Sunday, February 23, 2014


This blog has explained repeatedly why the city owes us so much money if we just get the same 4% + 4% increases that DC 37 received to set a pattern in 2008 that most other city unions have also earned because of pattern bargaining.

The UFT contract for the years 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 is in non-binding fact finding arbitration now.  I fully expect the fact finders to recommend for us the same raises other unions were given.  There is no precedent I know of in New York City for it not happening. Add to this the fact that the city budget has surplus money and it becomes clear the UFT really can't lose.

I also anticipate we will be given full back pay as Mayor Bill de Blasio has set a precedent with another union (LEEBA) that he will pay arrears out over three years. The argument that UFT arrears will bust the budget because arrears can't be put into future budgets does not hold up.

How much does the city owe us for 2009-2010 and 2010-2011?  We ran the numbers in September and this is what we came up with for senior teachers.

Top salary for city teachers is currently $100,049 (way under what teachers in most suburban districts around here earn).
x 1.04 (4%)

The increase for 2009-2010 is $4001.96. 

Now for year two:
x 1.04 (4%)

The increase for 2010-2011 is $8,163.99 over what we have now.

Then, the retroactive increase for 2011-2012 is another $8,163.99.

For 2012-13 add another $8,163,99.

Now add up all of the retroactive money and even if there is a contract right away, the city owes teachers on maximum a staggering $28,493.39. If this lingers into 2014, as it almost definitely will, the retroactive price-tag goes to over $30,000 for senior teachers. 

In response to a commenter on our last post, who I think was implying that we only care about the senior teachers, I ran the numbers this morning for a newer teacher who started in 2009.  This is what I came up with using two 4% increases and step as well as lateral increases. (This assumes the person started with a BA and obtained a Masters Degree before year 3.)

Step 1a with BA--2009-2010--$45,530 X 1.04=$47351.20  Arrears:                $1821.20
Step 2a with BA--2010-2011--$48,434 X 1.04 X 1.04=$52,386.21    Arrears: $3952.21
Step 3a with MA--2011-2012--$54,731 X 1.04 X 1.04=$59,197.05 Arrears:    $4466.05
Step 4a with MA--2012-2013--55438 X 1.04 X 1.04=$59,961.74    Arrears:   $4523.74
Arrears total up to October 31, 2013:                                                                     $14,763.20

There will need to be an extra half year in arrears paid out at the MA-Step 5a level if this isn't settled until the spring.

For those who don't want to do all the math, just go to the urban ed blog and use their calculator.

Any particular way you slice it, for senior, mid-career and newer teachers, the city owes us a great deal of money. 

Unlike some, I fully expect the UFT to not settle for anything less than what we are owed; it is not greed to expect to get money we already earned!


Anonymous said...

James, it is absolutely ANYTHING but greed. This is money we earned and should have received in '09 and '10 respectively, based on decades upon decades of pattern bargaining precedence. The former administration in their blatant disregard for our union and our profession, decided to demonstrate their disdain by choosing us to draw their unconscionable line in the sand. Hopefully, things will be set right by June. And, I can't how anybody who began five, six years ago, could be unhappy if all this unfolds.

Anonymous said...

Another thing to think about is this. If the contract is settled, signed, and ratified by June, I would think logically that we wouldn't see any money i.e. increases in our paychecks or retro payouts until November 1. This means that it will be a full five years of retroactive. That's the way I'm looking at it at this point in time.

Chaz said...


The reason the younger teachers don't think retro is important is that a quarter of the teachers were not in the system for the two years in question. Therefore, the retro is not as important to them.

I still believe that we will get what the environmental officers got but our union will settle for an inferior contract for the 2012-14 time period.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunitly i see mulgcrap negotating away money for what he calls"a reduction of paperwork,or better working conditions" that he will NEVER enforce.Teacher will get screwed two times over.

James Eterno said...

I agree Chaz on the 2011-14 years. Even if one is only in their second or third year, it is still a few thousand dollars in retro because the higher amounts from 2009-2011 would be included for 2011-2012, 2012-2013 salary charts and this year. The money owed all of us is nothing to sneeze at.

TeachmyclassMrMayor(andyoutooMrMulgrew) said...

There is no way I want them to settle anything but the one deal we are behind. Let the police, fire & sanitation lead the way for the next set of contracts. Support them anyway possible. We have already seen what this new administration thinks of our worth. Let them deal with the others first, since beyond anything else, despite all of the geniuses that lead the UFT, their lack of ability to do PR is mind boggling. Let the city go out and tell folks cops, etc. are not worth what is being asked for, that should go over well.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with your line of thought.

Anonymous said...

I agree also. Given the track record of this union and it's propensity to give things away like candy, I'd say settle the 4% and 4% with no givebacks for the '09 and '10 years, and let PD, FD, and sanitation pave the way, allow us to get a decent pattern for '11, '12, and '13.

UrbanEd said...

I'm sure PD, FD and SD are saying the same thing about us!

Anonymous said...

Nobody except the mayor, Mulgrew and Cuomo think the UFT should go first. Let PBA set pattern.

Michael Fiorillo said...

Until shown otherwise, I think De Blasio generally wants to do right by us, but he's going to be under pressure from elites to extract givebacks fof some kind, even with the cover of the fact-finder's report.

The problem is, the UFT has already given our enemies much of what they want: APPR, VAM, Danielson.

It will be interesting to see how City Hall and 52 Broadway solve that dilemma; hopefully not on our backs.

Unitymustgo! said...

Unfortunately I do think we (UFT) will set the pattern. I could see a scenario where games are played to lower the arrears we are owed in exchange for an ok pattern for everyone else. Not great pattern mind you but acceptable enough that not everyone will hate us. Maybe 2+2+2? They'll tack on the 4+4 we are owed at the end. I can hear the semantics being played now. You are getting the 8% you were owed, your salary will be exactly where it's supposed to be. Yes while true, the deal will dramatically shrink the amount of arrears we are owed. The UFT will claim victory for getting some level of arrears and the 8% increase to salary, Deblasio will be able to claim victory for shrewdly significantly lowering the arrears. My prediction is all of this will be played out very quickly in the beginning of June, when the UFT (Unity party) will announce that we finally have an agreement. They will explain how wonderful it is, how it's the best we could ever hope for, and in addition and most importantly (for them), they will tie in changes to the evaluation system. This last part is the UFT being shrewd. This will allow them to claim the need to simply approve and pass this contract ASAP, otherwise the evaluation changes can't be implemented for Sept. I can hear that pitch already also: "you don't want the evaluation to stay the same do you?" It's sad really. There will be some level of grumbling, but most will swallow it in order to change the evaluation system.

Anonymous said...

I would vote no on that.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody have any "inside word" about what might happen in regard to circular 6 duties or extended day/time use? If I am not mistaken, these are topics that can be modified under our contract.

James Eterno said...

Don't know about any of that. All we report on is what is out there in the press and our knowledge of what has happened in the past.

Anonymous said...

Thanks James. I guess my question should be: Does anybody know if the topic of circular 6 duties came up during the last round of collective bargaining? In other words, are the arguments/demands that the DOE and the UFT bring up at the bargaining table ever become public documents? Is this info foilable?