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EXCLUSIVE: Ex-teachers will sue union for retroactive pay under new contract
Educators who resigned before the new teachers contract was ratified will sue the United Federation of Teachers on Monday for their share of retroactive pay. These former educators argue that they're owed retroactive pay from 2009 to 2011, which is when the union was without a contract. Up to 9,000 former employees resigned during that two-year span.
Educators who resigned prior to ratification of the new teachers contract will sue Monday to get their piece of retroactive pay.
Dianna Morton, 54, is a formerparaprofessionalwho resigned prior to ratification the new teachers contract. She and others are preparing to sue to get their piece of retroactive pay.
Lawyer Daniel Shimko said he will file a class action suit against the United Federation of Teachers seeking retroactive pay for teachers and other eligibleEducation Departmentemployees who quit their jobs between Oct. 31, 2009, and June 30 before their eligibleretirement.
He will argue that the union did not properly represent members when it agreed to exclude educators who quit during that period from some $3 billion in retroactive pay to be doled out under the new contract.
“If you’re going to try and get retroactive wages for retirees, why exclude resignees? They were part of the UFT’s workforce, they paid their dues, they weren’t fired for cause,” said Shimko, who willfilein Manhattan Supreme Court.
More than 6,800 teachers quit of their own volition between the 2009-10 and 2011-12 school years, according to a January 2013 article in the union’s newspaper. If similar attrition patterns held for the subsequent year, the number of teachers potentially eligible in theclassaction suit could approach 9,000.
One of the four initial plaintiffs in the suit, Dianna Morton, 54, said she resigned in 2011 after 14 years as a paraprofessional due to a disability.
“That’s the raise we should have gotten all along — and now we’re not getting it. We deserve it!” said Morton, who worked with special education students, mainly at Public School 73 in Brooklyn.
Morton said she earned about $25,000 when she quit, meaning she’d be eligible to receive $2,040 in back pay if the suit prevails in court.
A spokeswoman for the teachers union would not comment on the potential lawsuit.
The new nine-year contract includes a 4% bump for both 2009-10 and 2010-11 — years teachers went without a contract and other city unions got raises.