Saturday, February 09, 2008

CLOSE LOOK AT CITY BUDGET PROVES ICE RIGHT ON 55/25-55/27 GIVEAWAY

by James Eterno UFT Chapter Leader, Jamaica High School

When the punitive 2005 Contract was released, one of the main benefits was supposed to be a 55-25 retirement incentive. The actual language in Article 4C says that the pension legislation should be enacted "without any cost to the city." To us that means that it should be revenue neutral meaning the pension deal should not cost the city anything or save the city any money. Now as the final bill is working its way through the State Legislature and the City released its budget proposal, it is clearer than ever how the city wins while only a small fraction of UFT members gain anything and many lose including all new hires.

In the latest city budget on page E-117, there is a category called "55/25 Program Savings: Savings generated by increased retirements as a result of the new age and experience retirement policy." For fiscal year 2009 the city will be saving $43,100,000 because of 55/25-55/27; for fiscal year 2010 that will jump to $68,600,000; for fiscal year 2011 it spikes to $87,500,000 and for 2012 the city will be saving $101,000,000.

The city saves over 100 million dollars because current teachers who want to take advantage of 55/25 will have to pay into the system to fund their early retirement while new hires will be required to pay pension contributions for their entire careers, not just the first ten years. The added contributions amount to a 1.85% pay cut for employees not yet hired and they won't be able retire after 25 years of service at age 55 as the contract says they should be able to; they will need 27 years. What did we get in return for allowing the city to save this huge sum of money with their de-facto new pension tier? School-wide merit pay.

In exchange for hundreds of millions in savings, couldn't the UFT have at least won back those two staff punishment days in August as days off so we can get a full summer vacation before we have to take it on the chin every year?

Challenge to our Unity readers: Please find something in this piece that shows our numbers are wrong instead of launching the usual personal attacks or saying we just complain. If you can show we are in error, we will gladly retract the article.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm willing to bet my first retirement check that ICE is right and Unity was slaughtered again in negotiations.

Anonymous said...

So why not oppose 55/25 as a giveback?

Sellout the new hires for a gain for a few senior teachers? Please explain the strategy at work here that posits a net gain somewhere in some form for teacher unionism.

Why should the large majority of the membership support such a measure? Why aren't the opposition caucuses calling for an independent effort to oppose passage of 55/25 by the legislature?

Here's a shout out. Call your state reps and tell them you oppose this bill. Call a meeting to lay out the reasons. Send a petition to the UFT. Every sellout is masked by tradeoff or triangulation. Its never simple. Its never obvious to everyone all at once. The UFT leadership's never ending triangulation is a strategy of control that masks the direction and paralyzes its target; the members and would be opposition. Its incrementalism, like the slowly heating water that the dumb frog never jumps out of. (So much for all those education credits!)

Anonymous said...

I would like to give out James article on 25/55 at my school.

Just a Cog said...

Of course, the city will save much more than that. After the current crop of senior teachers reaches 55 (which includes me, assuming I can safely get through the next 8 years), who is ever going to make it to 25/55? Half of new teachers leave within five years, so their 1.85% pay cut is permanent. Of the rest, how many will be harassed or abused out of service as they approach retirement age?

With budget cuts always looming and senior teachers now a millstone around the neck of principals who have to choose between salaries and supplies, I seriously doubt that many teachers will make it to ten years longevity, let alone 27.

Anonymous said...

When I first brought my report about 25/55 back from the DA a friend said, “Ah, another plan to eat the young!” And there you have it.

Anonymous said...

This plan will benefit teachers in their 50's who are on Tier 3 or 4 and still have many years left on their sentence.

They are willing to spend the extra bucks to get parolled early.
The others still have the right of opting out and staying on their current tier.

What this plan may wind up doing is detract an excellent pool of new teachers who can do better elsewhere. And the union will have to take responsibility for that.

Anonymous said...

The UFT take responsibility for something? That'll be the day.

Anonymous said...

Ice against 55/25? I'll remember that.

Anonymous said...

I just looked at your website and I realized that you guys asked "2007 contract what's the rush?" I'm so glad we got that now. Imagine if we didn't whatthat would mean to as the economy goes down. I think the rush was justified.

Anonymous said...

I just looked at your website and I realized that you guys asked "2007 contract what's the rush?" I'm so glad we got that now. Imagine if we didn't whatthat would mean to as the economy goes down. I think the rush was justified.

Anonymous said...

We'd still get the pattern that other unions set, exactly what we got and exactly what the city has budgeted for the next round of collective bargaining.

Anonymous said...

If 55-27 is so good, then why aren't the other teacher locals around the state or other unions saying, "me too?" Maybe because the deal is not such a good deal and saves the city money.

Anonymous said...

Your Unity readers still haven't found anything wrong with the numbers. Not a surprise.

Anonymous said...

I think LI teachers have a good pension plan. Other cities around the state are allowed to take advantage of early retirement incentives. We in NYC are not.

Anonymous said...

Retirement incentives that give them credit for up to three years of service without them having to pay extra pension contributions.

Anonymous said...

UNITY
EXPERIENCED LEADERSHIP
MEETING THE CHALLENGES

The WEINGARTEN/UNITY TEAM safeguarding what we have...fighting for what we need...


I
C omplain
E verytime

T hey
J ust
C omplain


back to my vacation

Anonymous said...

UNITY followers are lemmings!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe these Unity folks who can't make an argument have the nerve to post their witless put-downs.

Why can't they address the issues and how can they be expected to lead?

Anonymous said...

From a press report on 55-27.

Calling it a "win-win for everybody," the mayor insisted the measure will actually save the city money by allowing the schools to replace higher-paid senior teachers who retire with lower-paid younger ones.

"Our total costs will be lower from this," Bloomberg said.

Need we say more.

Anonymous said...

"And what about those poor substitute teachers being subjected to that horrible computer registry? Who's negotiating a better contract for them?
..Well, I guess, I am? At least I hope so!"

Anonymous said...

Who are you? The person who made the last comment.

Anonymous said...

What do Randi and Joel have in common? No teaching experience (stop with the subbing for 6 months). Issues with democracy and rule-breaking. News spinning. Excessive spending (check online
LM2s). Should I continue? It's embarrassing!

Anonymous said...

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