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.