Thursday, June 25, 2009
You Didn't Think Getting The Two Days Off Before Labor Day Were Free? Did You? Not With Randi Doing The Negotiating.
Unless you are living under a rock, the UFT and the Bloomberg administration came to an agreement that eroded "newbie teacher" pension and retiree health benefits and in return, we gained the two days before Labor Day. While, I don't really like having the union "eating its own" it is preferable than what Randi and gang did to us in 2005. When I first read the UFT press release I thought it was great that we got back the two days that we should have never given up until I read the ICE blog with James Eterno and the JD2718 blog I could not believe that for the two days the existing teachers will have to pay for them!
How are we going to pay for it? Simple. Our fixed income fund returns was reduced from 8.25% to the New York State minimum of 7%. This reduction of 1.25%, effective when the Governor signs off, is a significant loss of interest and will tempt participants to put their TDA money in more risky funds. The reduction in the TDA fixed income interest rate results in a 0.5% annual savings to the City. However, gaining the two days before Labor Day costs the City 1.08%. Therefore, we owe the City 0.58% which will be taken out of our pay raise in the next contract, probably by the end of the summer.
This wasn't in the UFT press release but is included in the actual agreement with the City and can be found here. Again the UFT has tried to mislead its members. Our union failed to mention part 5 of the agreement in their press release that spells out how all teachers will have to fund the two days by reducing the TDA fixed income interest rate and giving up part of a salary increase in the next contract.
You would think that giving up 2.5 billion dollars in health and pension benefits in the next 20 years would be enough to get back the two days before Labor Day. However, for the City and a compliant union it was obviously not.