Sunday, May 26, 2013
Will The Next Mayor Grant Retroactive Raises? Yes...But.
For the teachers union and a couple of others like CSA, who Mayor Bloomberg refused to follow the "City pattern", the new mayor will "bite the bullet" and give these unions the previous "City pattern" that the Bloomberg Administration failed to do. There may be some "face saving" cosmetic changes, especially when the non-binding Arbitrator report comes out with their recommendations. However, with an improving economic climate and an Arbitrator report in hand, it will provide cover for the new City Administration to give to the few unions who were excluded from the previous "City pattern" to receive their "retroactive raises" with some modifications.
However, the new "City pattern" will not be as generous as the previous 8% two year contract since the inflation rate is only running at 2% and while the economic conditions in the City have improved, it's certainly not robust. Therefore, look for a contract that hovers around the inflation rate which is half of what was offered in the last one, 4% annually for two years, and may be back loading the raises to the last year to save money for the City. It's possible that the "retroactive raises" may be negotiated in this contract to pay for health care or other benefits since most of these unions will be willing to give them up if they get better benefits as a tradeoff.
It's also possible that the new "City pattern" may be more generous than I am predicting but it will mean that the City and unions struck a deal for City workers to pay a share of their health care costs which will face stiff resistance from the older members and retirees and I am not expecting that to happen. Therefore, look for the new Mayor to negotiate contracts with all the City unions that will include back loading most of the raises to the end of the contract while allowing for the "retroactive raises".
In conclusion look for about a 2% annual raise with most of the first year raise payable toward the end of the contract and the "retroactive raises" being either back loaded or used for enhanced benefits.