We just heard about the new agreement that the city and UFT negotiated which calls for state legislation to start a new Tier V pension for people yet to be hired. It is interesting to note that on June 5th, only seventeen days ago, Randi Weingarten signed onto a press release which said in part: "The municipal unions of New York City (the MLC), including the UFT, and our state union NYSUT, are firmly opposed to a Tier V for our members." Randi couldn't even stand her ground for a month.
The press release goes on to say, "New York City's municipal unions have already taken steps to address the city's budgetary issues. Just this week, the MLC concluded an agreement with the mayor to save the City $200 million this year, $400 million over two years and an additional $150 million in the following years." In their letter to legislative leaders, MLC co-chairs Harry Nespoli and Weingarten said that the health benefit savings "provides substantially more savings than Tier V during this fiscal crisis."
That was then and this is now. Seventeen days later we have added to the health care givebacks by starting a new pension tier that two weeks back we opposed vehemently. It must be a good time to sell out teachers who have not yet been hired.
The details include teachers having to work five more years (ten total) to vest, a lower rate of return (7%) for all of us on the fixed TDA, 4.85% pension contributions for 27 years for new hires instead of 3% for ten years that most of us pay now, fifteen years on the job before someone can qualify for retiree health benefits. In exchange, we get two days back before Labor Day added to our summer vacation.
Those two useless professional development days, while important to get back, cost the city nothing basically. We have now made this unbearable job even more onerous for new people in exchange for next to nothing.