This one borders on the bizarre.
The United Federation of Teachers and the Department of Education when they negotiated our recent contract didn't think so many UFT members would retire. They under-funded the pool of money needed for full retroactive cash payments for people who retired by June 2014.
Apparently, both sides are surprised that so many people who were eligible to retire this June decided to actually leave.
According to Capital NY:
The two sides need to agree on how to pay union members who retired before June 30, 2014, because more teachers left than the contract had accounted for, both sides confirmed.
City Hall had set aside $180 million to pay lump sum retroactive wages to retiring teachers—a figure the union agreed to in June when it signed off on the nine-year deal that runs from 2009-2018. But the higher-than-anticipated retirement rate means the city may need to increase that total and negotiate how retroactive payments will be made to the additional retirees.
Capital previously reported 2,263 U.F.T. members applied for retirement in June, up from 1,484 applications in June of last year, according to figures provided by the New York City Teachers' Retirement System. (The figure includes CUNY instructors who are not covered by this contract.)
We here at ICE are shocked, just astonished (sarcasm alert) that so many people decided to leave and take the money up front now.
Here is the possible thinking of a teacher eligible to retire:
"Let's see I can retire now and get over $30,000 in back pay right away or I can retire and get it piecemeal without interest up through 2020 or I can stay in the system and be abused for a little longer and wait until 2020 to get all the money they owe me." After about five seconds of contemplation, the teacher concludes: "How do I get to 55 Waters Street to file my retirement papers and when will the total payment be put in my bank account?"
Yes, for some people the tax implications made them want to wait to get the payments they are owed but that was only a few.
What is truly scary is these people in the UFT and city government have a real say over so many aspects of our lives. They can't even figure out that if they throw money in front of beleaguered teachers who can retire and have often been abused in this system, most of them are going to take the money and run.
Now it will be interesting to see if the city tries to weasel out of paying the money now as Perdido Street School speculated they might do and then how will the UFT respond at that point? Another giveback?