Members spoke. We listened. 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 listened to the concerns of membership, involved them through every part of the negotiation process and fought for a contract that provides us with VOICE, SUPPORT, RESPECT and true EMPOWERMENT.
UNITY/UFT President Michael Mulgrew summed it up best when announcing the contract had been ratified. “I want to thank the members of the UFT for their resounding support of this contract. The new agreement gives teachers a larger voice in how their schools are run, and shows what we can accomplish when we stand together.” To emphasize that statement, we can accomplish anything in UNITY.
WHAT WE ACHIEVED IN THIS AGREEMENT:
Pay Increases That Reward the Efforts of Our Members:
- Year 1: 2.0% (February 14, 2019)
- Year 2: 2.5% (May 14, 2020)
- Year 3: 3.0% (May 14, 2021)
This is in addition to the two lump sum payments that will be received in October 2019 and 2020.
New Due Process Rights for Paraprofessionals
New and Improved Rights at the School Level/Workplace for all UFT represented DOE titles
In order to address safety concerns, lack of curriculum, professional development, basic instructional supplies, workload and physical space we negotiated the following:
- Enhanced authority for consultation committees
- Expedited dispute resolution process
- Additional voice for all members
- New District Operational Committee
- New Citywide Operational Committee
Progress Toward A Sensible Teacher Evaluation System
- Prompt feedback
- A decrease in the number of observations
- Joint UFT/DOE training
Focus on Safety
- Increased access to OORS information
- Greater input and transparency with regard to the safety committee
Quicker Class Size Grievance Process
Contractual Language on Retaliation
- If you see something, say something without having to worry about harassment, intimidation, retaliation and discrimination
New and Expanded Teacher Leadership Roles
- Teacher Team Leader and Teacher Development Facilitator
New and Enhanced Recruitment & Retention Efforts for Hard-to Staff Schools
- Equal UFT/DOE voice at the school level and salary differentials for eligible schools/titles
New Way to Attain Differentials – A+ Credits
- More options, more freedom
- Relevant credits based on YOUR needs
UNITY/UFT understands that it is and has always been about doing the absolute best for our members.
In spite of tremendous external pressure and ongoing attacks on our Union and our profession, UNITY/UFT stayed the course, fighting relentlessly for an agreement with NYC on paid parental leave for UFT members. This is something our members, men and women alike, wanted. We knew that we had to make this a priority and get the job done. And we did.
The new deal provides six weeks of time off at full salary for maternity, paternity, adoption and foster care leave. When this time off is then combined with current sick leave policies, new mothers could have a total of 12 to 14 weeks of paid leave. And, for the first time, fathers as well as non-birth parents – foster, adoptive and surrogate – are eligible for paid time off with the arrival of a child. Under the new agreement they are now eligible for six weeks of paid parental leave at full salary.
UNITY/UFT President Michael Mulgrew said it succinctly: “Our educators give so much to the children in their classrooms. Now, New York City has a way for educators to spend more time with their own children. We knew that if we are to keep the educators we have and attract a new generation of educators to our schools, there needed to be a paid parental leave policy in place that gives them peace of mind. And now we have it.”
The fight for paid parental leave is another example of UNITY/UFT’s tireless pursuit of better benefits and working conditions for our members. The battles to protect our members’ rights never stop. You can count on UNITY/UFT to always fight back in the war against organized labor. It is what we have always done.
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.