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Mayor de Blasio, Chancellor Farina, CSA Announce Tentative Contract Agreement

December 6, 2014

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Fiscally responsible agreement includes an average of 2 percent in raises a year over the life of the contract, consistent with established pattern—including unprecedented health care savings; with this agreement, 67 percent of City workforce is now settled

Pattern settlement underpins key elements of de Blasio administration’s education priorities: new Ambassador Principals/APs to support struggling schools, principals’ support to strengthen PROSE schools, new Model and Master Principal/AP roles to help strong leaders mentor peers
NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today that the City of New York has reached a tentative contract agreement with the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators (CSA), meaning that the de Blasio administration has now reached agreements with 67 percent of the City workforce that had previously been working under expired contracts.

CSA represents public school principals, assistant principals, supervisors, and education administrators. The pattern of the tentative agreement with CSA is consistent with the pattern established with the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) contract earlier this year. The agreements also include the unprecedented health care savings agreed upon with the Municipal Labor Committee, ensuring that these raises are affordable and responsible for the City and its taxpayers. Even after the City’s budget factored in the pattern settlement for the first time since the contracts were left open in 2009, out-year gaps remained well below the historical average under prior administrations.

As part of today’s tentative contract, the City and the CSA have agreed to deepen the commitment to improving struggling schools. Ambassador teams will go to targeted struggling schools, including Renewal Schools, across the city to support and reinvigorate leadership. The Master and Model positions combine for leaders who excel and take on substantial additional roles and responsibilities outside their usual roles and, in many cases, extend their reach to other schools. This will leverage great leaders across the city. 

The proposed nine-year, one-month, 15-day contract with CSA would begin, retroactively, on March 6, 2010 and expire on April 20, 2019 and include an average of 2 percent per year in raises over the life of the contract.

“This agreement with CSA means that all of our school administrators will get the fair wages they deserve in a way that protects the City’s long-term fiscal health,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Our administration has made it a priority to restore a productive and respectful dynamic between the City and its employees—and, as a result, we’ve reached agreements with 67 percent of our workforce that are consistent with the pattern we established earlier this year, including the unprecedented and guaranteed health care savings. But above all else, this is an education contract that will spur innovation and help us ensure the best educators are leading our schools.”

“As a former member of CSA, I believe strongly that principals make a major difference in the lives of children, families, teachers and everyone they come into contact with,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “Being able to work collaboratively towards this contract ensures that the children of New York City will come first in many different ways. Today, we are celebrating a new beginning for the City with our school leaders coming together around the most important school issue: to support our students learning and ensure student achievement.”

“CSA members will now have the contract they demanded, one that recognizes their invaluable role in educating our children, and one that reflects Chancellor Fariña’s ethic of cooperation,” said CSA President Ernest Logan. “Every one of our DOE members will get the compensation they expected. And this includes the lump sum payments they earned as teachers of our children. This encompasses those who were promoted from the classroom into CSA leadership positions; those who will be promoted into CSA in the future; and those who have been promoted out of CSA to superintendent positions or management positions at Tweed and other offices throughout the system. The wisdom of this is that the Chancellor will now have little trouble promoting from within the school system to get the experienced, professional educators she needs to carry out her visionary agenda. With this agreement, CSA members will also have more authority to effectively manage their work days to be better able to deal with longer Monday and Tuesday class days; a more carefully monitored paperwork load; and a more expeditious system of investigations. All of these advances will help lessen certain gratuitous burdens on our school leaders and let them be better able to focus on their first priority, the instructional needs of our children.”

Under the tentative agreements announced today, CSA employees would receive the same restructured payments in lieu of the raises that had been granted by the previous administration to much of the municipal workforce: 4 percent for 2010 and 4 percent for 2011, provided in increments from 2015 through 2021. CSA employees, including those who had been promoted to supervisory positions since 2009, will receive the full restructured payments; the cost of these payments will be shared between CSA and the City, ensuring that the total cost of the contract remains affordable.

All employees would also receive raises of approximately 2 percent a year, each year from 2015 through 2018.

In total, the MLC and the City have agreed to secure $3.4 billion in health care savings through Fiscal Year 2018, and $1.3 billion in savings every year thereafter. The City and the municipal unions will work to secure cost-cutting measures, aimed at bending the curve of rising health care costs for the first time. These savings are guaranteed and enforceable by arbitration. 

All additional benefits agreed upon with the CSA will also be fully funded within the pattern settlement. 

CSA’s over 6,000 employees have worked without a contract since 2010. The terms of the agreements must be approved by the union’s full in-service membership.

Key Educational Reforms

Ambassador Program to Support Struggling Schools

To bring strong leadership to struggling schools, including Renewal Schools, the contract establishes a Principal/Assistant Principal Ambassador program for accomplished leaders to turn around low-performing schools. These expert teams will include a highly skilled principal and assistant principals from successful schools, who will be brought in to fill vacancies or take over leadership at struggling schools. These leaders will have the option of remaining at their new schools after one year, or returning to their home schools. Ambassador Principals and Assistant Principals will be compensated an additional $15,000 and $10,000, respectively. 

PROSE Schools

The contract reinforces the administration’s PROSE Schools program, paving the way for 200 schools to innovate new ways to improve student outcomes, ranging from reworking the school day and year, to wider variations in how a school day is programmed. The changes will be accomplished through exemptions to certain Chancellor’s Regulations or CSA contract provisions. 

Support Quality Public Schools in Underserved Communities

The agreement establishes new incentives to attract and retain quality principals and assistant principals in high-need schools. The “Hard to Staff School Differential” will additionally compensate principals and assistant principals, selected at the Chancellor’s discretion.

Reward and Retain the Best Professionals

The contract establishes an unprecedented career ladder for excellent educators through new Model and Master Principal/Assistant Principal positions. These positions, created at the Chancellor’s discretion, will give principals and assistant principals who excel additional responsibilities, including coaching their colleagues. Master Principals will be compensated an additional $25,000; Assistant Principals will be compensated an additional $20,000. Model Principals and Assistant Principals will receive an additional $15,000 and $10,000, respectively.

Excessed supervisors will have severance opportunities and an expedited disciplinary process mirroring the process created earlier this year in the teachers’ contract.

Fair Wages

The tentative contract agreement includes an average of 2 percent in raises a year over the life of the contract, conforming with the pattern settlement in place for other City unions.

For the “2008 to 2010” round of bargaining, as with UFT employees, CSA employees will receive restructured payments in lieu of the raises that had been granted by the previous administration to much of the municipal workforce: 4 percent for 2010 and 4 percent for 2011.

The wages CSA employees did not receive will be restructured and provided in incremental lump sum payments, from 2015 to 2020, reflecting a percentage of the balance as of the payout date—12.5 percent in 2016, 12.5 percent in 2018, and 25 percent each in 2019, 2020, and 2021. 

The increases they did not receive will also be restored to their salaries at 2 percent a year, each year, from 2015 through 2018, as follows:

September 6, 2015: 2.0%
September 6, 2016: 2.0%
September 6, 2017: 2.0%
September 6, 2018: 2.0%

For the “2010 to 2017” round of bargaining, employees will receive increases, also based on the established pattern:

September 6, 2013: 1.00%
September 6, 2014: 1.00%
September 6, 2016: 1.50%
October 6, 2017: 2.50%
October 6, 2018: 4.00%
The agreement also includes a one-time $1,000 ratification bonus.

Affordable Costs

The costs of today’s tentative agreement are as follows:

Gross Cost: $500.9 million
Health Savings and Stabilization Fund: ($73.4 million)
Net Cost: $427.5 million

Gross Cost of Lump Sum Payments: $390 million
Health Savings: ($74.1 million)
Net Cost: $315.9 million

The contract adheres to existing labor patterns in place for all other City unions. The total costs above include $72 million required to ensure CSA employees receive comparable benefits to other City workers; all other costs above were included in previous budgetary projections.

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