The UNITY/UFT caucus has been the foundation of our union for over 60 years, and we proudly bear the responsibility for being the majority voice. UNITY/UFT never stops pushing back, defending member rights to enable the betterment of our schools and students.
Leading The Charge To Protect And Preserve Our Union
- UNITY/UFT helped craft legislation that will enable all public sectors unions to recruit and retain members. Further, this legislation signed by the governor limits the free services unions, including the UFT, must provide to workers who are not paying their share of the costs of those services. This is one of the many ways in which UNITY/UFT is preparing for an adverse Janus ruling.
Pay increases That Reward The Efforts Of Our Members
- By June 16, 2018 we will receive a 5% raise. Lump sum payments will be made to us the next three Octobers (2018, 2019, 2020).
Below are some examples of maximum salaries by the end of the contract in 2018:
- Teachers– $119,565
- Paraprofessionals –$41,246
- Guidance Counselors– $126,916
- School Psychologists and Social Workers– $125,446
- School Secretaries– $78,226
Improvements To The Quality Of Our Work Lives:
- UNITY/UFT helped create standards for paperwork reduction that eliminate duplicative and unnecessary paperwork (both written and electronic).
- UNITY/UFT fights to ensure that time for other professional work (OPW) is available for your use and not hijacked by the principal.
Progress Toward A Sensible Teacher Evaluation System
- UNITY/UFT led advocacy pushed the state legislature to propose a bill that once and for all delinks teacher evaluations in NY State from student results on state exams.
Security Now And For The Future
- UNITY/UFT is pushing to finalize an agreement with the City on paid parental leave. This is an issue of great importance, and we will continue to work tirelessly in pursuit of a fair agreement that benefits our members and their families. As always, with UNITY/UFT, you can count on us to get it done.
- UNITY/UFT successfully fought back against those who wanted to change our state constitution in an attempt to reduce or eliminate our pensions.
In approximately six weeks, On February 26th, the Supreme Court will hear the now infamous Janus vs AFSCME case that will, in all likelihood, have major implications for public sector unions across the country including the UFT. Our opponents brought this case to the Supreme Court because they are trying to defeat us through the Court System as every other attempt has failed. They want to take away our rights and benefits, and will argue that nonmembers should not be required to pay their fair share or agency fees to cover their portion of the costs associated with collective bargaining and union services that benefit all employees in the bargaining unit.
Emphasizing the benefits of union membership, being “union proud”, door knocking, organizing, advocating for our members, and working with other labor unions and politicians across our state are but a few of the ways UNITY/UFT is preparing for an adverse ruling in the Janus case.
Michael Mulgrew, UNITY/UFT President summed it up best when he said that “. . . as we brace for this challenge ahead, remember that all of us together are the union; because we have stuck together, we have pensions, employer-paid health insurance, job security, due-process rights, a grievance process and a voice in how our schools are run.”
Unfortunately, if people want a “free ride”, we will without question nor hesitation lose most, if not all, of these benefits.
Standing together and taking care of each other- this is what it means to be in a union. This is what the UFT represents. This is the standard that UNITY/UFT strives for in every battle that we wage.
Rest assured, even with a Janus loss, UNITY/UFT will live to fight another day.
More attacks. More fighting. The UNITY Caucus of the UFT is again leading the charge in multiple battles to protect our members. These clashes are taking place at both the local and national levels.
The GOP Tax Scam
The GOP tax plan that was rammed through the Senate literally and figuratively destroys what is left of the American Dream. Raising taxes on the middle class and lowering deductions will ultimately decimate the ranks of civil servants, including teachers, police and firefighters, as well as other middle-class professionals. Funding for public education will be slashed across the nation. Additionally, this tax plan will increase healthcare costs exponentially. The Corporations will make more money and the rich will get richer-On Our backs.
Supreme Court: Janus v. AFSCME
Our opponents want to take away Our rights and benefits by weakening the union. The Supreme Court will hear Janus v. AFSCME in the coming months in which plaintiff argues that non-members should not be required to pay fair share or agency fees to cover their portion of the costs associated with collective bargaining and union services that benefit all employees in the bargaining unit. UNITY/UFT President Michael Mulgrew stated that “… this Janus case is paid for and brought to us by people who want to destroy unions so your benefits and rights can be taken away. As we brace for this challenge ahead, remember that all of us together are the union.”
Paid Parental Leave
UFT members spend their days nurturing and supporting children, yet the city’s current parental leave policy forces members to choose between their own children and the profession. It’s time that the city grants UiT members the paid parentalleave they deserve. The UFT has been making efforts to negotiate a fair and reasonable paid parental leave policy with the city since 2015. However we will not allow givebacks or enable the City to make us overpay for this all important policy.
These issues are, without question, among the greatest threats we have ever faced. But, as UNITY/UFT President Michael Mulgrew said, “we are a strong union because of our membership. Our enemies want to take our job security, tenure, preparation periods, maximum teaching loads, premium-free healthcare and much more away from us. We cannot and will not let this happen. Now more than ever, We must stand together and take care of each other.”
Standing together and taking care of each other-this is what it means to be in a union. This is What the UFT represents. This is the goal members of Unity fight for every day.
We defeated the Con Con together!
The voters in our great state spoke and said NO to a Constitutional Convention. The UNITY/UFT Caucus worked around the clock to get the word out to Our members, families, neighbors, friends and even frenemies” to make sure that Proposition 1 was defeated. And it was. Soundly.
UNITY/UFT members went door to door, calling and leafleting to get the word out and to make sure that this ballot item was squashed. However, UNITY/UFT did not do this alone – NYSUT, NYS AFL-CIO and our sisters and brothers from other unions worked tirelessly as well to get the “NO” out.
As UNITY/UFT President Michael Mulgrew stated, “This ballot was defeated by the collective power of the working middle class who are fed up with these anti-union, anti-middle class adversaries that have become emboldened in the current chaotic political climate.”
We may have won this battle but the fight is far from over; Janus and a potential national Right to Work law looms overhead. But, as we just learned, when we put aside Our differences and work together for the betterment of our livelihoods, positive things happen. We cannot and must not forget that. We must take this momentum and our collective power and fight against the war coming our way. After all, we are a UNION and cannot lose sight of that fact.
As always since the inception of our union, UNITY/UFT Will continue to lead the Charge.