The Chief Leader is the place to turn to for thorough analysis of city labor deals. The Chief does a lengthy review of the DC 37 pattern setting contract that was agreed to last week and must be ratified now by the members.
This contract is important to all city employees including UFT members because city labor contracts are basically done for each round of collective bargaining through what is called pattern bargaining. One municipal union settles on a contract with the city with annual raises of a certain percentage and then the rest of the municipal employee unions basically receive the same salary increases in their own contracts. Uniformed unions often receive a better deal by about 1% but the pattern has been upheld by arbitration panels over and over again. That will not change.
The UFT is a civilian, not a uniformed union, so the terms DC 37 agreed to will basically be our financial terms. We can get more only if the city agrees to extend the length of the contract or if we all agree on working a longer day and/or year.
What did DC 37 get?
From the Chief Leader:
District Council 37 June 26 became the first municipal union to reach terms on a new contract in the current round of bargaining, agreeing to raises of 7.25 percent over a 44-month period retroactive to last Sept. 26, small improvements in welfare-fund and other benefit payments, and a family-leave program modeled on a recent state deal.
Here is the wage breakdown:
There are healthcare concessions here that were agreed to by the entire Municipal Labor Committee so they will directly impact on UFT members.
The (DC 37) agreement was actually reached a day before the press conference, with an announcement deferred because it was contingent upon completion of a deal aimed at producing $1.7 billion in health-care savings over four years involving all municipal unions. This was a continuation of an accord reached 49 months earlier that had easily surpassed its target of $3.4 billion in savings. A key element of producing the new savings will be an agreement the umbrella group for the unions on health benefits, the Municipal Labor Committee, and city negotiators reached with EmblemHealth that will cap health-care increases at 3.5 percent next year and 3 percent in 2020.
Several areas of savings represent expansions of programs implemented as part of the 2014 deal to meet the larger cost-cutting goal. They include greater use of health clinics or doctors’ offices rather than hospitals—with no additional charges for employee health-care premiums—for procedures such as arthroscopies, colonoscopies, cataract removals, radiology and ambulatory surgery. A new fertility support program will supplement wellness initiatives already in place to manage chronic conditions like asthma and diabetes, and prices will be cut for some drugs.
In addition, new employees will be put on HIP for year one. So much for keeping your own doctor if she/he is not in HIP.
If you don't believe me that the DC37 contract sets a pattern for the rest of us, maybe you will take the word of City Labor Commissioner Robert Linn who is quoted in the Chief Leader:
“I believe this is a framework for negotiations going forward with the rest of the workforce.”
City has an $8 billion surplus and we are funding some of our salary increases with health savings and there are still 8 months of 0% raises in the pattern setting agreement. Maybe, that .6% that is included for each local in DC37 to basically meet their needs will find its way into the overall UFT package for us to stop another zero.
Here's the DC 37 salary increase breakdown year-by-year:
September 26, 2017: 2%
September 26, 2018: 2.25%
October 26, 2019: 3%
Contract ends May 25, 2021.