Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Here is a story from Capital NY about how the city has found an additional $2.6 billion in savings and revenue while adding much less in spending. 

Anyone who believed the cupboard was bare, as Michael Mulgrew told us when the contract was settled, just wasn't looking.

UFT members who voted for the contract on the belief that if we turned it down and went back to the negotiating table we would do worse are not looking like financial geniuses now either.

Our friend NYC Educator wrote a piece earlier on what he is thankful for this Thanksgiving.  I am fairly certain the mayor is thankful that he negotiated a pattern setting contract with the UFT's current Unity Caucus leadership and not the people in the opposition.

Harris Lirtzman filed this report on the added city revenues. We thank him for discovering the windfall which is kind of buried in the Capital NY account.

Funny, the City announced an unexpected $2.6 billion in additional debt service savings and tax revenues the day before Thanksgiving....almost like it didn't want anyone to find out that the joint is rolling in dough.

The City is "spreading" that sofa-cushion money over the next two fiscal years, again, just in case anyone, say a union contract negotiator, might realize it was there, now, in the bank account.

This spring, the UFT wouldn't listen to those of us who were warning it not to buy the City's claim of imminent financial disaster.

Our union might have got the retro payment in two or three years, maybe even a lump sum, and, God forbid, have negotiated an actual raise instead of a signing bonus for 2011-12.  It could even have delivered on its promise to retirees to pay the lump-sum in July rather than reopening the contract five months later in order to have an arbitrator rummage around in the contract to find them their additional $60 million somewhere.

We can all bemoan the fact that our beloved union is run like a one-party state.

I don't think we can forgive our union leadership for failing at its primary responsibility--social justice or no social justice--which is to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement that doesn't sell its members short because of incompetence.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.



Anonymous said...

Imagine what they might find before Christmas!

Abigail Shure

Zulma, NYC retired math teacher & former Chapter Leader said...

Thank you Harry for your astute eye and for being the financial watchdog that the rank-and-file needs to have by their side.

Will share this info with my colleagues on my listserv.

Anonymous said...

I was at the UFT retirement dinner on Tuesday. Mulgrew
used the occaision to tout his own horn about the new contract. He proudly announced the retirees would get their retro pay in February completely forgetting he said
everyone would be made whole by Thanksgiving.

Anonymous said...

Thanksgiving, February, next June what's the difference? Most of you voted for the pile of manure that is the contract and most of you will vote for Mulgrew in the next UFT election. No accountability is what leads to this.

Anonymous said...

I feel that when Mulgrew thought he had a major moral victory when he won those 4%increases -after being denied by Bloomberg. Then it was like a bang-bang play as he just jammed this contract down people's throats via his UFT machine and webcasts/UFT propaganda sites along with the crazy pay charts etc-containing retro in the future. Yet, he's still blaming Bloomberg for the negotiated issues with the promised lump sum retro pay for retirees.

Anonymous said...

To the fourth commenter. Stop blaming the victims.

Anonymous said...

Retirees vote in UFT elections. They make up a Majority of the voters. Many people who could retire in June took the promise of the lump sum and ran for the exits and most will vote for Mulgrew in 2016 while the rest of us get hammered in the schools. Reality is not fun.

Anonymous said...

Those people who could retire in June voted for the contract. I admire some who took a principled stand and voted against their own personal interest by saying no on the contract. If more teachers took these principled stand, we would all be in much better shape.

Anonymous said...

The city transferred to the DOE the180 million for 2009-2014 retirees September 30th.We need our union to see to it that retirees be given 75% of what we were promised now while the arbitrator arranges for the promised 60 million .There is no logical reason retirees should have to wait till February to receive a payment while there is a 180 million fund being held that was allocated .What is happening with the fund ?What are our legal rights?

Anonymous said...

Can we even trust that ?

Anonymous said...

I am living on the poverty line . After 27 years
Please just get me what you can before Christmas.