The UFT issued a press release last week, that went mostly unnoticed, saying that a fact-finding panel has been established to make non binding recommendations in the UFT's contract dispute with the Department of Education. The names of the three fact finders are Martin F. Scheinman, Mark Grossman and Howard Edelman. Mr. Scheinman was named chairperson of the panel. He has an extensive background with the UFT and DOE. The other two names I am not familiar with.
This blog has said all along, and we will say it yet again, that going to fact-finding is a mistake because the union will lose something. It is highly unlikely that the panel will side with the UFT and give us the same 4% and 4% raises without any givebacks that almost all of the other city unions received in the latest round of collective bargaining because arbitrators are trained to give both sides something.
Splitting the settlement to give a little to everyone is how arbitrators stay employed since every year either management or labor can throw someone off of the panel of acceptable arbitrators. If we examine the list of givebacks that the city is asking for, it boggles the mind why the UFT would go near the arbitration process. Yes, the recommendations can be rejected by either side but the fact-finding report will be out there even when a new mayor takes office in 2014 and it will have an impact on the settlement.
For those who have forgotten, our contract expired on October 31, 2009 and our last regular salary increase was on May 19, 2008. The entire UFT press release is printed below.