City and teachers union resuming multiyear contract talks: sources
City is seeking an unusal, nine-year pact with the teachers union that would last through 2018, according to sources.Comments (16)
SATURDAY, MARCH 15, 2014, 11:01 PM
The city and teachers union will resume talks over a multiyear teachers union contract this week, said sources familiar with the negotiations, but experts say an agreement is still probably months in the making. The city is seeking an unusual, nine-year pact with the powerful teachers union that would last from 2009 — when the last contract expired — until 2018.
A nine-year agreement would allow the city to spread out, over several years, the payment of back raises sought by the union for the years when teachers did not get pay hikes but other municipal workers did, sources familiar with the situation said.RELATED: CITY, UNION CONTRACT TALKS BEGIN WITH POSITIVE START
“It’s still early in negotiations, but the city’s position is an indication they’re willing to be creative to reach an agreement,” said Ed Ott, City University of New York labor lecturer and former executive Director of the New York City Central Labor Council.
Since February, union and city officials have met to work on the contract whenever their schedules permit, sources said — often at the Proskauer Rose law firm in Manhattan or at union offices. Sometimes union president Michael Mulgrew is present at the negotiations, sometimes his deputies attend, sources said.RELATED: TEACHERS FLEE CITY SCHOOLS FOR SUBURBS: UNION
The city and the union are hammering out aspects of the expired contract ranging from pay to work rules.
Among the issues discussed is a request from schools boss Carmen Fariña for a policy change to allow for a different use of the current school day scheduling, said sources familiar with the talks.RELATED: CUOMO, CHARTER SCHOOL ELITES GANGING UP ON BLAZ
The key issue is teacher pay. The union has been operating under an expired contract since November 2009. Teachers missed out on two years of 4% raises that other city unions received.
Mulgrew has said he seeks those back raises for the city’s 75,000 teachers. The payout would cost the city $3.2 billion.
Labor experts said the city could ease the pain of a payout by spreading it over multiple years.
Union officials wouldn’t comment on the specifics of negotiations. But a union spokesman said contracts of various lengths have been mentioned in firstname.lastname@example.org