Wednesday, May 17, 2017


The following question was asked at the May Delegate Assembly to UFT President Michael Mulgrew.

From our report:
Question: City has surplus. Can we get lump sum payments early? (payments we will be getting in October of 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 for work we did from 2009-2011 that other unions received in those years)
Mulgrew Answer: Other unions had to pay to get lump sum payments on time. Ours is too large. We can't get it early.

This is how NYC Educator recorded the same question and answer:

CL--City has surplus--can we get lump sum payments early?
[Mulgrew]: Issue is our lump sum payment is so large, other unions were much smaller, city made them pay to get in on time. Some unions gave up Welfare Fund payments. Sorry, can't be early.

Is Mulgrew accurate that our payments are too huge. One of our readers asked an expert at the city's Independent Budget Office. The expert's answer was posted here on December 23. I will repeat it fully below to invalidate Mulgrew's statement that the payment is too large. The cost to the city was estimated at a maximum of $560 million according to the IBO expert but would actually be less because those who resign or are terminated do not get the payments.

The FY 2018 NYC Executive Budget is $84.86 Billion according to the city's Budget Summary. Our $560 million (less because of attrition) would cost the city a little over a half of one percent (.00656% to be a little more precise) of its budget if we were paid back in full this fiscal year. We would not put the city in bankruptcy but the UFT won't even ask for what is rightfully ours.

We have already ascertained that negotiating is not one of Michael Mulgrew's chief talents. I think we can safely conclude that math is not one of his major skills either. Then again, 75% of teachers and 77% of UFT members trusted the union that this was the best we can do and voted for the contract. People like me were not able to convince the masses to vote no. I only got a near unanimous no vote at Jamaica (one abstention from someone who was about to retire).

December 23, 2016 ICE Blog Posting:

I sometimes can still be a little surprised by the extent to which the UFT was taken to the cleaners by the city and the Department of Education in the last contract in 2014. A reader wrote to the Independent Budget Office to find out how much our lump sum payments would cost the city.

This is the money we worked for between 2009 and 2011 that we essentially loaned to the city. NYC is paying us back with no interest in installments. The first payment was in 2015. We get nothing this year but the remainder of the loan will be paid back in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.

How much will this cost the city?

The IBO expert estimated the maximum our loan will cost the city is $560 million but said it would be less because of all the UFT members who will resign or be terminated by 2020 and so won't be paid back in full.

Overall, the city is planning to spend $82 billion in this fiscal year. Paying back our loan will not even cost the city anywhere close to 1% of the budget. Add the large reserves the city has and there is little doubt that we are being ripped off big time by the 2014 contract.

I do not expect the city to feel sorry for us and give us our money back early but how could teachers not be angry about being ripped off so badly compared to other city employees who had this money years ago? We still only have half of the salary increases other city employees received from 2008-2010 added to our regular checks. The full amount won't be added until May 2018. 

From the Independent Budget Office:
I am replying to your email sent to Ronnie Lowenstein regarding the “bonus” payments to be made to members of the UFT as per the collective bargaining agreement of 2014.  I assume in referring to bonus payments you are in fact referring to the retroactive lump sums to be paid out on October 1st of 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.

While IBO does not have an exact cost for how large these retroactive lump sums will be, because they are directly linked to the number of union members who will be employed on the days the payments are scheduled to be made, we can estimate the maximum cost of these lump sums based upon the total PS costs for pedagogical employees in 2009-2011.  Based upon the total PS costs from those years we estimate that the entire lump sum payment would be a maximum of $560 million if every member were to remain employed by the DOE through 10/1/20

This total would translate to a maximum of $70 million paid out in 2017 and $140 million paid out in 2018 – 2020.  These funds, if not already accounted for in DOE’s financial plan, would increase the city-funds portion of DOE’s budget by less than one percent in 2017 and around one percent in each subsequent year.   

IBO has not made any estimates about what the final cost of this portion of UFT’s collective bargaining agreement would be although we assume, as a result of attrition and other separations, that it will somewhat less than the $560 million.   

While I can’t say for certain, and I am looking into it further, I do believe that these costs are included in DOE’s financial plan.  As you surmised there likely is no breakdown of PS funding which would allow you to see the budget for regular salary segregated from these lump sums.  If I am able to find any more clarity on this issue I will keep you informed.

Thank you for reaching out, if you have any furthers questions or concerns feel free to contact me.


Anonymous said...

I don't care about getting the little people their money early (which is really late), but please remember to contribute to COPE. You nimrods are so lucky to have me. I want every UFT member to send a card and bouquet of flower to Carmen if she retires. Without her my job would be much more difficult. At least she talks to me and in appreciation I always agree. Get some rest this summer, you're going to need it.

Anonymous said...

One can safely conclude that mulgrew is the new Randi weingarten.

Sell members out and lie through your teeth

Another part of the mulgrew ideology is have lackeys like Amy Arundell withold information.

Anonymous said...

Also sad for our union is that we are now finding out that the UFT did not get our parking permits back it was the principals union which won a court battle for the parking permits. Just so happens Diblasio gave all nycdoe employees their parking permits back but it was not the UFT that made it happen yet the UFT made it appear as though the UFt did make it happen. Are they really treating us like pawns?

Anonymous said...

$315 a year? They cant afford it? But every year a new $800 phone? 12 pairs of sneakers that cost $220 each? What about the $3k parties for a 16 year olds 2 year old? What about those baby showers?
The United Federation of Teachers took part in a rally on City Hall steps Monday, May 15, 2017, in support of universal free lunch for all New York City students.

“As teachers, we know what happens when children don’t get a real meal at lunchtime. We don’t want children skipping a meal because they are embarrassed, or because they are afraid it will be a burden on their family finances,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew. “We have the opportunity to make a relatively small investment that will have a big impact on our students, and their families. Cities from Boston to Dallas have already found ways to do this for their students. New York City needs to step up and do the same for our students.”

A recent analysis by the Citizens’ Committee for Children found 110,000 city students come from families that earn too much to qualify for a free school lunch, but who still struggle to pay the roughly $315 a year it costs a family to pay for lunch for one child.

Michael Fiorillo said...

"We have already ascertained that negotiating is not one of Michael Mulgrew's chief talents."

Quite true, but what talents does this man have? After observing him since 2009, it's clear he is complete non-entity, and putty in the hands of Tweed, Cuomo, Moskowitz, Principals From Hell and every other affliction faced by teachers.

Is that why Weingarten chose him?

Anonymous said...

His chief talent is getting members to buy his bullshit. That takes skill Michael F.

Anonymous said...

Common guys I just got your parking back and that huge 4.5% raise! Show a little gratitude, for Randi's shake!

Anonymous said...

I hope and pray that the Supreme Court takes the Janue vs AFSCME case in the Fall 2017 term. This way be get to stop our union dues sooner than later.

Anonymous said...

There must be a good reason why Mulgrew negotiated a contract with a bunch of IOU's. Unfortunately it sure does not appear we will see any of these payments earlier even though we could use leverage to do so.

Anonymous said...

Listen guys Carmen and I can't get the principals to hire you loser ATRs so it looks like the pool goes on even though I signed off on the agreement. Could you ATRs do me a favor and drop dead please?

Anonymous said...

It's true.

Anonymous said...

It's a failure, the city can't force principals to accept ATRs. After painting them so well they can't ge the paint off. No one wants them. Buy them out.

Anonymous said...

Mulgrews position on this issue makes perfect sense as long as you understand that he works for the mayor, not NYC teachers.
BTW- To commenter 9:40- Mulgrews real talent lies in the woodshop, where he is good at screwing on top of the workbench.

Anonymous said...

Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Location: Dallas BBQ Times Square at 241 W. 42nd St. Directions »

Districts 75 and 79 cordially invite you to a meeting and informal conversation with UFT President Michael Mulgrew.

This was sent out with restricted invite numbers per chapter and RSVP on first come first serve basis.
Apparently he meets small groups at restaurants --

Anonymous said...

To tell them his bs.

Anonymous said...

The City took every UFT member to the cleaners & Mulgrew let it happen. His excuse was if we didn't accept the contract we would go to the back of the line. DiBlasio hasMulgrew in his pocket. I just recently listened to the TRS public meeting and over 230 people are retiring as of 7/1/17. Now the City gets to hire brand new teachers who are stuck with Tier 6 and no lump sum payments. The City is saving a bundle. The City just has to wait for people to quit or be terminated or for retirees to pass away and not pay any retro. We should all thank Mulgrew for saving the City a bundle. What's going to happen in the next contract? The City will be broke by then and Mulgrew will believe it. Somebody has to be padding Mulgrew's pockets.