• solidaritycaucus@gmail.com
  • 646-8UFT4Us (646-883-8487)

How do I file a grievance?

As hard as it might seem, get out from under the desk and fight for your rights!

If you believe there has been a contractual violation you, as a UFT member, can grieve that violation for a remedy.

For example: If you were forced to teach classes during your lunch period, you can grieve and receive back pay for your time working during your “duty-free” lunch period.

Not sure of what specific Article the action violated? Check out the contracts here.

There are three steps in the grievance process.

Step 1 Grievance

Step 1 Grievance is to your principal (or whoever has decision-making power for that potential violation). YOU ONLY HAVE THIRTY DAYS TO FILE FROM THE TIME YOU BECAME AWARE OF THE ISSUE.

This part is usually filed by your Chapter Leader (CL), but you can do it yourself, if for some reason your CL refuses. We have actually heard too many stories where the CL is either too scared or “in the pocket” of the principal. For this reason, we have created this page. 

THE ADMINISTRATION HAS FIVE SCHOOL DAYS TO RESPOND TO YOUR STEP 1 GRIEVANCE.

Print out this Step 1 grievance form. Fill it out and make multiple copies — one for yourself, one for your administration (ask the payroll secretary to write the day and time you submitted the paperwork), one for your District Rep (this is done best via email so you get a time stamp), and one for your CL (this can be done via email as well).

You can also read Article 22 with more information about grievances. Check it out below.

Step 2 Grievance

Step 2 Grievance is to the Chancellor’s Representative at 100 Gold Street in Manhattan. If Step 1 is denied, it goes to Step 2. That is the Office of Labor Relations (OLR) and it is an absolute kangaroo court, which means that the same people whom Bloomberg/Klein put in to deny grievances at a rate of 98% are the same people Chancellor Porter has left in. The top lawyer in OLR is Karen Solimando, Esq.

The UFT Borough Office can decide to not take a case to Step 2 if they feel it does not have sufficient merit to win. You, as a member, can appeal to the UFT Grievance Department at 52 Broadway. THEY HAVE 20 SCHOOL DAYS TO RESPOND.

Step 3 Grievance (Arbitration)

Step 3 Grievance (Arbitration) is the last step if it is denied at Step 2. This grievance is decided by an independent arbitrator. Lawyers from both sides are involved. The contract states that the UFT can only take a certain number of grievances to arbitration a year. THEY HAVE 30 DAYS TO RESPOND.

The process is long, but necessary, EVEN IF YOU FEEL YOU WILL LOSE. Grieve regardless if you feel there is a violation. We hear countless stories that show retaliation after a grievance. But do not let that deter you as there have been many lawsuits and PERB Improper Practice Charges won where the paper trail shows this retaliation occurred due to your Union activity.

Do not stay quiet.

Fight for your rights.

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