Anonymous said...

12:43: I think most parents are oblivious to what is going on in the schools and the few who are don't have enough a voice to make change.

waitingforsupport said...

@1243...i disagree. Many parents demand real standards but their demands fall on deaf ears; many move their children out of public schools and into charter schools; many parents recognize the mess but don't know how to effect change; many parents trust in the system out of ignorance and some parents are so beat down that they just accept the status quo. At no time would I assume that parents are not demanding change. If the DOE uses your logic, they can jump to the conclusion that teachers must love not using their skills because they haven't done anything to demand change. Until teachers stop doing the DOEs dirty work, nothing will change.

waitingforsupport said...

I'm a resident of nyc and have voted in every election, participated in community meetings, notified elected officials about this horrible educational system, educated my neighbors, family and friends about the shenanigans and what to look for and ask for when visiting their children's school and teachers. I've shared my opinion about the harm teachers are inflicting on generations to no avail. I'm not alone however it takes a majority,right. Just because our voices are not heard doesn't mean we are not complaining. Look at the union. Unity wins every time. Many educators are voting for other caucuses. Is it your stance that they aren't demanding change?