Occupational and Physical Therapists who work at the Department of Education have chosen to forgo what they believed were minimal raises in order to achieve parity with other staff members who work with students with disabilities by voting against the United Federation of Teachers contract that was ratified Nov. 2.
Though 87 percent of the 90,000 UFT members supported the deal, just 36 percent of Occupational and Physical Therapists voted in favor of it. About half of the 2,500 non-pedagogical employees cast ballots, with 796 voting against the agreement, according to the American Arbitration Association. Employees in these titles will not receive the planned 7.5 percent raise and other provisions in the 43-month pact.
Nurses, who are under the same bargaining unit and overwhelmingly supported the contract, will also not receive the raises. It was unclear what steps were available to them in seeking better terms.
According to Ed Notes, it seems the UFT's answer to the Occuational-Physical Therapists rejecting their contract is for the Nurses Chapter that shares the OT-PT bargaining unit to break off from them so they can get their raises on time. This came up at the Executive Board on Monday.
The UFT as usual showing that union solidarity. Well, maybe not.
I think that the OT-PT people might want to consider leaving the UFT and forming or joining a different union if this is how they are going to be treated moving forward. According to the Chief Leader article, there are 2,500 OTPTs. That is a significant number of UFT members. What are they supposed to do if they are going to be punished by their union for rejecting a contract?