Looking through this piece from Capital New York, some labor experts expect the UFT to set the pattern for the next round of municipal union labor contracts. All of the municipal unions in the city are without contracts but the UFT and some other unions are also without a contract from the last round of bargaining.
Our contract expired in 2009. We would have to settle our arbitration for the last round and agree to a new contract for the current round to set a pattern for everyone else. The Pattern set by DC 37 in the last round was for two 4% increases without givebacks. The arrears (retroactive pay) owed to us from that time amounts to a small fortune which could be paid out over time. But, what about the next round?
Capital reports that the mayor's labor team has met with the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association and then says this:
But two labor sources from separate groups say they expect the city to set a pattern for contracts with the United Federation of Teachers instead.
“Bob Linn (chief labor negotiator for the city) is going to go to the teachers and say, ... 'Let's go forward and set a pattern.' … And that’ll be the pattern for the rest of us.”
The other source said, “If I was them, I would not do anything until I settle with the teachers and set a new pattern.”
That would mean a grand bargain that would settle two UFT contracts at once.
As for when we would get our arrears, here is what Capital says:
“There’s no group in municipal labor that doesn’t want this administration to succeed, and as a result of that I think we’re going to be very collegial,” the source said. “Do we want a raise? Yes. Do we want back money? Yes. Would we wait for the back money? I’m pretty sure we’d wait a long time for the back money.”
Would the UFT be better off settling one contract and letting the PBA go first in the next round?
If the UFT has the leverage of going first and probably settling for less money in the next round to set a favorable pattern for the city, then what should we ask for in return? How about going with the city to Albany to jointly lobby to repeal the new evaluation system law? (I know we would have to deal with possibly losing Race to the Top money but waivers are available.) We could write the provision so that the contract wouldn't go into effect unless the Legislature and Governor agreed to changes we seek.