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FAQ's

Who does the WTU represent? Do you represent educators in public charter schools?

The WTU is the collective bargaining unit for educators in DC Public Schools. Educators in other LEAs (ie, public charter schools) located in the District of Columbia are not eligible for WTU membership.


How can I become an WTU member?

It’s simple. Open our Membership Guide then log-in to PeopleSoft at https://ess.dc.gov and complete the steps to join the WTU.


How do I enroll as a retired member or renew an existing retired membership?

Members of the WTU Retirees Union are eligible for a range of benefits, including dental and vision insurance through the Union. Retiree members are also encouraged to participate in a variety of activities and trips that provide opportunities for fellowship. You can obtain an application for membership in the WTU Retirees Union by clicking here.


How can I obtain/renew my teaching license?

In order to earn certification to teach in public schools in Washington DC, prospective teachers must satisfy the requirements for initial licensure, which include completing a bachelor's degree and teacher preparation program, passing the required educator testing, and completing a criminal background check.

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) is the state education agency that oversees teacher licensure and credentialing. The following links should help guide you through the licensing process.

OSSE Application for Licensure Renewal

OSSE Directory of State-Approved Educator Preparation Programs

OSSE Educator Credential Renewal Requirements

OSSE Educator Licensure Exams Information


How do I change my address in WTU’s records?

Please help us ensure we have your current personal contact information on file. Email [email protected] to update your contact information.


Where can I find out about WTU’s member benefits program?

As a member of the WTU, you have exclusive access to medical, legal and other benefits as well as support should you become unemployed, sick, disabled, or have need of family leave.  Learn more here.


Where can I learn about my rights as a teacher?

The WTU contract with DC Public Schools is the best place to start. You can find the contract here.


What do my dues pay for? What don’t my dues pay for?

The educators in DC public schools formed the Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU) because they realized that by working together collectively and speaking with one voice, their voice would be much stronger than each teacher talking for themselves alone. Dues are utilized to support the WTU’s mission to advocate for the social and educational justice for the students of the District of Columbia and to improving the quality of support, resources, compensation and working conditions for the public servants and proud teachers who educate our students in D.C. Public Schools. Dues are not utilized for political activities.


Where can I find out about WTU’s member benefits program?

As a member of the WTU, you have exclusive access to medical, legal and other benefits as well as support should you become unemployed, sick, disabled, or have need of family leave.  Learn more here.


How does the WTU decide who to endorse in political elections? How can I make sure none of my dues money goes to candidates I don’t support?

The WTU only endorses candidates who share our vision and commitment to public education and make our endorsements based on their views on public education. The WTU’s political activities are administered through the Committee on Political Education or C.O.P.E. You can read more, including how join the C.O.P.E., here.

WTU is prohibited under federal law from using dues dollars to support political activities.

 


Does WTU offer any leadership or professional development opportunities?

The WTU’s professional development program is designed by teachers, for teachers. WTU’s professional development courses are all research-based, peer-to-peer and solution-driven. All WTU courses are aligned to the DCPS IMPACT Teaching and Learning Framework and Essential Practices Standards 1 through 5. You can learn more about upcoming Professional Development opportunities here.

The WTU offers regular Union Leadership Institutes (ULIs) that give all members the opportunity to learn and develop leadership skills and to acquire the detailed knowledge needed to be an effective teacher representative to help ensure the voice of teachers are heard. Educators can become a member of a School Chapter Advisory Committee (SCAC), a Local School Advisory Team (LSAT), or join one of many other committees or teams. Members can also become a Building Representative, a Delegate to the WTU Representative Assembly or a member of the Executive Board. Full descriptions of School-based leadership positions are available here.


How do I file a grievance?

The Washington Teachers’ Union has a staff of highly trained Field Representatives who advise the Building Reps and SCAC teams, help enforce the WTU-DCPS contract, continually strive to strengthen educator-administrator collaboration, and when necessary, process grievances.

If you believe that you have been subject to unfair labor conditions or your contractual rights have been violated, please contact your Field Representative.


Why is it necessary for the WTU to endorse candidates? How does the WTU screen candidates for endorsement?

The Washington Teachers’ Union established the Committee on Political Education (WTU-COPE) to lead our political activities designed to promote justice and equal opportunity for all. Workers have achieved much by acting collectively to set an agenda and then elect politicians who will help us achieve our goals.

Contributions to COPE are strictly voluntary. Click here to learn more about how you can join the COPE committee or contact [email protected] for more information.


How do I know if I’m eligible for the Pre-Paid Legal Program?

Pre-paid legal services are available to current members of the Washington Teachers’ Union. A description of the services our partners provide are available here.


Where can I find information on open positions in DC Schools?

You can find open positions in DC Public Schools here.


How do I access the password-protected WTU Members-Only Website?

 

 

 

How do I access the password-protected WTU Members-Only Website

Click on the Login button on the top right-hand corner of the WTU website. Can't remember the password? Please reach out to your Building Representative. Remember, these pages are only available to WTU Members.


Where can I find the Administrative Premium Pay Authorization form?

A direct link to download the form is also located here.


Where can I find nominations and election notices?

Nomination and Election notices are here. Since these forms are available only to WTU members, you may be asked to enter the WTU password before accessing these forms. Can't remember the password? Please contact your building representative.


What if my years of service aren’t correct? Who should I contact?

First obtain a copy of the your individual retirement record (IRR) from the Office of Pay and Retirement Services (OPRS) by sending an email to [email protected] and request your IRR also referred to as the SF-2806.


How can I receive this year’s W-2 form online?

Active employees can view W-2 information online in PeopleSoft or opt to just receive it in the mail. To enable this action, you must submit your consent to receive your W-2 online. Once you are logged into PeopleSoft, select Self Service > Payroll and Compensation > W-2/W-2c Consent. Please ensure that your pop up blocker is enabled. Once you have decided on your preferred method to receive your W2, you can obtain a copy in one of two ways:

  1. Online: If you opted to receive W-2 forms online, you can obtain your W-2 in PeopleSoft. To download your form, select Self Service > Payroll and Compensation > View W-2/W-2c Forms. Please ensure that your pop-up blocker is enabled.

  2. Mail: Contact the DC Government Office of Pay and Retirement Services (OPRS) at (202) 741-8600 to request a duplicate. Human Resources does not have access to view/print employee’s W-2 forms.

How can I receive dental and optical benefits?

WTU's Dental and Optical Benefits

All DCPS employees in the WTU bargaining unit are entitled to dental and optical benefits through the Union. It is administered through the DCPS Benefits team.

  • Dental Benefits

The WTU offers two dental plan options: In-Network Only and PPO provided by United Healthcare Dental.

  • Optical Benefits

Optical benefits are provided by United Healthcare Vision. Enrollment in these plans is automatic for ‘Employee Only’ coverage. However, if you need to add dependents to your Dental or Optical coverage, you must complete this in PeopleSoft during new hire enrollment, open enrollment, or 31 calendar days after a qualifying life event. For more information on these benefit plans and enrollment information for both Dental and Optical coverage, please contact the DCPS Benefits team at [email protected] or (202) 442-4090.

 

Contacts for Dental and Optical benefits are provided below:

Dental Plan United Healthcare

Dental 800.445.9090 https://www.myuhcdental.com

 

Optical Plan United Healthcare

Vision 800.638.3120 https://www.myuhcvision.com


How do I access PeopleSoft?

Open your browser and go to start.dc.gov. Under featured applications, you will see the following:

** Note - you cannot access your direct deposit and tax forms using PeopleSoft from the Home link.**


How do I access my k12.dc.gov email?

Open your web browser and go to start.dc.gov. Under featured applications, you will see the following:


I want to submit a leave of absence (LOA) request. How do I complete this action?

LOA requests are submitted with the DCPS LOA Team through Quickbase. You can access Quickbase using the following steps:

  • Open your web browser and go to start.dc.gov. Under "IT Services," you will see Quickbase. Once on the Quickbase website, you will log-in using your k12.dc.gov credentials (email) and password. 

After you log into Quickbase, you will look for the database called "DCPS' Leave of Absence Requests." This will allow you access to all required forms and provide information on what type of pay and leave you my use during your leave period.


How do I update a payroll deduction on PeopleSoft?

Step One: Log into our In-Network PeopleSoft website (pshcm.dc.gov) from a secure DC Government network (i.e. at a DCPS school or Central Office).

Step Two: Select Self Service > Payroll and Compensation > Direct Deposit.

Step Three: Add a new Direct Deposit Account. Please ensure that you are using a voided check and not a deposit slip when entering your banking information into PeopleSoft.


Are teachers required to submit lesson plans and long-range unit plans under the CBA between WTU and DCPS?

Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the WTU and DCPS, lessons plans are available for review by the principal at any time upon request. Also, teachers shall not be required to submit daily, weekly, unit or long-range lesson plans on a regular basis. Requiring teachers to turn in weekly lesson plans goes against the CBA. Below, I have included articles from the CBA regarding lesson plans and when you can require teachers to submit weekly lesson plans:

23.18 Lesson Plans 23.18.1 Daily, unit, and long-term lesson plans shall be required of each Teacher and such plans shall be available for review by the principal/Supervisor at any time upon his/her request. The Supervisor shall be permitted to make a copy of the lesson upon request. It is understood that lesson plans are used as a guide to the Teacher in structuring the learning experiences of pupils. The system-wide template prescribes the minimum required elements for a lesson plan. No Teacher shall be required to provide more detail than that which is required in the system-wide template.

23.18.2 Teachers shall not be required to submit daily, weekly, unit or long-range lesson plans on a regular basis. However, if the Supervisor determines as a result of the DCPS evaluation process that a Teacher has an average score of less than 2.5 in Planning domain of the Teaching and Learning Framework, then the Supervisor may require the Teacher to submit daily lesson plans for review and comment until such time that the Teacher’s planning has satisfactorily improved. In such cases, the Supervisor must suggest how the lesson plans can be improved.  

23.18.3 Lesson plans do not determine a Teacher’s effectiveness; therefore, they shall not be used in isolation to determine a Teacher’s effectiveness.

Your lesson plan should contain the following components:

  1. Standard
  2. Objective
  3. Assessment
  4. Essential Question
  5. Guided Instruction
  6. Independent Practice
  7. Assessment Closure

Instructional coaches are members of the school's leadership team but they are ET 15 teachers and therefore do not have the authority to collect lesson plans or evaluate, report on, discipline, or reprimand other ET 15 teachers.


When will my paycheck reflect the WTU membership dues adjustment?

The dues adjustment voted on by our membership last fall was made on your January 26th paycheck. Academic year 2023-24 rates will increase to $39.72 (FY24). This initial catch-up plan will take place over a three-year period and is required by the WTU Bylaws and Constitution. Moving forward, dues adjustments for (FY25) $40.81, (FY26) $43.97 and successive annual dues increases will be effective on October 1st of every fiscal year as required by the WTU Constitution and Bylaws. Dues adjustments will support union activities as we strive to provide members with efficient member services, professional development, and address long-overdue building maintenance issues.


When should I submit records for pay for coverage, lost of planning or loss of lunch?

Time records for pay for coverage shall be submitted by the local Supervisor or his/her designee in accordance with the same timeline requirements for regular Teacher pay. Teachers shall receive their pay for coverage compensation on a biweekly basis through a process approved by DCPS and WTU.

Article 23.17.6

To download a copy of the DCPS ADMINISTRATIVE PREMIUM PAY AUTHORIZATION form, please click here.


In the previous “Brew-to-Go” you mentioned using the WTU sick leave or maternity/paternity leave banks, how do I enroll in these banks?

The open enrollment/change period for the WTU leave banks for returning WTU employees is each year June 1st through August 31st.  For newly hired WTU members, you have one year from your date of hire to enroll in the leave banks.


Is there a waiting period to use either of the leave banks?

Yes, the waiting period is 90 days from your date of enrollment.


How do I opt out of one or both leave banks I have been enrolled in?

You may opt out during the open enrollment/change period of June 1st through August 31st.


Is there a fee to enroll in the WTU sick leave or maternity/paternity leave banks?

Yes, the fee is a donation of 8 hours of your personal sick leave accrual per leave bank you are enrolled in.


How do I enroll in the WTU leave banks?

Starting June 1st through August 31st of year the link to enroll in either of the Union’s leave banks will be sent via email in the “Morning Brew.”  Also, the “Morning Brew” emails are available in the Members-Only section of www.wtulocal6.net.


Who can assist me with questions regarding use of either of the leave banks?

Please call the WTU Membership and Benefits team at 202-957-1477 or email [email protected].


Does Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) have to be continuous leave only?

No, FMLA leave can be continuous and/or intermittent leave and is approved based on the information in the medical certification provided from your physician.


How long can I be out of work on DC FMLA or Federal FMLA?

DC FMLA

To be eligible for DC FMLA you must be with the District for at least one (1) year and work at least 1000 hours within a 24-month period. DC FMLA provides a maximum of 16 weeks, 640 hours, or 80 days of unpaid job-protected leave. Federal FMLA is one amount to be used for both medical and family leave.

 

Federal FMLA

To be eligible for Federal FMLA, you must be with the District for at least one (1) year and work at least 1250 hours within a 12-month period. Federal FMLA provides a maximum of 12 weeks, 480 hours, or 60 days of unpaid job-protected leave. DC FMLA is two separate amounts, 640 hours for medical leave and 640 hours for family leave.

 


I understand that DC FMLA and Federal FMLA are unpaid job-protected leave categories, how am I paid while out on leave of absence?

While on leave of absence you are eligible to use a combination of leave types based on if you are on medical leave or family leave. You may be eligible for the following types of leaves (Note some of the leave requires separate enrollments and are not automatic benefits.):

  • Your personal sick leave
  • Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML)
  • WTU Sick leave Bank
  • WTU Maternity/Paternity Leave Bank
  • The Standard (DC Government short-term disability benefit)

Does DC FMLA and Federal FMLA run separately or concurrently?

Each calendar year period is based on a rolling calendar year and if eligible for both Federal and DC FMLA, the leaves will run concurrently.


How many sick leave days/hours are WTU Members entitled to per school year?

Sick Leave hours are advanced as follows:

  • ET 15 (10-month): 96 hours (12 days)
  • ET 15 (11-month): 108 hours (13.5 days)
  • ET 15 (12-month): 120 hours (15 days)

 

Note: Members of the WTU in EG 09 positions are not eligible for Sick Leave at this time.


What type of leave are WTU EG 09 positions eligible for?

All members of the WTU in EG 09 positions earn General and Annual Leave, based on years of service.

Employees with:

  • 0-2 years of service earn four (4) hours per pay period
  • 3-15 years of service earn six (6) hours per pay period
  • 16+ years of service earn eight (8) hours per pay period

Note: Members of the WTU in ET 15 positions are not eligible for General and Annual Leave.


How many sick leave hours can I use as personal (general) leave?

Up to 32 hours (4 days) per school year of your Sick Leave that you are advanced can be used as personal (general) leave.


Can used sick leave hours carry over to the following school year?

Yes, unused Sick Leave shall be carried forward from year to year.


Can an employee cash out Sick Leave upon leaving DCPS?

No, Sick Leave is not transferable and has no cash value; therefore, you will not receive the cash value of any remaining Sick Leave upon separation from employment.


How can I receive this year’s W-2 form online?

Active employees can view W-2 information online in PeopleSoft or opt to just receive it in the mail. To enable this action, you must submit your consent to receive your W-2 online. Once you are logged into PeopleSoft, select Self Service > Payroll and Compensation > W-2/W-2c Consent. Please ensure that your pop up blocker is enabled. Once you have decided on your preferred method to receive your W2, you can I obtain a copy 1 of 2 ways:

Online:  If you opted to receive W-2 forms online, you can obtain your W-2 in PeopleSoft. To download your form, select Self Service > Payroll and Compensation > View W-2/W-2c Forms. Please ensure that your pop-up blocker is enabled.

Mail:  Contact the DC Government Office of Pay and Retirement Services (OPRS) at (202) 741-8600 to request a duplicate. Human Resources does not have access to view/print employee’s W-2 forms.

WTU Dental & Optical Benefits

As a member of the WTU, you are entitled to Dental and Optical benefits through the union, that are administered through the DCPS Benefits team. The WTU offers two Dental plan options: In-Network Only and PPO provided by United Healthcare Dental.

Optical benefits are provided by United Healthcare Vision. Enrollment in these plans is automatic for ‘Employee Only’ coverage. However, if you need to add dependents to your Dental or Optical coverage, you must complete this in PeopleSoft during new hire enrollment, open enrollment, or 31 calendar days after a qualifying life event. For more information on these Benefit plans and enrollment information for both Dental and Optical coverage, please contact the DCPS Benefits team at [email protected].gov or (202) 442-4090.

Contacts for Dental and Optical benefits are provided below:

Dental Plan United Healthcare

Dental 800.445.9090 https://www.myuhcdental.com

Optical Plan United Healthcare

Vision 800.638.3120 https://www.myuhcvision.com

 


Does the WTU offers any legal assistance to its members?

Yes, the Washington Teachers’ Union members and their dependents who have legal matters are offered legal services by the Offices of Robert A. Ades & Associates, P.C. on an unrestricted and unlimited basis with no attorney fees whatsoever. This benefits is at no cost to you and is included with your WTU membership.


What are some of the services that are included?

Please see the list below that highlights some of legal services offered by the Offices of Robert A. Ades & Associates, P.C.

(Note this is not an exhausted listed. To confirm if a services is offered, please call the office directly.)

      • Legal Consultations, Notary Services, Document Reviews
      • Social Security Disability Applications, Veterans Benefits, Unemployment Compensation, Arbitration
      • Bankruptcy, Medical Insurance Claims, Consumer Rights and Problems with Credit Ratings
      • Misdemeanor Charges, Felony Charges
      • Contested Divorce, Contested Adoption, Guardianship, Name Change
      • Real Estate Settlement, Mortgage Foreclosure, Landlord/Tenant Negotiations
      • Deed Consultation, Simple Will, Contested Will, Probate
      • Visa Petitions, Labor Certifications
      • Personal Injury, Property Damage, Conflicts and many more legal issues

How do contact Offices of Robert A. Ades & Associates, P.C?

24 Hour Hotline: (202) 452-8080

District of Columbia Office
80 M Street, S.E., Suite 330
Washington, D.C. 20003
Telephone: (202) 452-8080

Maryland Office
4301 Garden City Drive, Suite 300
Landover, Maryland 20785
Telephone: (301) 459-3333

Virginia Office
5419-B Backlick Road
Springfield, Virginia 22151
(703) 642-9500

To retain an attorney in the extended areas of Maryland and Virginia, please call the Maryland and Virginia offices directly and they will direct you by way of referral to an appropriate attorney.

Website: theadesfirm.com or go to https://www.wtulocal6.net/legal


Since this is an election year, when will the candidate forum occur?

The candidate forum for candidates running for At-Large and Wards 2, 4, and 8 will be held this Saturday, March 23rd, at 9:45 a.m. via Zoom. You can click here to join Zoom Meeting. The Zoom Meeting ID is: 921 7798 0378; the Passcode is: 630798.


When will the Ward 7 candidate forum take place?

Due to the large number of candidates running for Ward 7 Councilmember, the Ward 7 candidate forum will be held separately next Wednesday, March 27th, at 5:00 p.m. via Zoom.

You can click here to join the Zoom Meeting.


When will the WTU Shared Vision Conference take place?

The WTU Shared Vision Conference with award-winning author Sharon G. Flake will be held in person for students and teachers on Friday, April 26th from 9:30AM to 12:30PM and virtually for teachers, parents and the community on Saturday, April 27th from 10AM to 2PM.

We would like to invite MS and HS librarians, English teachers, and their students to attend the in-person session on April 26th. WTU will provide lunch and a free copy of “The Skin I’m In” for all participants; students will also have an opportunity to receive additional books by Sharon G. Flake. If you want to attend the in-person sessions with your students on Friday, April 26th, 2024 please contact Mike Roland at [email protected].

On April 27th, the virtual component of our Shared Vision Conference will focus on professional development sessions for building literacy for our young adults, a legislative session with DC City Council and State Board members, and Sharon G. Flake will be our keynote speaker. Click here to register for Saturday's online session.


How do I voice my concerns regarding special education?

If you are a Special Education teacher or related service provider, please take this important survey here regarding PowerSchools. Click Here.


How can we support our endorsed candidates?

Below is the information you need to volunteer to knock on doors for our endorsed candidates:

· Eboni-Rose Thompson (Ward 7 endorsed candidate): Saturday, May 18th, from 1 PM to 5PM at the Benning Road Metro Station (4500 Benning Road NE Washington, DC 20019)

· Councilmember Trayon White (Ward 8 endorsed candidate): Friday, May 31st. from 5:30PM to 7PM.

· Councilmember Janeese Lewis George

(Ward 4 endorsed candidate)- Sunday, May 19th, from 12 PM- 4 PM at Takoma Playground (301 Van Buren St NW). Click here to register.

· Councilmember Robert White (At-Large endorsed candidate): Sunday, June 2nd, starting at 2 PM at the Ward 8 McDonald’s at 2529 Good Hope Road SE.

*If you will be volunteering to canvas for our endorsed candidates, please email our WTU Organizer, Mike Roland ([email protected])


Will I have the opportunity to meet our endorsed candidates in person?

Yes. On Tuesday, May 28th, WTU will have a reception for our endorsed candidates at Busboys and Poets (2004 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE, Washington, DC 20020) from 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM. Food and beverages will be complimentary.


Will the WTU give me other opportunities to meet with the endorsed candidates?

Yes, you will have an opportunity to meet with our endorsed candidates virtually at the WTU Representative Assembly next Tuesday, May 14th. This is the information for the upcoming meeting: Please click this URL to join. https://aft.zoom.us/j/91989310412?pwd=QkdZQitXSTVSOEUydUdCc2NRdVEzdz09

    • Passcode: 121801

How can I support the contract action campaign this week?

Teachers will be rallying at the following schools: On Wednesday, May 8th, at 3:30 PM, teachers from Whittier Elementary School, Ida B. Wells Middle School, and Coolidge High School will hold a rally in front of Coolidge High School. On Thursday, May 9th, at 3:30 PM, teachers from Eliot-Hine Middle School and Eastern High School will hold a rally in front of Eastern HighSchool. On Friday, May 10th at 3:30 PM, teachers from Dorothy Height Elementary School, MacFarland Middle School, and Roosevelt High School will hold a rally in front of Roosevelt High School.


Does the WTU offer professional development courses over the summer?

Yes! WTU offers a combination of online and face-to-face professional development courses in WTU’s Summer Institute. Register before June 14th to catch the early bird discount for courses at the unbeatable rate of $125. WTU’s professional development courses are all research-based, peer-to-peer and solution-driven. Network with colleagues in-person or log in online to learn from your peers on topics like testing vs. assessment, effective reading strategies for beginners, meaningful tech tools, and much more! Just one week in our intensive summer course and you can earn PLUs or graduate credits from Trinity University. Save your spot now! Visit WTU's Summer Institute registration page here.

Summer Courses:

  • Legal Issues in Education
  • S.E.L. for Adults
  • Immersive Technology in the Classroom
  • Reclaiming Assessment
  • Successfully Integrating the Arts into your Classroom
  • Beginning Reading Instruction
  • Reading Comprehension Instruction

How can I become a WTU instructor for fall, spring, or summer courses?

To apply to become a WTU instructor, please apply here:

https://forms.office.com/r/yaGYW97u3a

Note: You must be logged into a DCPS device in order for the link to work.


How can I support WTU’s endorsed candidates?

· Councilmember Trayon White (Ward 8 endorsed candidate): Friday, May 31st. from 5:30PM to 7PM at Shepherd Park in Southeast (corner of MLK Ave SE & Malcolm X Ave SE) in Ward 8, DC. (Across the street from Popeyes.)

· Councilmember Robert White (At-Large endorsed candidate): Sunday, June 2nd, starting at 2 PM at the Ward 8 McDonald’s at 2529 Good Hope Road SE.

*If you will be volunteering to canvas for our endorsed candidates, please email our WTU Organizer, Mike Roland ([email protected])

 


How can an international teacher learn more about VISA requirements?

Please attend WTU’s Informational Session for International Teachers on Wednesday, June 5th @4:30PM.

Join Zoom Meeting

https://aft.zoom.us/j/9396694583?pwd=UG5kM1dsNHEvVEVDSWt4L2M3NGczUT09&omn=93958687489

Meeting ID: 939 669 4583

Passcode: 630798


Is the WTU involved in DC’s Gay Pride festivities?

Yes! Please join us. Contact [email protected] if you are interested.


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