Thursday, June 21, 2018


Paid Parental Leave is only controversial in NYC at this blog because all active UFT members will be paying for it by extending the contract, not the city. I don't see the cost as prohibitive for us but the city has an $8 billion surplus so why should teachers pay a dime for this?

I asked about Seattle in yesterday's post. Out there the government picked up the cost for Paid Family Leave for its employees. That's how it should be in NYC too. Mayor Bill de Blasio says he wants to make NYC the fairest city in America. Paid Family Leave is much better than just Paid Parental Leave because any employee can use it to care for a sick relative. It's not just to take care of infants. Perhaps the Emerald City in the Pacific Northwest is too far away and too progressive to have much bearing on NYC.

What about college professors in SUNY? Are they close enough to matter for us on this issue?

New York State has budget problems unlike NYC. The state had a $4.4 billion budget hole to close as of January. The budget was eventually balanced without that much difficulty which is not surprising. In this fiscally tight atmosphere, Governor Andrew Cuomo could have easily cried poverty when dealing with the SUNY union, the United University Professions. Instead, Cuomo intervened for whatever reason and found funding for a wide ranging Paid Family Leave benefit as part of the UUP contract last month that also includes 2% annual salary increases. The benefit will pay up to 67% of average salary for up to 12 weeks. Again, this is part of the contract so it is a new benefit on top of a raise. That's called a union gain.

This is from the Chief Leader. Fred Kowal is the UUP President.

The union, whose membership is 53 percent female, did not have to make any concessions to obtain the benefit, according to Mr. Kowal. He praised Mr. Cuomo for the state’s willingness to work with the union on the issue.

“The Governor had made a firm commitment that he wanted this for municipal employees,” he said.

The UFT settling for a narrow Paid Parental Leave as an extension of the contract set the precedent that UFT members will have to pay for Paid Family Leave in NYC. We now have a 0% increase for about 30% of a school year thanks to the UFT twice extending the present contract. We will surely get hosed by the city if we want to expand Paid Parental Leave to Paid Family Leave. It's not coming for free like at SUNY.

Wouldn't the UFT  and other city unions have been wiser to wait until the contract was up and make this part of the next settlement rather than do this on the eve of Janus as more of a public relations move than anything else? We could have used the UUP settlement with SUNY as a precedent and waged a real fight for a comprehensive Paid Family Leave benefit.

We would have had to use these simple words in negotiations:
"UUP got  comprehensive Paid Family Leave with the state; the city is in much better financial shape compared to the state; we demand Paid Family Leave too at the city's expense." In union negotiations parlance, "ME TOO!" Then, put on a full court press asking if teaching parents in NYC are not valued like college professor parents at SUNY.

Don't call us Monday morning quarterbacks and tell me that I should have said this beforehand. Read our June 6 post. We hoped the UFT and other city unions would use the state precedent and ram it home with the city's better financial position but the UFT as usual accepted the city's terms although we can say they were modified a bit so it really looks like a wash. Much more to come when contract is settled.


Anonymous said...

Looks like everyone burned themselves out on this yesterday and gave up. Deal still not so good today.

Anonymous said...

So the city is saving by not giving us a raise? But the UFT is paying the parental leave? So I'm assuming the city will give the UFT the money we would have received between November and February. So did Mulgrew just figure out how to get a free loan to keep the UFT afloat if Janus turns out bad and we lose people? Uft would get ten of millions up front, but would only pay out a little each year.

Anonymous said...

Maybe 5% leave. Unity can pull things together beautifully.

Anonymous said...

Parental Leave is a SCAM!!!!! (Some quick analysis)

I wanted to be excited about the new "Parental Leave," and like many of my friends on Facebook was. I am a foster parent, I have adopted several children and I plan to have more in the future. I am not a woman hating man either, I supported a leave that worked for "most"...but the details are horrible here!

1. The City is just trying to save the UFT and the UFT got $51 million dollars every year forever from the city. You will NOT be paid by the city, you will be paid by the Welfare Fund. The city funnels the money into the Welfare fund, the UFT pays out a little of it and keeps the rest as their slush fund.

2. Unpaid leave is NOT pensionable! Again, you don't get paid by the NYC DOE, you get paid from the UFT. So the Parental Leave time will not count towards your service.

3. You do NOT have to use your CAR a matter of fact I was told you can’t unless you are a “birth mother.” So there is no way to get the time pensionable or as part of your DOE salary if you are near retirement.

4. We are all paying for it, and a lot. A one year raise at 2% for the UFT is estimated by the IBO to cost $240 million dollars. 73 days of lost raises is $48,000,000 dollars a year in perpetuity. My question is, what happens when our salaries grow, but the contributions to the Welfare Fund by the city don't? The UFT now has an incentive NOT to fight for higher raises for us, this benefit could strip the Welfare Fund bare in the future!

5. The city and UFT have you by the proverbial chain. If you take the benefit then you must return for 12 months or pay it back in full.

6. There's a lot hidden about who will be eligible: "If you have taken other leaves of absence prior to the parental leave, you should contact your UFT borough office with questions about their eligibility." It sounds like a smaller and smaller group will ever see the lauded benefits here.

7. For foster and adoption the child must be under 6. Trust me, a 7 year old needs just as-much if not more bonding time than a 2 year old.

8. If two parents work for the UFT they only get a total of 6 weeks they can use. So you both have to pay for it with 73 days of no raises, but you can't both benefit from it!

9. If you receive your child/Have your baby during the summer you may lose all or part of the benefit. A man, woman adopting, people fostering, etc. only gets 6 weeks, so there is a large swath of the year(summer) you would not benefit. Again, the UFT walks away with $51 million every year forever and most of us get NOTHING!

10. Our chance at paid FMLA leave is gone. The UFT settled for nothing! Remember, this is only for parents, not for personal illness, taking care of a sick family members, etc. like NYS mandates for private employees now.

I am sure there are a lot more bombs to come when the full details see the light of day. The UFT is by far the biggest winner, watch closely, the Welfare Fund will not payout $51 million dollars for decades...but they will hire 100’s of Unity Hacks to administer the money!

But rest assured, NYC gave us nothing! We ALL paid for it with our own money! Michael Mulgrew and UFT are horrible negotiators, they go in with a dollar of OUR MONEY and come out with ten-dimes for themselves and call it a win.

David Irons

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU ANNO 10:11! Your points about the fact that we are going to have to pay for this forever is exactly what I have been telling all the clueless teachers at my school. They are all super duper giggly and all want to get pregnant now so they can take a "paid" leave. This is disgusting. As a childless woman who does not want kids, why should I now forever loose decent future raises to pay for irresponsible parents who obviously can't afford to have a kid with their own savings?

Anonymous said...

As an out of the classroom teacher for a bunch of years why did I have to pay for class sizes of 32? Screw them and let them have 40 and give us a raise.

Anonymous said...

UFT creates a pattern that all city workers are now stuck with That is worse than the state pattern. State in financial trouble while city having great times. Precedent set now workers pay for this in city. Precedent is government pays for it in state. Only way Mulgrew wins is if he gets much bigger raise than 2% a year in next contract. I doubt that happens.

Anonymous said...

People are afraid to be labeled anti women if they Don't support paid parental leave. That is what it comes down to.