While UFT members are waiting an extra fifteen days to see money that is contractually owed to us on October 1, 2015, our union president is pulling out the oldies but goodies as he explains the delay in the retro payments in his latest email to the members (see below).
First, President Michael Mulgrew pulls former Mayor Bloomberg out of his hat by saying, "Michael Bloomberg set aside no money in the city budget to pay for the two 4% increases for 2009 and 2010 that other city workers received." What President Mulgrew neglects to mention is that while the labor reserve was left empty by our former Mayor, the actual city budget has been in great shape. In fact, the city recently ended the 2015 fiscal year with a $5.9 billion surplus. Moving that money over to pay us what we are owed based on pattern bargaining would have been easy. By yet again bringing up the implication that the city was broke and couldn't afford to pay us the money they owed us from 2009 and 2010 right now, our union President really thinks we are not that bright.
Mulgrew then states: "All active UFT members who worked for the Department of Education between 2009 and 2015 (plus those who retired after June 30, 2014) will receive a lump-sum payment of 12.5%, representing one-eighth of the amount they have accrued between 2009 and 2015. The payment, which will be added to a regularly scheduled paycheck, will be the first of five lump-sum payments between this October and 2020." We understand that we have to wait until 2017 for the next payout and then the bulk of the money will come in 2018 and then in 2019 and 2020. Half of the money is scheduled to come after the contract has already expired. Mulgrew then once again shows he is working more for Mayor Bill de Blasio than for us.
The contract says in Paragraph 1E, "Lump sum payments stemming from the 2009-2011 Round and schedule for actives for those continuously employed as of the day of the payout.
i. 10/1/15 - 12.5%
ii. 10/1/17 - 12.5%
iii. 10/1/18 - 25%
iv. 10/1/19 - 25%
v. 10/1/20 - 25%"
Now I am not a lawyer but it says pretty clearly that the date of the payout is October 1, 2015 so any reasonable interpretation of that language would mean that the money should be deposited in our accounts on October 1, 2015 but that is not how Mulgrew reads this language.
Instead, he tells us, "For active teachers, paraprofessionals and other pedagogues, the money will be part of your Oct.15 check, the first regular paycheck after Oct. 1. For nurses, therapists and other members who are paid on the H-Bank, the money will be in your Oct.23 check. If you are on leave this October, you will receive your money on the date of the next scheduled payment that you are back on payroll. Per session and F-status will be paid on Nov. 2."
The contract doesn't say the money will be paid on the first regular paycheck after October 1 Mr. President. It says the date of the payout is October 1. I wonder if the city will accrue interest by holding our money for two more weeks or three more weeks or over a month in the case of per session?
If I was the UFT President, I would be holding the city to the letter of the law and demanding two days pay in fines for every day they are late in paying us our money. This is a breach of contract. The city would have no qualms about fining us two days pay for every day we are out on strike.
As for employees on leave having to wait until 2017 for any retroactive money, it says in the contract that members are owed money if they are "continuously employed as of the date of the payout." Why does going on a leave mean that someone is no longer continuously employed? Those on a leave have not resigned.
The city took us for such a ride with this inadequate contract where the UFT set the pattern of 10% over seven years (extended to 7 years, 1 month by an arbitrator to pay the lump sum retroactive money to retirees who left before July 1, 2014) that other city workers have had to swallow. (Other city employees received their 2009-11 money in those years. They aren't waiting until 2020.) Why can't the city throw the UFT a little bone and pay people who are out on a child care, medical or other unpaid leave now? How much would it cost? I would have hoped the UFT would fight for these members, many who are the most in need of the money.
Mulgrew then tells us the calculations could be complicated and then truly insults us by saying we have a piggy bank that we can make our first withdrawal from on October 15. Let me tell you something Mr. President: having the city hold our money until 2020 while the city budget is producing whopping surpluses is crazy. In addition, the Mulgrew piggy bank pays us 0% interest so inflation eats away at that money.
What is truly baffling is why anyone would be happy with this deal and how Mulgrew and his Unity Caucus can stand for reelection in 2016 based on it.
Our previous mayor tried to make it impossible for the next administration to give educators the raises they deserve. He failed in that mission. This October, you will receive the first lump-sum payment associated with those raises in your paycheck.
Michael Bloomberg set aside no money in the city budget to pay for the two 4 percent increases for 2009 and 2010 that other city workers received. Despite the virtually empty labor reserve that Mayor de Blasio inherited, we figured out a way in the 2014 contract to make our members whole.
All active UFT members who worked for the Department of Education between 2009 and 2015 (plus those who retired after June 30, 2014) will receive a lump-sum payment of 12. 5 percent, representing one-eighth of the amount they have accrued between 2009 and 2015. That payment, which will be added to a regularly scheduled paycheck, will be the first of five lump-sum payments between this October and 2020.
For active teachers, paraprofessionals and other pedagogues, the money will be part of your Oct. 15 check, the first regular paycheck after Oct. 1. For nurses, therapists and other members who are paid on the H-Bank, the money will be in your Oct. 23 check. If you are on leave this October, you will receive your money on the date of the next scheduled payment that you are back on payroll. Per-session and F-status will be paid on Nov. 2.
You don’t need to have been on the job in 2009 or 2010 to be eligible for this payout. Every UFT member who has been continually employed by the DOE at any time between Nov. 1, 2009, and Oct. 1, 2015 and is active on Oct. 1 will receive a lump-sum payment in October. Teachers who have been on top salary for that entire time will receive a gross payment of between $5,000 and $6,000.
Your TDA will be updated, along with all other payroll contributions and deductions.
While the calculations can be complicated, the truth is simple: You deserve this money.
For every check you have received since late 2009 until today, lump-sum money has accrued representing the difference between what you would have been paid if your paycheck had reflected those two 4 percent increases in 2009–10 and what you were actually paid.
Think of it as a large piggybank. If you have been continually employed, you have been depositing money in this piggybank since Nov. 1, 2009 and will continue to deposit money until the two 4 percent increases are fully phased in in 2018. This October, you’ll make your first withdrawal.
Check the special Contract 2014 section of the UFT website for more information about the pay increases in the contract. If you have questions about your lump-sum payment, we encourage you to speak to a salary rep at your borough office. For issues that cannot be resolved in this way, you can file a Lump Sum Inquiry Form.
Thank you for everything that you do.