FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 25, 2009
MAYOR BLOOMBERG, UFT PRESIDENT WEINGARTEN AND SCHOOLS CHANCELLOR KLEIN ANNOUNCE AGREEMENT ON NEW CITY SCHOOLS SCHEDULE
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, United Federation of Teachers (UFT) President Randi Weingarten and Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein today announced an agreement to shift the first day of school for students from Tuesday, September 8th to Wednesday, September 9th for the 2009-2010 school year. Teachers will report on Tuesday, September 8th to prepare their classrooms for the arrival of students, and secondly for professional development. In order to maintain the same number of classroom instruction days, the last day of school for students will now be Monday, June 28th, instead of Friday, June 25th. Monday, June 28th had been previously scheduled as a professional development day for teachers and will continue serve as the last day of work for teachers.
“This agreement will allow us keep the school year intact with kids in the classroom for the same number of days, while providing teachers and principals an administrative day to prepare for the arrival of students,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The rapidly growing burden of pension and healthcare costs has siphoned resources away from education, public safety and every other City service. The proposed new plans created with the UFT will save the City an average of $100 million annually over the next 20 years. The savings will help the City continue to increase education spending, which has nearly doubled over the last 7 years. I again want to thank Randi Weingarten and her team for helping to reduce long term City expenses, while also ensuring we continue the major progress we’ve made in improving City schools.
“Just as it was very important to go back to the tradition of teachers and students starting the school year after Labor Day, it was also important to give teachers time to prepare their classrooms before students arrive,” said UFT President Weingarten. “Now we’ve done both under this agreement. The deal also allows the City to save money, educators to preserve the age-55 retirement, and the schools an opportunity to revisit the budget if the cuts threaten to derail the progress we have been making. I want to thank the Mayor and his team for helping make this agreement work well for kids and for the schools.”
“This agreement will be a real help to school leaders, teachers, and students,” said Chancellor Klein. “While maintaining hundreds of millions of dollars in pension cost savings, Mayor Bloomberg has ensured that our students will return in the fall to well-prepared schools where they can immediately begin to build on the great progress they've made over the past seven years.”
On Monday, Mayor Bloomberg and UFT President Weingarten announced an agreement to support legislation to create a modified health and pension plan for newly hired UFT members, while at the same time preserving all health and pension benefits for UFT members, including the union's age-55 retirement benefit. The agreement also sets a seven percent annual return on fixed Tax-Deferred Annuity accounts for Teachers Retirement System and Board of Education Retirement System members. The agreement will save the City an average of $100 million annually over the next 20 years when legislation is enacted. As a component of the agreement, teachers would return to their traditional start date after Labor Day and would no longer report for two professional development days on the Thursday and Friday before Labor Day – required since 2005.
Stu Loeser/ Marc La Vorgna (212) 788-2958
Ron Davis (UFT) (212) 598-9201