What does FUSE stand for?

FUSE stands for the New Rochelle Federation of United School Employees. It is the “bargaining unit” that represents all staff members (excluding supervisory/administrative or confidential positions) hired by the City School District. 
Our union represents over 1300 staff members and is unique among school employees’ unions in that FUSE represents both Pedagogic staff (teachers, counselors, teaching assistants, etc.) and School Related Professionalsl (secretaries, custodians, teacher aides, etc).

Your union is here to serve you. The FUSE is dedicated to maintaining a fair and professional relationship with the New Rochelle School District and works to ensure the most productive instructional conditions for teachers and the best possible learning opportunities for our students.

One of our primary responsibilities is to negotiate and protect our “collective bargaining agreement,” better known simply as “the contract.” Our contract spells out the terms and conditions of employment in the district and is something every member should read and become familiar with. Additionally, the union works to safeguard members’ rights to due process when disciplinary actions are taken by the district. 
Please do not hesitate to contact one of your building reps or our office if you have a question or concern about any job related issue.

How are my dues paid?

FUSE Dues are based on your salary and are automatically deducted each pay period from your paycheck.

What are “Building Reps”?

In every building, there are members who have been elected by their colleagues to serve as “FUSE Building Representatives.” These members are the “face of the union” in each building and act as the liaison between the members in their building and the union’s leadership. New staff should seek out their Building Reps with any question or concerns they may have. The Building Reps are more than willing to help answer your questions or provide guidance

What is NYSUT?

Our local is part of the 450,000 member New York State United Teachers (NYSUT). By joining FUSE, you automatically become a member of NYSUT. We are also affiliated nationally with the American Federation of Teachers, (AFT) and are proud to be part of the AFL-CIO.

Affiliation with NYSUT brings many advantages to the FUSE including access to legal counsel, labor relations specialists, workshops and training opportunities. As an individual member, you will benefit by receiving its publication, The New York Teacher, as well as opportunities for money saving benefits such as insurance and mortgages. For more information about NYSUT, log on to their award winning website at www.nysut.org.

What does “Vote/Cope” do?

VOTE/COPE is the non-partisan political action committee formed by NYSUT to work in Washington and Albany on behalf of its members’ interests. It is funded entirely by voluntary donations, no dues money is spent on any political activities.
VOTE/COPE endorses candidates regardless of party affiliation, considering only their stance on issues directly related to education, labor and health care. Finally, VOTE/COPE rebates a portion of the money it collects from a local union back to that local to use in school budget or school board elections or other appropriate functions.
All members are encouraged to contribute to VOTE/COPE through payroll deduction.

Who is my supervisor?

For all staff, their building principal is their immediate supervisor. Generally he/she sets the procedures or rules for your school, in accord with district guidelines or policies. Secondary school teachers, special education teachers and pupil personnel staff also report to their respective department chairs.

It is important to remember, however, that you are an employee of the New Rochelle City School District, not just of your particular school or department. Thus the basic “terms” of employment are set out in the contract between the school district and the FUSE. A principal or department chair cannot ask you to do something that violates this agreement If you have any questions, see one of your Building Reps or contact the FUSE office. All such inquiries are strictly confidential.

What is tenure?

Tenure is a guarantee of “due process” which is awarded to teachers after they have completed their probationary term. Prior to receiving tenure, teachers and teaching assistants “on probation” may be dismissed at any time. At or before the expiration of the probationary period, the district must deny or grant tenure. The board of education grants tenure following an observation and review process – but only after receiving the superintendent’s recommendation.

Once granted tenure, a teacher or teaching assistant is guaranteed due process, protecting them from arbitrary or capricious dismissal. It prevents, for example, a competent teacher from being fired to make way for someone who is less qualified academically but better connected politically.

Generally, the length of the probationary term is three years. Tenure is not transferable from one school district to another, however, those teachers who have come to the New Rochelle schools after receiving tenure in another school district within the state serve a two-year probationary period.

What’s the difference between “probationary” and “interim” appointments?

A teacher serving a probationary appointment is eligible for tenure after completing his/her probationary term. An interim teacher is serving for a defined period of time (usually a year or semester) in the absence of a regularly appointed teacher.

Nonetheless, interim teachers are often offered probationary positions at the end of their interim service, so it is important that they are observed and evaluated in the same way probationary teachers are. If an interim teacher is appointed to a probationary position in the same tenure area, the time he or she has already served will “count” as probationary service toward tenure and is used in determining seniority.

What is seniority?

Seniority rights are based on length of actual paid service in a specific tenure area, and apply to both tenured and probationary teachers. If a school district abolishes teaching positions, seniority is the sole criterion in determining which teachers are laid off, and subsequently recalled should a vacancy in the teacher’s tenure area occur within seven years.

All staff members accrue seniority. Staff who work part time accrue “pro-rated” seniority.

While seniority plays no formal role in such determinations as classroom assignments or teaching schedules it is an important protection to our members in the event of lay offs or transfers.

How do I designate a beneficiary for the life insurance benefit?

The Welfare Fund life insurance benefit is $50,000. You must designate a beneficiary for this benefit. You may change your beneficiary at any time. Beneficiary Designation Cards are available at the FUSE office.

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