|NYC Chancellor Richard Carranza, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, and UFT President Michael Mulgrew|
Norm Scott's blog is a wealth of knowledge on UFT business, and his opinion on the new contract is below:
EVERYTHING BUT THE KITCHEN SINK ON WHY YOU SHOULD OPPOSE THE UFT CONTRACT (25 BULLETS)
I sent these 25 bullet points to Diane Ravitch as a response to Arthur Goldstein's pro contract piece.
Update: Arthur is a decent guy and an excellent chapter leader. We just disagree politically on the contract.
This is everything you could want and more on why the contract should be voted down.
My wife's ballot.
25 BULLET POINTS ON WHY UFT MEMBERS SHOULD VOTE NO ONTHE PROPOSED UFT CONTRACT
On October 11 the UFT and the City-Department of Education reached agreement on a new 43 month contract. The UFT’s Delegate Assembly sent it to the schools for ratification votes. Those of us in opposition have no way of countering the UFT’s huge spin machine but here are 25 reasons to oppose the proposed contract. If there is a fair debate, I am confident we would easily win and the contract would be voted down but don’t hold your breath waiting to see any of these criticisms in the union’s newspaper or the mainstream press.
2% on February 14, 2019,
0% on February 14, 2020
2.5% on May 14, 2020,
3% on May 14 2021,
0% on May 14, 2022.
Contract doesn’t end until September 13, 2022. That is 7.5% over 43 months. It is 7.7% compounded but if we look at the expected inflation rate for four years from the International Monetary Fund, U.S. Inflation is expected to increase at an average rate of 2.2% a year through 2022. Our raises are spread out so they won’t make 2.2% annually. If we agree to this contract, we are expected to take a de facto pay cut.
UFT Propaganda only counts inflation through 2021 when trying to sell the deal as if it were a three-year agreement but the contract extends through almost ¾ of 2022. Why doesn’t the UFT tell the truth about the salary increases most likely not beating inflation?
The Cost of Living Adjustment for Social Security for 2019 is 2.8%?NYC is a very expensive city to live in. Can’t we even win a cost of living adjustment in our contract?
The City of New York is swimming in cash. This year’s city surplus was $4.6 billion and there is an additional $4.4 billion squirreled away in the retiree health benefits trust. The NYC economy has never been stronger. Growth is at 2.7% in the latest quarter. City investments are beating expectations. The city says this contract is costing them only $570 million plus the minimal cost of what they put aside for this round of municipal labor settlements. The city can afford much more for raises for its employees. I understand pattern bargaining (one municipal union settles on a raise and it sets a pattern that other unions are stuck with) and DC 37 set a pattern for municipal unions in June for these paltry raises. However, pattern bargaining is a tradition and not the law. The state law from PERB (Public Employees Relations Board) considers as part of their calculations if a union can’t reach an agreement with a government employer:“ b. the interests and welfare of the public and the financial ability of the public employer to pay;” The city has the ability to pay much more. It is in the interest of the public to have the best teachers in NYC. Yonkers teachers should not make tens of thousands dollars more than NYC teachers.
Healthcare givebacks are for all of us in this contract, not just new teachers. The Municipal Labor Committee agreed to huge healthcare savings in June. This is from the City Hall Website article on the new UFT contract: “The agreement will provide total health care savings of $1.1 billion through Fiscal Year 2021 and $1.9 billion of annual savings thereafter.” Putting new teachers on HIP managed care for their first year, which is a major contractual concession as our contract says the city has to offer us a choice of free health plans, will not save the city $1.1 billion or $1.9 billion annually after 2021 as the city will still be paying their health insurance. Where are the new $1.1 billion in healthcare savings ($600 million must recur annually) going to come from? They will come from all city workers just like when we agreed to this kind of deal in 2014 to settle a contract and then in 2016 we received emails saying Emergency Room copays would rise from $50 to $150 and Urgent Care copays in GHI would go from $15 to $50.
This contract did not fall from the sky. It must be seen in the context of prior contracts. The givebacks from the infamous 2005 contract(the next five bullets) remain in 2019. *
-Teacher Development Facilitator
-Teacher Team Leader
-Peer Collaborative Teacher
How is it helpful at all for the UFT to set up a two-tiered pay structure? This seems antithetical to trade unionism. By agreeing to the Bronx Plan as well as the merit pay scheme described above, the UFT says it’s okay to pay more for certain schools and certain teachers. Here is how CUNY Professor David Bloomfield reacted on his Twitter page to the differentiation of teacher salaries.
David Bloomfield @BloomfieldDavid Oct 11
Historic teacher contract line is crossed by @UFT on differential pay, allowing higher salaries for some teachers over others. What further differentials might be engineered? More for STEM teachers than humanities teachers, etc.? Distance learning is another step in the wrong direction. Having teachers lead classes of students not in front of them is a bad idea. Let’s go to David Bloomfield again. This time from City Limits: “Increased distance learning poses an existential threat to teacher jobs and is of dubious instructional worth.”
Why settle the contract four months early? The only reason to have an early contract is if it is a great contract. Certainly, a contract that has raises that are not projected to keep up with inflation, has huge healthcare concessions for all of us and gets us back none of the huge givebacks from 2005 cannot be agreed to unless we have to settle for it after losing a fight. If a union asks for very little, that union will get very little; no guarantee but if you fight for more, you may win more. We’ll never know what we could obtain, however, unless the unlikely happens and a majority vote NO!
A majority voted no on a proposed new UFT contract in 1995. UFT leadership predicted layoffs and other dire consequences that never happened. Instead, a few months later the city and UFT negotiated a better deal where new teachers weren’t forced to withhold 5% of their pay until they survived four years in the system, longevities went from 25 years to 22 years and there was a generous retirement incentive thrown in that was not in the deal that we rejected.
PS Why is the UFT taking union dues when the city pays us back the huge interest free loan we gave to the city in the last contract that is being repaid in five installments in 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020? Before the 2014 contract, the UFT never double dipped by taking dues twice. We paid dues on this money during the original pay periods.
There is one exception on 2005 givebacks. The one concession that was taken out of the contract was having school for the final two weekdays before Labor Day for professional development. That has been changed. Getting those two days back in summer vacation cost us the guaranteed 8.25% interest on the fixed TDA that our supervisors and CUNY teachers still have. UFT members since 2009 get 7%. The city gained $2 billion from that deal so I would not exactly call it a takeback of the giveback.