Monday, June 22, 2009

Selling out the Young: UFT/DOE Agreement- Restoration of Two Days Before Labor Day Hailed as Victory by UFT

See James Eterno (
FLIP-FLOP: RANDI OPPOSED TIER V ON JUNE 5th & NOW SHE WANTS IT) and Jeff Kaufman (What Else Did She Give Away?) at the ICE blog and David Pakter comment #1 on this post. NOTE: From my information the 2 pre-Labor Days are not returned permanently but must be negotiated in the next contract. What will that cost?

Selling out the Young

We always urge UFTers to watch their pockets when the union claims a victory. Unfortunately, future teachers don't have that option.

Going back from 8.25 to 7% was expected, but randi even tried to portray that as a victory - "It could be 4%." Not without changing the state constitution and we know how easy that would be with the junta in charge.

Is pension deal in exchange for restored summer vacation days the victory the UFT claims? Kids and teachers both report day after Labor Day and they know full well many teachers will have to go in before, but at least they lose the PD.

[Word is this is for 2009 only and the future restoration of days must be negotiated. Watch what they have to give up to make this permanent.]

Corrected: Randi said that with kids and teachers going back the same day, it may not work out and may have to be renegotiated.

ICEers report from the UFT Ex Bd meeting tonight:

The Executive Board approved the following tonight and it will go to the DA on Wednesday.

(#1) In exchange for the following (#2, #3, and #4 below), UFT staff do not have to report to school on the 2 days prior to Labor Day. The first day will be the Tuesday after Labor Day and can be an instructional day. (An Exec. Bd. Member said that teachers can hit the ground running on the same day kids arrive. Obviously, not a classroom teacher or a good teacher.)

We agree to support legislation that:

(#2) TDA- Support legislation that interest on TDA be reduced to 7%. (Although the pension cannot go below 7% unless there is a state constitutional convention to declare it.)

(#3) Pension Contribution: For those hired after the passage of legislation: Support legislation that would allow them to retire at 55-27, be required to pay contributions of 4.85% for 27 years and after that 8.855, and be vested after 10 years. (Sandy March didn’t think this was a bad thing because she paid 7% and John Soldini said he paid 12.5% What a bargain these newbies are getting!.)

(#4) Health benefits: will be modified retiree eligibility for health insurance coverage for those with less than 15 years (though vested) will not be eligible.

(#5) Additional funding: In order to fund #1, 1.08% in additional funding must be generated effective 9-3-09. Paragraphs #2 and #3 will generate .50% leaving .58% to be addressed in the upcoming round of collective bargaining for the agreement that ends in 10-09. To the extent that #2 and #4 not be enacted, then the amount of the funding that is not materialized shall be addressed in the next contract.

(#6) The UFT and City will meet no later than 9-09 to assess the impact, if any, of budget cuts, as measured by what, if any, personnel and program reductions may occur, and to identify additional funding for schools.

As soon as it was announced, approximately 10 people got up to speak. A Board member objected to not have time to study this. The body was told that it was being negotiated over the weekend – there was no time to get it out – the agreement was signed 5 minutes before Weingarten came down to the meeting. Funny, two Unity Board Members who never speak had page long typewritten written statements to read!

What the UFT Says:
How the agreement affects future hires
  • New UFT-represented employees in titles where employees have been required to report to begin work on the Thursday before Labor Day will report back to work the Tuesday after Labor Day.
  • New UFT-represented employees will enjoy the 55/27 retirement benefit, which remains intact.
  • New UFT-represented employees will continue to have the same pension benefits as current members, but they will make additional contribut ions for these benefits. Breaking it down, under the 55/27 retirement plan, new employees will make a 4.85 percent pension contribution for 27 years and 1.85 percent thereafter, up from the current 4.85 percent contribution for 10 years and then 1.85 percent through 27 years.
  • New UFT-represented employees will become vested in the pension plan after 10 years of service, rather than the current five. The impact of this change is modest since most UFT-represented educators can elect to withdraw their pension contributions as a lump-sum payment if they quit during their first 10 years on the job.
  • New UFT-represented employees will be eligible for retiree health insurance coverage after 15 years instead of 10 years. That change will reward educators who choose to make teaching a career.
  • New UFT-represented employees will receive the 7% guaranteed annualized rate of return for the fixed investment option in the voluntary Tax-Deferred Annuity (TDA) programs for BERS and TRS members.




The original DOE demand that NYC Teachers return to their schools two days early was a carefully planned and extremely devious move that achieved exactly what the DOE intended.

Those who have never taught cannot realize what that DOE demand of returning two days early meant to teachers. Those precious end of Summer days are a teacher's last brief opportunity to prepare mentally and physically for the rigors involved in starting the new school year.

The average teacher basher, which includes the entire cabal of "suits" who run Klein's 22 Billion Dollar Education conglomerate would not last, or better said, survive, even one day in an average overcowded NYC classroom.

Returning after Labor Day gives teachers those final symbolic hours of rest from the labors of once again facing the challenges of one of the toughest, most challenging and most demanding occupations in the world.

The DOE well knew that for most NYC teachers the idea of returning early to their schools would not be something they could accept and that it would therefore be a simple matter to, in effect, force them to sacrifice "the young", new teachers entering the system, to preserve something that understandably represented so much to the average teacher.

Once again, we observe the DOE doing what it does so well- that is to say acting in a manner that can only be termed obscenely vicious and mean spirited.

In making the "deal" it proposed, UFT management now tries to play the part of the triumphant Hero.

How very sad it all appears to we more Senior teachers as we witness this latest capitulation to the new Orwellian Order at 52 Chambers Street.

As true Unionists we always hoped to pass on a better life and a better future to the teachers who came after us.

Clearly this latest capitulation to Klein's lapdogs and lackeys can only serve as a forewarning of the Contracts to come in the future where for every "gain" (essentially the delaying of some future give back), teachers will be forced to make more and more concessions that will be nothing short of disastrous for the next generation of teachers.

One can easily picture a certain former Federal Prosecutor, a pathetic "Legend in his own mind" (whose own viciousness is legendary), staring out the tall windows of his palatial office in the marbled Tweed Courthouse, smugly thinking to himself:

"If all those NYC teachers, all those overpaid UFT Members, do not like the "Deals" we, the DOE, hand out to them- Then let them eat Cake".

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