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No Early Retirement Incentive This Year

June 1, 2021 am30 9:36 am

The City did not want it to happen, and gummed up negotiations. That’s my read. Here’s how I think they were thinking:

  • An ERI would have saved money today, with a greater cost in the long run. Kicking the can down the road. But the Biden money undercut the need for cost savings today. And the NY State budget did some of the same.
  • Retirements will be up this year. Schools in New York City will be challenged to fill vacancies. An Early Retirement Incentive would have likely aggravated the crisis.

The UFT leadership supported an ERI – those members who would have benefited would have been very grateful. But the leadership knows, and I know, and you know, the vast majority of the membership would not have been affected.

There were people commenting on previous posts (An Early Retirement Incentive Exists. But What Does it Say? – with almost 1000 comments, and Probably No Early Retirement Incentive This Year)who desperately wanted this to happen. Let me pause here and say that I understand. Let me also pause and point out that some of them may not have actually benefited. It is possible (for some people?) to retire before age 55 but with a substantial penalty – I do not believe that penalty was going away.

Let me also pause to point out that I am over 55, and have enough years. I would have benefitted, with no penalty. Just gravy.

But I was a bit surprised the bill kept moving forward after the federal money was announced. “Good for me” I would tell people “but bad policy. Let’s see what happens.” And then we saw, the City mucked up negotiations.

Look at it this way: For those of us at all invested in an ERI, we wanted it to go forward. And both seats at the table were occupied by players who knew that (UFT leadership and DoE). The UFT leadership could honestly negotiate – as long as there was no cost, it was fine with them, and a good deal for a few members. The City side pretended to negotiate – no reason to piss off a bunch of people – but they did not want this to happen, so they negotiated in a way that guaranteed no deal would happen. I’m referring specifically to the demand that some teaching licenses be included, others excluded, which everyone knows would be unacceptable.

So what next? Nothing, not now.

People still will retire. The numbers will likely be quite high. And we will see some real scrambling to fill positions – much more than in a regular year.

21 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    June 1, 2021 am30 11:56 am 11:56 am

    Thanks for the forums, JD. Any ideas where the mayor/chancellor are going to find all the new teachers they want to hire, given the pipeline shortages that you have written about?

    • June 1, 2021 pm30 12:06 pm 12:06 pm

      I don’t know where the new teachers will come from. It’s a huge problem. But it will get worse.

      The supply stream has become a trickle. And some of that is being diverted.

      The charters take non-teachers, work them really hard for a year or two, maybe three, and spit them out. They never become teachers. Absent the charters, some of those folks would become teachers, and stick around. But none of them do.

      Also, there will be pressure on teachers, qualified or not, to become administrators. The shortage of administrators is much worse than the shortage of teachers. But every teacher who becomes an administrator makes the teacher shortage worse. And many of the people who become admins despite being unqualified make the schools work.

      How do we move back to a system that produces career teachers, career educators? That’s the theme that’s been underlying much of what I’ve written over the last 15 or so years. We need to rescue education from “Ed Reform”

  2. Anonymous permalink
    June 1, 2021 pm30 12:22 pm 12:22 pm

    From politics you mean!

  3. Mary jane permalink
    June 1, 2021 pm30 6:09 pm 6:09 pm

    Does this apply to UFT only? What about city workers for early Retirement like NYCERS?

    • Anon permalink
      June 1, 2021 pm30 9:32 pm 9:32 pm

      There’s still hope, our deadline is 6/30. Hope our Unions push more strongly and make it work.

      • Anonymous permalink
        June 1, 2021 pm30 9:40 pm 9:40 pm

        Lets 🙏

  4. Tom permalink
    June 1, 2021 pm30 9:53 pm 9:53 pm

    Help me out here… Did the board of Ed sign the resolution for the ERIand the chancellor decline to sign off. Or did the Board of Ed not sign the resolution at all.

    • Anonymous permalink
      June 1, 2021 pm30 10:32 pm 10:32 pm

      The mayor didn’t want to approve it

      • Ken permalink
        June 3, 2021 pm30 9:42 pm 9:42 pm

        I am a DC37 member and am hoping we would not end up with the same fate as the UFT members. We have a local meeting coming up soon so we’ll have to stay tuned and grill the leadership to take action and to put top heavy pressure for the city to approve. We should know in about 2 weeks.

        • Anonymous permalink
          June 4, 2021 am30 8:46 am 8:46 am

          Good luck to all of us!

  5. local ironworker permalink
    June 4, 2021 pm30 5:00 pm 5:00 pm

    Make it happen DC37

  6. Fred permalink
    June 5, 2021 pm30 11:42 pm 11:42 pm

    “…with a greater cost in the long run…”

    Once again, baseless and inaccurate. But keep saying it; Maybe people will start to believe you.

    • June 5, 2021 pm30 11:55 pm 11:55 pm

      Testy, are we?

      Every person who retires this year (and there will be lots) and has a pension – that pension would have been larger under the ERI. That’s a little more money this year – and the year after, and the year after… From the City’s PoV, pensions are long term liabilities. The larger the pensions, the larger the liabilities.

      Tier VI pensions take longer to earn then Tier IV, but payout, I believe, according to the same formula. No savings replacing IVs with Vis.

      This year someone taking pension early would have drawn pension instead of salary (smaller). The DoE would have hired (roughly) an equal number of new teachers, eating up most of the savings.

      But go ahead, don’t believe me.

      Why do you think the City refused? If the ERI was really going to save them money, they would have jumped at it.

      • June 13, 2021 am30 11:33 am 11:33 am

        I have to respectfully disagree as I listened to several senators on podcasts who stated and I am paraphrasing- this is not for this year- this is for the next few years to come when the federal monies run out. Even AFTER the federal and state budget passed, all were in favor of the ERI because it was more of a long term solution. Why would the union back it if it wasn’t part of a solution or hurt the pension system? The UFT 5 Point Plan that calls for smaller classes and hiring more educators is suspect. The city stated that it wasn’t the cost but rather it cannot afford to lose educators as they need MORE educators. The UFT 5 Point Plan also calls for the hiring of more educators. The UFT can’t promote smaller class sizes without the teachers to run them. If other unions get the ERI, that will tell you all you need to know. My question is this- so you are going to hire more teachers- okay- but when the money runs out, what will the city pay them with? The union keeps sending out emails about supporting smaller classes but I can’t do that when you can’t tell me HOW they will be paid after next year. We are also at the end of our contract- what will the givebacks be when the city starts to cry poverty next year? Where is our spring break pay? I might be wrong but teachers have an extra PD day next year- the day after the last day for students? What is that about? UFT members really need to educate themselves when negotiations start (I am sure they already have) because I see a longer school day coming again with ‘raises’ but it is not a raise when you are working more- that’s called getting paid for working. I am retiring next year no matter what but what is coming is going to be ugly after what the city put us through this year. Have a great summer JD.

        • Seth permalink
          June 17, 2021 am30 11:43 am 11:43 am

          K you are spot on. I was suspect about that added day and why Mulgrew agreed with this

        • June 17, 2021 pm30 1:29 pm 1:29 pm

          And I also just got an email as did others from Mulgrew asking if we knew any teachers who wanted to work for the DOE next year. They are desperate for teachers. THIS is why the ERI didn’t pass. If other agencies get their ERI, then we will know for sure. It is also why the Summer Rising program went from- “we have a summer program for ANYONE who wants to go!” to “Oh no they have to be failing and we need portfolios and tests to prove it.” They don’t have enough teachers who want to do summer school after the way we were treated this year. I feel completely duped by my union in this particular case. I am looking at it this way- next year is my last- I am not going to worry about evaluations or tests because it just doesn’t matter. I am going to have fun and use every bit of materials I have and empty my room of all my lab supplies and just let the kids ENJOY learning. And I am going to enjoy teaching them the way I always did until I was disrespected by the city, the NY Post (the National Enquirer of journalism- except the sports section is pretty good), the mayor, and all DOE employees who are NOT in an actual classroom. Have a great summer everyone and to all those who DO get the ERI- many congratulations and enjoy retirement!!!

        • Seth permalink
          June 18, 2021 am30 10:18 am 10:18 am

          @K can you send me that email, as I know someone whose looking to work with DOE. My email is slwolchok@aol.com

  7. Anonymous permalink
    June 6, 2021 pm30 5:23 pm 5:23 pm

    There is nothing in the City council regarding ERI — no resolution, no local law, no committee agenda item. So, it would appear that this won’t happen before June 30th for other agencies either. Look @ Council calendar.

    • Ray permalink
      June 16, 2021 am30 7:49 am 7:49 am

      Oh no, I guess there is always the next year. As noted by K, the amount of spending that’s being done now, we wont be able to continue that in the out years. Unless of course, President Biden approves another couple of Trillions which is highly unlikely.

      • Anonymous permalink
        June 16, 2021 am30 9:51 am 9:51 am

        They will eventually run out of money, you are right all the money that is being handed out. Now they are giving over 1000 food money to every public school kid, whether they need it or not. It says regardless of salary. Eventually the well will run dry!

        • June 17, 2021 pm30 1:31 pm 1:31 pm

          It sure will and that’s why when new contract time rolls around, they are going to cry poverty and expect more from teachers- in the form of time so do not be fooled. IT IS NOT A RAISE IF YOU ARE WORKING MORE TIME!

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