Update: The two sides have reached a compromise. Students will make up five days. The strike is over.
The Tentative Agreement passed the House of Delegates by a vote of 362 to 242. That means there was a 40% no vote so it isn't overwhelmingly popular. Now it goes to the membership for a ratification vote. Here are some details right from CTU:
Tentative Agreement Highlights
Some major elements of the Tentative Agreement include:
A nurse in every school community every day.
A social worker in every school community every day.
Staffing Pipeline: $2.5 million in recruitment and training programs for clinicians, $2 million in tuition and licensure for nurses, increased investments in "grow your own" teacher pipeline programs and 50 percent tuition reimbursement for English Language and bilingual endorsement programs.
$35 million annually to reduce oversized K-12 classrooms across the district, prioritizing schools serving the most vulnerable students.
Unprecedented enforcement mechanisms for class size relief.
Sports Committee with an annual budget of $5 million (33 percent increase in annual funding) for increases to coaching stipends and new equipment/resources.
January 2019 0.8 percent increase in health care contribution rate rescinded as of 7/1/19; no plan changes to health insurance benefits and reductions in co-pays for mental health services and physical therapy.
Bank of sick days earned after July 1, 2012, increased from 40 to 244 days.
Development of special education Individual Education Plans (IEP) made solely by the IEP team; principals required to use substitutes or release time to provide adequate time for special education duties to the extent possible; common preparation periods with general education teachers where possible; special ed teachers last to be called to cover classes; $2.5 million annual fund to reduce workload.
Clarification on class size language
Many members have read the new language in Article 28 on Class Size and found the table and language confusing. We want to clarify how the new language improves on the class size language in our recently expired 2015-19 contract.
In that last contract, there were advisory class size limits for different grade levels. However, to relieve oversized classes only $6 million per year was allotted for the entire district. When a class was over the limit, the teacher would have to file for relief, a weak joint committee came and investigated. If there was money, and if there was will, the class might get a remedy.
In the tentative agreement, that protection still remains, but is strengthened. The same class size guidelines are maintained and the pool of money to remedy oversized classes is increased more than five times, from $6 million to $35 million. The committee also has more power to award remedies.
The truly new part, however, is the automatically triggered hard cap on class sizes. Those classes that are over the limit by a set amount (differing based on grade level) will be immediately and automatically referred to the committee and relief for the those classes is mandated in the contract. There will be no need for a teacher to report their class and ask for help, the committee will automatically come out to relieve the problem.
Some have mistakenly read the higher numbers as eliminating the previous class size guidelines and raising them to allow even larger classes. That isn’t so. This language keeps the previous numbers and improves the enforcement mechanism quite a bit. Once the automatically triggered classes have been relieved, there is still a larger pool of money to relieve classes that may be over the existing guideline, but under the automatic trigger mark. Those classes will need to request relief, but will still have the stronger committee come to their aid and there will be more money available to solve their problems.
On class size, a new joint council will be created to address overcrowding. The council will get weekly updated data and will have $35 million per year to address situations on a case-by-case basis.
Overcrowded classrooms will only get relief, however, when they hit certain hard caps. Those limits are: 32 students in a K-3 class, 35 kids in grades 4-8 and 32 students in core high school classes. The district’s guidelines for normal-sized classes — ones it says it “shall aspire to stay within” — are 32 for K-3, 31 for grades 4-8 and 25 for core high school classes.
So remedies for overcrowding will only kick in when there are 4 or 7 students above what a normal class should have, according to the agreement.
For other details, again we go to the Sun Times piece:
The deal approved by the governing board had a five-year term, the length the city had offered from the start of talks. The union had wanted a three-year deal.
It includes 16% raises over the life of the deal, and virtually no increase in healthcare costs.
The teachers had pushed hard for additional preparation time for elementary school teachers, but it appeared the only new prep time in the contract was for kindergarten teachers.
The union received a guarantee that there will be a full-time dedicated nurse and social worker in every school by July 2023 with staffing ramping up from now until then.
The deal included a “net zero” increase in the amount of board-authorized charter schools over the contract’s lifespan.
You can read the entire Tentative Agreement at this Sun Times link if you scroll down. It is amusing that the back of each page says " FOR CTU MEMBERS ONLY" but was leaked so we have it.
Meanwhile back in NYC, what looks like one of the only militant unions left, Transport Workers Union Local 100, held a massive rally yesterday. They have gone five months without a contract, not almost five years like us, and they are angry. They are also threatening action. TWU International leader John Samuelson is quoted in the Daily News article on the rally.
“This is the biggest rally Local 100 has ever had in my time here,” TWU International president John Samuelsen told The News.
Samuelsen said the union’s members are at their wit’s end with the MTA. While the union is not legally allowed to go on strike, the workers could take things into their own hands if they don’t get a new contract soon, he noted.
“I don’t think transit workers are going to wait months for their fair shake,” said Samuelsen. “I think this situation will organically spin out of control, and the workers will say they’re done.”
As for TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano and other TWU leaders talking strike:Local 100′s leaders said they are not officially planning a strike, but several of them shouted to the crowd that they will “shut it down” if the MTA does not meet their demands. They counted the crowd at roughly 5,000 members but said a late swell might have taken it up to 8,000 attendees.
While labor militancy is all around us, the UFT remains virtually silent on how its members are treated. Stop complaining and start organizing.