Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Ed In The Apple Answers Your Questions: Why Are Contract Negotiations Taking So Long? And Other Questions You Wanted to Ask.

Teacher: Why are the negotiations taking so long?

EdInTheApple: Because our union leadership doesn't like to announce a contract until the month of May, at the earliest. It's just a thing they have.  In addition to that, because we say so. That's why.

Teacher: Other unions received 4% increases in 2008 – why don’t teachers receive the same increases?

EdInTheApple: Because back in '09, we chose not to take a 4-4 raise that the rest of the city was offering. Now, of course, we're begging for that 4-4 in negotiations. Pray that we get it, pal. Pray that we get it. 

Teacher: If the City and Union agree to a rate that teachers should have received on November 1, 2009 would we receive that rate each year up until the new contract is negotiated?

EdInTheAppleFirst, let me say that that question makes sense to one else but you and I. I know you're referring to the fact that real unions, like the Teamsters, receive full retroactive pay goin back to the expiration of their last contract and that in other unions a raise is, indeed, a raise. Here in the UFT, we do things in a different manner. Therefore, when the newspapers report "full" retroactive pay, it won't be full full retroactive pay -as in you'll actually receive that money retroactive pay. It will be something else under the title of retroactive pay. The truth is that the money you had expected when you heard the news of full retroactive pay won't show up. Maybe you'll get a check or something like that to make you feel better. Plus, it sort of sounds like you're trying to pin me down to answer there. I'm not sure how I feel about that.

Teacher: Once the parties agree on the total amount of retroactive pay will all teachers receive the same rate?

EdInTheApple: Great question! We're going to screw the people who resigned anytime between '09 and today. But we're going to take care of anyone who retired. As you know, our reelection depends on the retirees who chose to still pay union dues. Check our bylaws to find the standard that one has to meet in order to reach retirement and still be a UFT member. Whoever matches that criteria will receive their back pay. Anyone else is screwed. Sound unfair? Well, that's unionism. Former members don't vote in our elections.

Teacher: Will receive the retroactive pay be paid in a lump sum?

EdInTheApple: Your grammar is horrible and I refuse to answer that question. 

Teacher: The Mayor has mentioned that contracts must include cost savings – what does he mean?

EdInTheApple: Fine! I'll answer the other question. The answer is no. No way, no how. You'll get it over three years -maybe more. In smaller sums -IN THE SAME CHECKS AS YOUR PAY (you know, so as to ensure that they take out so much in taxes that it won't even help you as much as you think).

OH, and to the other guy; it means that we, at the top of the food chain, have to decide which serfs' gets saved and which get screwed.  That's a tough choice. But some of you will keep your pensions and some won't. We just need to begin working out those details.

Teacher: Does the teacher union negotiate health plans?

EdInTheApple: No. I mean, yes. I mean no. Look, you're paying for your healthcare moving forward. Pick your poison:  The Cadillac tax, the Belly Button tax or maybe we'll just send you all out to purchase your own via Obamacare (in fact, strike that last sentence. We'll pick it for you).

Teachers: So, the contract could give us a raise and the increased health plan costs can erode some of the increase?

EdInTheApple: Err der...

Teacher: Would we lose some health plan coverage?

EdInTheAppleThis is starting to bore me. What part of 'you're screwed' don't you get?

Teacher: Will the just announced MTA-TWU labor agreement, 8% over 5 years impact the teacher negotiations?

Special thanks to Ed in the Apple for answering questions about contract negotiations today.

EdInTheApple The mayor says no. The governor says no. The union says no. So, in other words, yes.

Teacher: Do you have any idea of the rate going forward?

EdInTheApple:  It looks like the pattern that is going ot be set will be 4-4-0-1-2 (and then 2 & if it goes two additional years). In addition to that, there are mentions of teachers working longer days. That will lead you as teacher to have raise that appears larger than the pattern It really won't be. You'll just be compensated for the extra time, but, yeah. All told, take 2 1/2 (the average inflation rate since 2009) and multiple that by 5 years (or seven if the contract lasts that long). Your total amount of raise will be roughly equivalent to that (12.5 total if the contract lasts until 2014. 17.5 if it lasts until 1017). The great thing about being a city teacher is your pay keep up with inflation. Wait, what did I just say? Never mind. That's too complicated for you as a rank member to understand

Teacher: What happens if negotiations stall?

EdInTheApple: The fact finding report will be issued and the world will get a little confusing for a while, but at the end of the day, it won't turn out well.

Teacher: Who gets to vote on the contract?

EdInTheApple: You <dummy>

Teacher: Will we have the contract before we vote?

EdInTheApple: The is the Mighty UFT. You never know what you're voting for until you've voted for it -and that's only the times where you're allowed to vote! 

Get it?
Go it?
Good! ;D

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