FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 8, 2006
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES TENTATIVE AGREEMENT WITH THE UNITED FEDERATION OF TEACHERS NEARLY ONE YEAR BEFORE EXPIRATION OF CURRENT CONTRACT
Collective Bargaining Agreement includes 7.1 % raises and covers 120,000 Teachers, Paraprofessionals and Other Members of the New York City Department of Education
Agreement Would Ensure 43% Increase in Starting Teacher Salaries Since Mayor Took Office
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced that a tentative contract settlement has been reached with the United Federation of Teachers on a contract based on the pattern settlement established in July with District Council 37 and followed by other municipal unions, including the Civil Service Bar Association, Doctors Council, Probation Officers, and Traffic Enforcement Agents and their supervisors. The term of the Agreement covers a 24-month and 19-day period beginning October 13, 2007 and continuing through October 31, 2009. This agreement is based upon the 18-month pattern established with DC 37, although it is six months and 19 days longer, which generated additional funds. Today's agreement was reached nearly one year before the current UFT contract expires on October 12, 2007 - the earliest any union contract has been reached prior to an agreement's expiration during this Administration. Since the Mayor took office, the UFT has reached contracts resulting in wage increases for starting teachers of 43% for the periods covered by the last three contracts (November 16, 2000 to October 31, 2009).
"The UFT came to the bargaining table and together we reached a deal that gives teachers the raises they deserve and allows us to continue strengthening accountability and improving our City schools," said Mayor Bloomberg. "We've reached this agreement nearly a year before the current contract expires - a contract which made historic reforms while fairly compensating the hardworking teachers in the UFT. The reforms and productivity improvements we implemented as part of the current agreement have started to yield real results and negotiating a contract of this duration will bring much-needed stability to our schools over the next three years. Today's agreement is a testament to the commitment of both the City and the UFT to providing teachers with the salaries they deserve for their continued service and dedication to our 1.1 million public school students."
"This is great news for our educators and the 1.1 million children they serve," said UFT President Randi Weingarten. "With this agreement, we and the city, working together, have been able to continue to raise salaries and provide the kind of competitive pay that helps attract and retain the best possible teachers for our children. When Mayor Bloomberg came into office, salaries lagged behind those in the suburbs. This settlement, if ratified, will mean that between 2002 and 2009, teacher salaries will have risen by more than 40%. Finally, we are making real progress."
"This contract is great news for our teachers and our City's schoolchildren," said Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein. "We need to pay our teachers what they deserve and this contract ensures that our teachers are rewarded for their outstanding and dedicated efforts."
The principal features of the settlement, which include total wage increases of 7.1% for teachers and most titles covered by the Agreement, are as follows:
By the end of this contract, a teacher's minimum salary will be $45,530 for new hires as compared to $42,512 under the current Agreement and the maximum salary will be $100,049, as compared to $93,416 currently.
In order to address specific needs, the UFT generated internal funding to provide the following benefits:
Peer Intervention Program
The parties agree to establish a voluntary new peer intervention program which will be created for any tenured teachers who are struggling. The program will be staffed by independent consulting teachers who are not employees of the Department of Education or active members of the union. A third-party vendor will be selected pursuant to an RFP and contract mutually agreed to by the parties. The existing peer intervention program will continue, and a labor/management committee will review the new program annually.
The last contract provided teachers with a 15% raise in exchange for substantially increasing the time teachers spend on instruction and support activities by lengthening the school year by two days and adding an additional 50 minutes of instructional time per week; empowering principals by extending their authority over teacher hiring; and improving school safety and disciplinary procedures by having teachers play a larger role in maintaining order in lunchrooms and hallways and expediting the process to remove teachers if misconduct requires it.
Student test scores in New York City Public Schools have improved dramatically since 2001. The percentage of students in Grades 3-8 performing at or above grade level standards has increased by nearly 23 points in math, and by nearly 12 points in English Language Arts. The graduation rate is also the highest it has been in nearly 20 years. In addition, schools across the City are safer. Since the inception of Impact program, nearly three years ago, schools once plagued by disorder are significantly safer. By the end of school last year, we had reduced major crime in these schools by 56%, and driven violent crime down by 53%.
The Mayor thanked Deputy Mayor Ed Skyler, Deputy Mayor Dennis M. Walcott, Chancellor Joel I. Klein and the Department of Education representatives, UFT President Randi Weingarten and her Committee, Labor Commissioner James F. Hanley and First Deputy Commissioner Pamela S. Silverblatt and their team, and Budget Director Mark Page and his staff for their efforts in reaching this Agreement.
Stu Loeser / Virginia Lam (212) 788-2958
David Cantor (Department of Education)
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