September 28, 2016
Agreement provides first comprehensive salary increases since 2006 for Day Care employees and establishes competitive teacher salaries while protecting City’s fiscal health
Agreement upgrades health plan option, with MetroPlus, the new and affordable health plan of choice
NEW YORK – Mayor de Blasio today extends his support and applauds members of the District Council 1707 (DC 1707) and the Day Care Council of New York (DCCNY) on their new contract agreement, which marks the first comprehensive salary increases for the worker’s union since 2006. The four year labor agreement resolves collective bargaining issues through 2020 for approximately 2,700 unionized employees at DCCNY’s member centers and covers 10,500 children. The DC 1707 workers will have competitive salaries and have access to low cost, high quality health insurance, a new pension tier, and skill development opportunities. The agreement was ratified yesterday with 84 percent of voting workers approving the contract. While DC 1707 workers are employed by providers who are members of the Day Care Council and the contract was negotiated between those two parties, the City funds these early childhood education programs and supported the negotiations.
“This agreement between DC 1707 and the Day Care Council is proof of the good that can come through respectful, good faith negotiations. Today we celebrate real benefits that will help in our efforts to recruit and retain the skilled professionals who teach city’s youngest every day,” said Mayor de Blasio.
“I am pleased to have assisted the parties in reaching a fair and innovative settlement that will resolve difficult labor issues through 2020. The settlement provides for competitive salaries for daycare staff, quality healthcare, changes in the pension plan for new hires that allows for financial stability, and funding to assure education, development and advancement for the workers. The entire cost of this important settlement was funded in the City’s financial plan,” said Office of Labor Relations Commissioner Bob Linn.
“We have taken a long 10 year path to reach this point. It's a significant first step in the right direction and we do appreciate it. I am grateful to Mayor de Blasio for his tireless commitment to early childhood education. The labor contract represents salary increases, a new health care plan, funding for the pension and funds for those who want to continue their education. I look forward to continuing our work with this Administration to achieve greater recognition of the contributions from this sector," said Day Care Council of New York Executive Director Andrea Anthony.
“Because of Mayor Bloomberg’s Early Learn program, these workers went nine years without a wage increase, only half of them could afford to cover themselves and their families with health care insurance, and their pension benefit was threatened. This contract puts things back on a normal track by providing for significant raises, affordable health care insurance and protection of their pension benefits,” said Executive Director of DC 1707 Victoria Mitchell. “It is a great victory for the workers.”
“I am pleased that New York City’s day care workers have embraced our health plan, MetroPlus, as the best plan available, both for themselves and their family members, with the convenience of care available in all five boroughs,” said Dr. Ram Raju, President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals. “We welcome the opportunity and responsibility to care for these important workers, who in turn provide care for our City’s children.”
"As a lifelong education advocate, I know that an investment in child care providers' financial and physical wellbeing is ultimately an investment in the long-term success of our children," said Deputy Mayor of Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery. "I applaud The Day Care Council and DC 1707 for reaching this agreement."
“There is no question that this agreement will directly benefit children. Across the City, tens of thousands of four-year-olds are learning in free, full-day, high quality Early Education Centers, and this will serve students and families through our efforts to recruit, retain and support high quality early education professionals," said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña.
Under the agreement, starting salaries for Day Care Certified teachers will reach $50,000 (for those with MAs) and $44,000 (for those with BAs) in 2020 – in line with current starting salaries for UPK certified teachers. The entire cost of this settlement, which is approximately $145 million through FY 2021, was already reflected in the City’s labor reserve, meaning there are no additional costs to the City.
In addition, addressing workers’ concerns about the rising cost of health coverage, the agreement features a shift to MetroPlus, the NYC Health + Hospitals health plan, as the agreement’s sole plan of choice for workers living in New York City. Two tiers of MetroPlus Gold Care coverage are offered, including an option with premiums as low as $15 per month, no deductibles, and modest co-pays. Growing enrollment in MetroPlus is part of the city’s plan to build a competitive, sustainable public health care delivery system. Currently, only 53 percent of these employees are covered by the employer health plan.
The agreement creates a new salary structure that recognizes the value of these workers and addresses recruitment and retention issues, while maintaining fiscal responsibility. These employees were also covered by Mayor de Blasio’s previously announced minimum increase, as well as by an across the board 2.5 percent increase that was effective on July 1, 2015.
For staff hired after October 1, 2016, a new pension tier has been created which, along with a small increase in employee contributions, will help ensure the financial viability of the plan.
Finally, the agreement provides $2.2 million for a career ladder program that will allow staff to obtain additional credentials, increase workforce stability and professional recognition and develop a pipeline for day care staff – for example, through tuition reimbursement for certain CUNY programs. This program will be jointly administered by the Day Care Council – DC1707/Local 205 Welfare Fund.
“On behalf of Citizens’ Committee for Children, I want to express our gratitude to the Mayor, the City Administration, the Day Care Council, and most notably to the early childhood workforce for their efforts in reaching today’s historic agreement, which provides a much-needed salary increase to the early childhood staff who have not had a contract that raises their salaries in over a decade. This agreement is a tremendous step forward in ensuring NYC’s early childhood workforce receives the adequate salaries and benefits they deserve. CCC looks forward to continuing to work with the administration, early educators, and fellow advocates to further strengthen the system, support the workforce and serve greater numbers of children.” said Citizens’ Committee for Children Executive Director Jennifer March.
“I am proud that our City is taking yet another step toward securing quality child care for our children and families,” said Administration for Children’s Services Commissioner Gladys Carrion. “Our early care and education teachers and staff have the important job of getting our youngest New Yorkers ready to learn. This agreement goes a long way toward ensuring that teachers and staff have competitive salaries and the stability they need to continue to provide quality care and education.”
"In order to provide our kids with the best possible education, we must ensure that all of our childcare providers are treated fairly and paid a decent wage. This contract will provide these vital resources necessary to strengthen New York City's child care system. I’ve been proud to fight for fair wages for childcare providers and I’m grateful to the de Blasio Administration for settling this contract,” said New York City Public Advocate Tish James.
“I am so pleased that Mayor de Blasio and members of District Council 1707 have been able to come to an agreement that recognizes the contributions child care providers make to our communities. Those who are tasked with caring for all of our children deserve the dignity of fair pay, comprehensive benefits and opportunities for advancement,” said Senator Velmanette Montgomery, Ranking Member, Children and Families Committee.
"I am happy to hear that DC-1707 and the City have reached a contract agreement. The increase in pay and pension contributions detailed in the agreement are much deserved by the hard working men and women of this union,” said Assembly Member and Chair of Government Employees Peter Abbate.
“I applaud the leadership and membership of DC 1707 for voting to approve their first new contract in many years,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “I also applaud Mayor de Blasio and the Office of Labor Relations for working with the unions and the Day Care Council on a contract that is fair and respects the vitally important work that early childhood educators do every day.”