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UFT: Know your rights

February 5, 2007 am28 5:57 am

Inside the new edition of the New York Teacher is a twelve page pull-out: “Know Your Rights – Pedagogues.” It is both very welcome, and well overdue. Do not throw this out. Put it aside. Look through it. And again. File it somewhere you can find it. There is nothing dramatic here, nothing new. But the format, making this basic and essential information easily available to every teacher in a readable form, that is noteworthy, and positive.

If we do not know our rights, how can we defend them? Letting teachers know their rights is a very important first step. A teacher cannot assert rights that s/he does not know exists. A teacher can ask a Chapter Leader to act if the teacher is aware of a rights violation. And, putting it delicately, an informed membership can help focus a Chapter Leader on contract enforcement.

A few notes (below the fold): —- >

  1. Batches of these should be sent to the chapter leader in each school, to keep on hand. Fresh batches should be sent at the beginning of each schol year.
  2. This (or updated versions) should be included once a year in the New York Teacher.
  3. Are there other editions coming out for guidance counselors, secretaries, paras, and others covered by the UFT? (I’d say that secretaries and paras really could use something like this)
  4. And, immediately below the president’s message should be a note about chapter meetings, chapter leader, chapter elections, UFT Bulletin Board, and an invitation to take an active role. (you’ll notice that the message ends with a natural lead-in. Just needs a separate box)
  5. I read about 10% so far. Nothing exciting yet. Nothing wrong yet. Just basic, vital information. However, if you find errors, please, please tell me, tell your chapter leader, e-mail the New York Teacher… whatever. But let someone know so it can be fixed.
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