Since 2009, New York teachers, represented by the United Federation of Teachers, have been working without a contract, disputing their pay with the city and previous Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, for 5 years. That dispute is now coming to a close as both teachers and current Mayor Bill de Blasio are on the verge of announcing a deal.
Mayor de Blasio postponed a major announcement about his affordable-housing plan to work on the agreement. Officials, who wished to remain anonymous because it has not been finalized, said that the deal, in which both sides would announce a 9-year contract, could be disclosed at City Hall on Thursday.
“We’re just finalizing the language,” said a teachers’ union official. “It could be very soon.”
The United Federation of Teachers was seeking $3.4 billion in back pay, claiming that they should have received the same raises that most other city unions had received. These retroactive raises would now be given (though over many years), according to an official.
The deal would also address other major educational issues such as evaluating teacher’s performance by student test results, the length of the school day, and the pool of approximately 1,000 teachers who are still being paid although their jobs have been eliminated due to school closings or other reasons.
The 9-year contract would date from November 1, 2009, when the union’s contract expired, and extend for another four and a half years (until after the next mayoral election in 2017).
But a concern from the very beginning has been that the other 151 municipal unions, also without contracts, will want to begin negotiating deals as well. Last week subway and bus workers reached a deal with the city for a raise of 11 percent over 6 years.
“These discussions are just one part of the process,” said an anonymous senior administration official. “They’re an important part of a much larger conversation that still has a long way to go. We’re looking at a comprehensive approach to labor negotiations.”
Current salaries for New York public school teachers range from $45,000 to $100,000.
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