NYC Educators On Poor Response to Sandy

November 7, 2012 — Leave a comment

For Immediate Release

Press Contact: media Kit Wainer, 917-846-3292

What the Department of Education should be doing in response to the crisis
Reopen Schools Rationally
No school should open without heat.
Traumatized students from the same school should not be separated to different schools.

Help Affected Students

Create an email/website/phone to DOE where families have relocated in order to account for all students.

Direct principals to create a list of students who need immediate services who were affected by hurricane (based on zip code) .
Relieve ALL staff of Professional Development on Tuesday November 6th to do outreach to students and their families.*

Provide extra guidance services in affected schools – use the experience of those in our ATR/ACR pool (excessed educators)by assigning ATR and ACRs to specific sites in hurricane zones.*
Offer sign-ups for FEMA, red cross services, NYC welfare services (emergency unemployment/food stamps/WIC/ benefits/medicaid) on school site.
Open schools for Election Day, extended hours for schools for use of facilities by students (electricity, food, heat, internet), where it wouldn’t interfere with poll sites.

Helping affected teachers and other UFT members:

Explicitly extend appeal process for those who missed work, make explicit with checkoff boxes for days this week (please see

For those facing long-term absence because of the hurricane, allow other teachers to donate sick days without penalty

What our union should be doing
Helping Students
Coordinate volunteer, fundraising, and donation efforts in communities where our student’s and their families live.*

Help defend UFTers and other city workers

Call on the city to treat all our brothers and sisters who were forced into work last week equally.

Support teachers who lost property/damaged property with immediate funds from AFT Disaster assistance.

Better communication with members by answering facebook posts, emails, phone calls to district representatives.

Press the city to grant all appeals for workers who cant make it to work, without loss of sick days.

What can your chapter do?
If you are in a school affected by relocation/closure
Reach out to MORE’s experienced chapter leaders for help filing grievances/safety grievances. Email [email protected] or join our chapter leader meetup listserve.

Share you stories

Send photos/story of how we are helping and the impact on community to more or post on our website / FaceBook
Provide a platform for parents who are affected to speak on their stories and how they helping their communities – reach out and gather their stories and post to our website / FaceBook.

Help our students

Advocate with your school to allow teachers a flexibility of curriculum in the coming weeks.

Relieve affected students of homework, tests, penalties for book losses in the immediate aftermath of the storm.

Support a demonstration on the onemonth anniversary targeting the inequalities in the recovery.

In addition to running in next spring’s elections, MORE organizes events ranging from educational forums and protests to social gatherings. For information about MORE or to get involved, visit You can also “like” MORE on Facebook at or follow on Twitter: @MorecaucusNYC

*3 of our proposals passed during sunday nights conference call have since partially been implemented

From UFT website

1. Guidance counselors in excess may be reassigned to help students cope with Hurricane Sandy

Guidance counselors in excess may be reassigned for the rest of this week (Wednesday, Nov. 7 through Friday, Nov. 9) and next (Tuesday, Nov. 13 through Friday, Nov. 16) to schools in affected areas within their own districts to help students who suffered trauma as a result of Hurricane Sandy.

2, School staff may volunteer with Sandy relief on Nov. 6, but principal must OK

Many school staff members have expressed a desire to volunteer at a shelter or other organized relief effort for Hurricane Sandy instead of attending the professional development activities at their school.

If your principal gives permission, staff members who wish to volunteer may do so tomorrow rather than report to school. Staff volunteering must use this form as proof that they volunteered so that their absence will not be charged to their leave balance. This form should be filled out by the organization or shelter operating the volunteer effort and returned to the school secretary or appropriate individual at your school.

3. We know a lot of you have already donated your time and money to Sandy relief efforts. If you have, please consider digging a little deeper and giving what you can to the UFT DIsaster Relief Fund. If you haven’t yet pitched in, please do so. UFT members need help and donations to the Disaster Relief Fund will directly benefit these members. You can make a secure online donation here:

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