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New UFT Contract Ratified

December 16, 2006 pm31 7:39 pm

The American Arbitration Association completed its count, showing that the new United Federation of Teachers contract was approved by about 90%, though I can’t find the exact numbers, and there are separate counts for the separate contracts (Teachers, Paras, Secretaries, Counselors, etc)

Update: Teachers 89.6%, Paras 92.7%, School Secy’s 94.0%, Counselors 91.0%. (Courtesy of this post on EdWize) (Second update: if Edwize’s raw numbers are correct, then some of their percentages are a little off. Careful!)

The current contract expires October 2007, and the new one picks up there, and runs through October 2009 (25 months).

This contract was negotiated by a 300-member Negotiating Committee, made up of over 50% teachers (I believe). I was on it, and will write a little bit more about the experience in a couple of days. In short, I don’t think we got a better contract because of this mode of negotiating, but I don’t think we did any worse, and the involvement of teachers is a big positive.

Details follow —————->

There are increases totalling 7.1%. There is a $1000 “longevity” payment for teachers with 5 – 9 years experience. There is a one-time pre-contract $750 payment. I am not yet sure how we will receive the $750 (part of a regular check? separate check?) and of course I am happy to have extra $$$ in my pocket, but up-front money, in my opinion, is sucker money, meant to distract us from the overall agreement. I would rather something permanent, anything permanent, even if it were tiny (but too late now, what’s done is done, and I will enjoy the $750 just like everyone else).

The new maximum teacher salary will be over one hundred thousand dollars. This is very real for our most senior teachers, but purely symbolic for the vast majority, since most of our teachers do not see their 10th year of service, let alone their 23rd.

(We should know what the median years of service and the mean years of service are. We should know how many teachers quit after 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 years. I figure that about half the teachers in the system have fewer than 5 years, but I do not know this.)

The Peer Intervention Program was weakened in a serious way, but I am not sure how many teachers will be affected.

Attendence Teachers in Reserve (essentially excessed teachers who now serve as subs in a school they are permanently assigned to) can now be offered cash to quit and give up the license. This is bad. These are not unsatisfactory teachers. It is a DoE tactic to ship away at tenure. And we should not have bought into it.

But, overall, this is a neutral contract. By getting it done early, we buy ourselves time to strengthen ourselves (our chapters) for the next round of negotiations. The $1000 for 5-year teachers is a help, albeit small. The ATR business hurts. Because if we are going to stand up to the DoE, we will need to stem the tide of rapid turnover. That needs to be a priority if we are going to do better next time.

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 18, 2006 am31 4:49 am 4:49 am

    Congrats on the contract. keep building power and strengthening the union to strengthen the contact for the future!

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