Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Tentative Deal Announced on DOE-UFT Contract

 According to Harlem World Magazine:

Mayor Adams And UFT Reach Tentative Contract Agreement For NYC Educators

New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced that the City of New York has reached a tentative five-plus-year contract agreement with the United Federation of Teachers (UFT).

This agreement will cover approximately 120,000 municipal employees, bringing the total workforce under contract to approximately 66 percent.

The tentative agreement is retroactive, beginning on September 14, 2022, and expires on November 28, 2027. It conforms to the economic pattern established by the agreement with District Council (DC) 37 earlier this year, and includes wage increases of three percent for each of the first three years of the contract, 3.25 percent in the fourth year, and 3.50 percent in the fifth year. The agreement also includes a $3,000 lump sum ratification bonus for all UFT members and a first-of-its-kind annual retention payment to be paid in May of each year, beginning with $400 in 2024, $700 in 2025, and $1,000 in 2026 and every year thereafter. These payments will help the city retain its valuable educators, especially those earning lower annual salaries.

The tentative agreement also establishes New York City public schools as the first major school system in the nation to offer an expansive voluntary virtual learning program, ultimately available to all high school students and at least some middle school students. This virtual learning program will give students access to a much broader set of course offerings across the city and the ability to take classes at non-traditional times, like evenings and weekends, and is not a substitute for in-person learning. Additionally, this groundbreaking initiative will allow New York City public schools to expand course offerings to students who don’t currently have access to the full range of accelerated courses, and to reach students for whom traditional in-person schedules don’t work, for example students with full-time jobs. Further, teachers leading virtual classes will have the option of teaching from locations that work best for their class. Virtual classes will be offered through a citywide program as well as through school-based programs.

“Our city’s educators work each and every day to provide a brighter future for our children and our city, and they deserve to be paid a fair wage,” said Mayor Adams. “Today’s agreement includes major victories, including wage increases and additional programs to retain our educators, along with groundbreaking new programs, like the option of a virtual learning program, to ensure our students receive a world-class education. I thank UFT President Michael Mulgrew, OLR Commissioner Renee Campion, and DOE Chancellor David Banks for reaching this historic agreement.”

“Thank you to UFT President Michael Mulgrew for working with the city on this contract that provide fair compensation to our teachers and other educators while delivering important programs to benefit our school children,” said New York City Office of Labor Relations Commissioner Renee Campion. “I also would like to thank Chancellor Banks and his team for their partnership in negotiating this contract.”

“Today marks a significant turning point in the history of public education in our city,” said New York City Department of Education (DOE) Chancellor David C. Banks. “The collaborative agreement between Mayor Adams and the UFT is a testament to the commitment and dedication we all share to uplift our students and enrich their lives. The wage increases and retention payments will strengthen our workforce by investing in our educators and their vital work. Equally exciting is our bold step into the future with the implementation of an expansive virtual-learning program. This program stands to provide equal opportunities for all our students, transcending traditional barriers and making education more accessible than ever before. The future of New York City public schools looks brighter today with this collaborative agreement, and I stand shoulder-to-shoulder with all of our educators as we set out on this transformative journey.”

“As our parents and community members know, the city’s public-school educators need to be respected, appropriately paid, and have more autonomy in how they do their jobs. This tentative contract accomplishes all these goals,” said Michael Mulgrew, president, UFT.

The tentative agreement must be ratified by UFT’s membership, and would apply to teachers, paraprofessionals, school secretaries, guidance counselors, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, staff nurses, and supervisors of school security.

The total cost of the tentative UFT agreement through Fiscal Year 2027 will be $6.4 billion, which is funded in the labor reserve in the proposed Fiscal Year 2024 Executive Budget.

In addition to wage increases planned over the next five-plus years, the tentative agreement includes:

  • Annual Retention Payments: UFT members will receive a retention payment of $400 in May of 2024, $700 in May of 2025, and $1,000 in May of 2026 and every May thereafter.
  • Virtual Learning Program: The DOE will offer an expansive voluntary virtual learning program to all high school students and some middle school students. This program will allow for flexible class scheduling, like weeknights and weekends, and the opportunity for educators to teach virtually.

UFT members will receive the following compounded wage increases:

  • September 14, 2022: 3.00%
  • January 18, 2024: 3.00%
  • January 18, 2025: 3.00%
  • September 14, 2025: 3.25%
  • September 14, 2026: 3.50%