Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Has The De Blasio Administration Found A Solution To The Retroactive Pay Issue?



















There is no secret that Mayor Bill de Blasio was saddled with 152 expired contracts as Mayor Bloomberg irresponsibly refused to negotiate with the municipal unions.  While the City's economic recovery smartly progresses with a surplus that increased another 225 million dollars above the previous surplus, primarily due to increased tax receipts and better economic conditions, its still a problem for the City. The March Comptroller report that shows the increased City surplus can be found here.   However, the "retroactive raises" alone from the previous "City pattern" for the teachers, supervisors, and nurses will be 3.5 billion dollars, wiping out this year's and most of next year's surplus.  Of course the City can pay the "retroactive raises" in yearly payments (three years) but still the City must negotiate with the other unions for the last three years and the total cost could approach 7 billion dollars! Now it seems that the De Blasio Administration has come up with a novel way to handle the irresponsible Bloomberg stance on municipal union contracts.

The PBA, in one of its blogs claimed that the De Blasio Administration has raised a "trial balloon" that would eliminate or severely limit "retroactive raises" by replacing the raises with years of service credit.  The City has proposed for the four years the police has been without a contract, the members would receive four years of service credit in liu of the "retroactive raises".  Part of the agreement would also require the police to pay a minimal part of their health benefits.  This would also free up the City to hire more "Tier 3" police as the more expensive  "Tier 2" members would retire. 

This novel approach may be applicable to some degree for teachers, who will be without a contract for five years.  Would the members be willing to give up all or a significant part of the "retroactive raises" for service credit?  Maybe, but the devil is in the details.  Will the deal include the two 4% raises?  or just the last three years?  How much of our health benefits would we pay?  1.5% or 25%?  Will there be adjustments to per session and coverage pay?  How about the ATRs and retirees?

To me, its very intriguing and I certainly would like the union to explore it and poll its members if the City wants to offer a similar package to the teachers.  Would you give up "retroactive raises" and pay some minimal health benefit costs for three, four, or five years of service credit?  Interesting to say the least.  Let's see how this actually plays out. We live in an interesting time.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Here's a question: will those added years of service credit bump us up to a new salary step? For example- I'm finishing my 16th year. Would giving me, say, 2 years of service credit give me the 18 year longevity increase, for example?

The way this system is- if I could get out 2 or 3 years sooner, this would get my vote.

A ton of senior teachers would bid the DOE a fond adieu if this would happen, which would end up saving the city a ton of money.

reality-based educator said...

No paying for health care. Not negotiable. Once that door is opened, it will get very, very ugly very, very quickly.

Anonymous said...

Man...I'd take those,years of service credit over retro pay hands down! Of course...the devil is in the details...

Anonymous said...

Question: How would bumping service credit work for teachers such as I who are in the 25/55 program? Would we be able to retire at 50 with 20 years of service? (I would also like to know if we get bumped up on the salary step scale) The only problem I see with this concept is that it WILL divide teachers. Veteran teachers will like the idea of possibly retiring earlier. Newbies who are only planning on sticking around for a few years will hate this plan.

Anonymous said...

But in the end the city is still paying out large amounts of money in pensions for those service years (if people leave earlier)...but it is a very interesting idea.

Anonymous said...

RBE is correct. We are paying in NJ and Christie is threatening to raise the deductions. It is a slippery slope. Fight hard New York City teachers. No give backs!

Anonymous said...

Chaz,
Like above post mentioned, do you believe service credit in lieu of retro pay would equal bumping up the line on your particular scale? So if you have 17 years in, you're technically on the 15 year longevity pay with an MA+30 equalling 85K right now. A 5 year service credit would take me to 22 years which is top pay at 100K. That's a 15K raise. Is this correct? Is this what would be the equivalent? Fine by me if true.

TeachmyclassMrMayor(andyoutooMrMulgrew) said...

I heard this rumor last week, and once again, if I have to start paying more than what I do already for my health insurance. I ask the question, HOW IS THIS A RAISE? And how does all of that money for those "five years" go into my pension? And then how long will it be before the state and the city scream how the pension system needs to be "reformed" because it is killing the financial picture of the municipalities? And how we need to sacrifice some of our pension or the system will go bankrupt? Anyone seen what is happening in Illinois? And then to boot, they are also asking us (all workers) to take zeros for the last three years? At least according to the rest of the scuttlebutt.

RBE is 100% correct about the slippery slope. And then the next two years are 2% & 2%? B.S. I am all for trying to find a balance for the mayor, I am not unsympathetic to the city cause, but they keep screaming at me that I have to teach with less, and they keep throwing landslides of money at Evil Moskowitz. As they said in the movie...

SHOW ME THE MONEY!

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't that cost the city more in the long run since it would raise teacher pensions?

Anonymous said...

As a new retiree, I am curious if retirees will get those additional years and recalculation of pensions. Most of us who retired last year worked without raises for years, too.
I would have traded the retroactive pay for additional service years.

Agree with reality based, no additional health care costs. We get pretty much bupkis from Emblem Health now with lots of aggrevation.

Michael Fiorillo said...

It's a win-win for the city if it gets this: more senior teachers out the door, and less money to younger/newer teachers who, because of CCSS/Danielson/the overall climate, will be purged or driven out before they qualify for a pension at all.

And RBE is right: paying for health care will have us hitting the skids very soon.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting idea but the city always has something up its sleave. Sounds like it may work but I would never trust the city after the 2005 contract and the atr and teacher evaluation crap!

Mike Sherwood said...

I have 22 years in and would vote for almost anything that would allow me to leave early, and I think a lot of veteran teachers would do the same. My question is, if I'm in 55/25 and will now have 25 years (assuming a three-year "bump"), can I retire now? I'll be 53 and a half in September and I'm so fed up that I'd be willing to stock grocery shelves or drive a cab for 18 months as long as I know that I can start collecting on my 55th birthday. I guess all of these questions will be answered when we get a solid offer, but at least now we have some hope that we might be able to get out of Hell early!

Anonymous said...

I’ve noticed problems between the information war currently being waged by Eva Moskowitz and Vladimir Putin’s propaganda attack on Ukraine. These two seem to follow the same playbook: prepare one’s own version of the truth, blast it loudly and repeatedly in friendly media outlets, ignore anyone who points out holes in your story.

What I find particularly frightening is that these tactics work. There are millions of people out there who honestly believe that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is legitimate and desirable, as is Eva’s “invasion” of the NYC public school system. And, well reasoned bloggers like chaz seem to go unnoticed in the general public The balls of these two individuals is beyond human comprehension and I only have memories of such other tyrants in time such as sadam hussein, khadafy and even bin laden.....these insane maniacs were then thrown to the wolves and dragged around like a rake on the ball field to clear the dirt

Anonymous said...

The idea of additional years as credit sounds very positive to me. This is my tenth year in the system and am looking at another thirteen years till retirement. If a deal presents itself that will add four to five years of credit I would have no issue with forgoing money "owed." I would surely be highly interested in all other items, i.e, raises, and health care costs. I do not want to see health costs increase, but I do realize that everything has a price. I would pay something above zero for GHI. However, our raise must be substantial so that it all doesn't go back to the City and health care.

Anonymous said...

I'm not that schooled in pension facts but reading the NYPD blog that you have linked to your post - there were many people in their rank and file who believed that this was a pipe dream (I suggest readers actually take a look at many of the comments made by police officers in that rant). Again, I do not know the similarities between our pension system, the health of it as well as other factors and theirs. A commenter on the NYPD site also noted that one thing that was heard was a possible scenario in which the city may offer two years credit up front and then two or three years once we hit a certain age (I'm thinking 55 here.) If this is the case, it would disallow early retirement. Again, interesting things being discussed here.

Anonymous said...

they should put all these comments on the Post and the Daily News so everyone can see how many of us want to get the hell out of this DOE.
So many out there complain how Good us teachers have it yet they wouldnt last 2 days in a classroom.
And isnt it strange if we would get an offer to add service credit years since the powers that be KNOW that most of us would take the years and run..run forrest run...GIVE ME THE SERVICE CREDIT thats my vote one day closer to leaving this mess behind is the way to go TIME IS SO VALUABLE

Anonymous said...

chaz, your the best when it comes to sniffing these things out. Retirement city here I come.

Anonymous said...

YES give me years to get out of this disgusting organization faster - get me out!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Is it not a shame that most educators want out of the dreadful corrupt DOE. Bloomberg can take credit for poisoning the doe and destroying the nyc teachers morale. Bloomberg is a real piece of crap as he transformed the doe to a miserable, trust no one organization with back stabbing employees pitting against one another. This is exactly what you would hear from bloomberg employees in the private business...unfortunately this scum method of business has been brought over to our livelihoods. Not sure if diblasio can change the bloomberg klein way of life, but if anyone can i thing at least we do have diblasio..

Anonymous said...

http://ny.chalkbeat.org/2014/03/14/backpay-for-teachers-could-get-spread-out-over-nine-year-deal/

Francesca Mustacchia said...

Yes, I would take service credit ANYDAY! Oh my golly would I? They have made it impossible to have a normal life!

Anonymous said...

I would take service credit ANY DAY! They've made teaching into a grueling profession. What do you think about the NYT article which says DiBlasio is pushing for a 9 year contract with the retro spanning that time? Is service credit out the window? I hope not! If we took a vote on this today--it will be service credit HANDS DOWN!

Anonymous said...

What do they have in store for us ATRs is what I worry about. I don't trust them at all.

Uitymustgo! said...

If the city is even considering an offer like this, my guess is their idea is for the service credit to apply as time towards retirement eligibility only. I don’t see them offering to allow it to move a teacher up on the salary steps. This would be a big win for them as it would move more senior teachers out of the system sooner cutting labor costs, while in addition lowering pension costs as teachers would be retiring at a lower final years salary step which I would imagine equals lower pensions. Of course this wonderful deal will arrive at the last possible moment attached to some sort of new evaluation agreement to help sell it. Can’t you just hear Mulgrew and all the Unity shills selling it as a win, and pressing hard for a quick vote or else we’ll miss our window to get the new evaluation agreement in place for September. Our union sucks and regardless of any intelligent discussion that might take place in an open forum like this, our leadership will once again snatch defeat and sell it as a win.

Anonymous said...

I would think that the service credit would be back ended and added on when you go to retire. I can't see it being given now and bumping so many people pass into new salary steps thus costing the city more money. I would assume it wont let you retire early unless you can't collect your pension until you hit age/time without the service credit.

It would be nice if it was added on right now and you can retire using those years early

Anonymous said...

I believe that the extra years of service credit will certainly be able to be used to attain the 25 years necessary to avoid a minus in the pension. This would allow people who are over 55 to retire with dignity.

Anonymous said...

If the city is allowed to give retirement credits instead of full retroactivity the union can claim that in actuality they are being made "whole" for the entire 4 and 4. The city for their part won't have to come up with the full retroactive money immediately so they too can claim a "victory."

Anonymous said...

Can you explain what you mean here? This is a little confusing. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I mean that there is a cost to the city to give extra retirement credit. That cost can be calculated. Perhaps the dollar amount of the four or five year retirement credits is equal to a 4% salary raise. Then if this is granted the city would only have to come up with another 4% retroactive and that amount won't break the back of this year or next years budget. The 4% cost of the retirement credit is actually amortized over many years. The union can say that we got 4 and 4 while the city would only have to come up with half of that on a immediate basis.

Chaz said...

Anon 9:17

I agree with you/ However. the numbers will need to be calculated and there's still other issues that need to be resolved.

Mike S. said...

Praying for a three-year seniority bump! Even if I couldn't collect until 55 (I'm 53), I'd take the deal and get out and I'm sure many other teachers would do the same.

Anonymous said...

100% agree with you.
My husband, my colleagues and I are sending our prayers up to heavens for SERVICE CREDIT. Smart move for the city to let us top earners retire earlier and hire two to three new pre-k teachers for the new programs for the price of one of us!

Anonymous said...

I am praying for this service credit buyout,I will be 54 in June and have 22 Years of Teaching Completed. I can only imagine how many Senior Teachers would get the heck out of this Insanity..

Anonymous said...

Do any of you know math? Just getting service credit will make your pension much lower because you are basing it on a lower amount. If the city wants it, it is NOT good for teachers. If you really want service credit, you want the 4% and 4% raises and then 2 years of credit.

This is why teachers are treated like crap.

THINK!!!!!