UFT Contract Fight Drags On
Wait, didn’t the city and Union come to terms on a new UFT Contract??
Then what’s this fight about?
As we outlined here, there are more retirees than expected. According to the Teachers’ Retirement System, there was a 48 percent increase in retirements by UFT members employed by the DOE at the end of the 2013-14 school year compared to the end of the previous school year.
So, the city has a shortfall of about $60 million budgeted for teacher backpay, specifically the lump sum including the 2 4% raises for retirees who left the system before June 30, 2014.
So… are the retirees getting their backpay?
That’s what the city is working out right now. The mediator is saying they should.
Who’s the mediator?
The same guy who did the UFT Contract arbitration, as we mention here. He’s also handling the CSA backpay mediation, as we mention in this post here. Martin Sheinman is his name. He says he can easily rewrite the terms of the contract to find the money. “Out of a multi-year package costing billions of dollars, such modification shall not be difficult and shall be relatively minor,” he wrote. “I also conclude such an approach would be reasonable, equitable and would serve the purpose for which the Settlement Fund was created.”
So, he’s familiar with all sides?
What kind of settlement are the retirees expecting to get?
A lump sum. That hasn’t changed. “During the contract ratification process, the UFT explained that all its retirees who were in service at the time covered by the contract would receive full retroactivity for the two 4 percent wage increases arising from the 2009-2011 period. The union said that the retroactive monies would arrive in a one-time, lump-sum payment to those submitting retirement papers by June 30, 2014. http://www.uft.org/news/arbitrator-help-resolve-retiree-retro-issue
What’s the UFT say about it?
See this post here. Michael Mulgrew says: “An arbitrator has now said that our members should receive all the money they are entitled to,” he said. “We accept his offer to quickly work out the details. We appreciate working with the city getting this contract done and will now work out this detail to make sure everyone is made whole.”
So, they’re getting the whole retro pay?
Well… the city’s obligation to pay retirees ends at $180 million. But, again, that’s $60 million short of what’s needed. The UFT and city are looking to this mediation to steer them towards an equitable resolution. In other words, Sheinman is going to see if shifting the terms of the contract can allow him to find the money needed to pay the full amount.
What UFT Contract terms will get changed to find the $60 million??
Where can I read more?
Chalkbeat says “Teachers who retired between 2009 and 2014 will receive the retroactive pay they were promised, even after a rush of retirees threatened to drain the city’s reserves for those payments.”
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