Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Is The Union Negotiating Away Our CAR Days?























There appears to be a Facebook rumor that our union leadership is in "secret negotiations" with the Bill de Blasio administration on obtaining paid FLMA for members on maternity leave and possibly family related issues. While these rumors are probably true, I can't believe our union would hold our Cumulative Absence Reserve (CAR) hostage and use it as a negotiating tool for a paid FMLA?  The CAR rules for UFT members is a hard-won perk that affects all teachers, guidance counselors, social workers, and paraprofessionals. Any diminishing of the CAR benefit would probably result in the union leadership being voted out of office and they know it.

According to the Facebook rumor, the City's opening proposal was ridiculous.   The City wants to reduce the annual CAR from 10 to 5 days.  Moreover, all previously accumulated CAR days would be eliminated with the only minor improvement has the City offering the UFT member payment for any of the 5 CAR days remaining at the end of the school year.  Obviously, this is the opening gambit by the City and reminds me of Chancellor Joel Klein's ludicrous 8 page contract that stalemated negotiations and only after it was finally removed as a negotiating item did contract negotiations proceed.

It appears the City has targeted the UFT first for the paid FMLA incentive since its the largest union in the City, has shown a willingness to negotiate a deal, and because it's one of the only unions that can accumulate sick leave and convert it to money or extra time, a potential cost savings for the City.  However, the City is not in a position of strength to dictate terms since there are forces mitigating against them and our union leadership should know that.

First, New York State just approved a paid FMLA program this year and there is little reason for the union to negotiate any "givebacks"  to the City.  While the State's paid FMLA will take years to be fully implemented then why just wait the City out rather than allow for unpopular and unnecessary "givebacks"?

Second, Our contract is not over until June of 2019, by then the City will be forced to negotiate with most of the other municipal unions for a comprehensive paid FLMA program.  Therefore, there is no reason to be anxious to be number one in line and be required to provide "givebacks".

Third, Mayor de Blasio is up for reelection in 2017 and needs the union's support.  Why would our union leadership be willing to give up member perks? Shouldn't it be the other way around?  Like eliminating school based fair student funding, eliminating the ATR pool by requiring schools to fill their vacancies with existing members, and bring back seniority transfer and bumping rights?

Finally, Why aren't we flexing our collective muscles by demanding lower class sizes, more school resources, being treated with respect, and eliminate all Bloomberg policy programs that hurt the students and the schools?

The bottom line is our union should be negotiating from a position of strength,  instead of the City asking for "givebacks" from our CAR.  Therefore, we should be requiring from the City better working conditions and a peaceful classroom in exchange for the paid FMLA program that we will get anyway.

44 comments:

reality-based educator said...

De Blasio needs us more than we need him at this point. Latest poll shows him over 50% but still under water with "Deserves Re-Election/Doesn't Deserve Re-Election: question.

Cuomo too needs us more than we need him. He wants to run for president in 2020 and while he doesn't want to be seen as a union shill, he also doesn't want an open hostile relationship with any of the unions - even ours.

The UFT ought to be using this leverage to get some stuff for us - a change to the insane APPR system out of Cuomo, for example, or Farina to stop with the micromanagement out of de Blasio.

Alas, so far as I can tell, the union is doing none of this.

The CAR rumor is just that - a rumor. But given how many bad deals the UFT has made in the past, how many sellouts, how many sell-shorts, etc., it sounds like a credible one because we know how often they've given r&f the screwjob on the past.

I have been assured by someone with more insight into this than I that there is nothing to the rumor.

I hope that is so.

But given how often we've gotten screwed by the UFT leadership in the past, pardon me if I don't bet my 8.25% TDA interest rate on it.

Anonymous said...

I hope the UFT does try to negotiate away our CAR. It will finally be the end of Mulgrew and Unity.

Anonymous said...

The UFT is constantly looking for givebacks for politicians. They will sell this giveback to gullible members claiming it scrapes the skies.

Anonymous said...

Whoa!!!!!!So someone could have 100 days saved and the city with UFT approval could actually erase that? How is this legal? I understand that everything is up for renegotiation under a new contract as in going forward... no more CAR after 2019 but how can they take away something already earned? For the few that actually live in the City limits, call you elected officials let them know not to rob and steal with the UFT. The UFT is a bunch of crooks! I can't wait until we become a right to work nations so I CAN STOP PAYING DUES! This isn't union; this is a racket.
Call your city council member!
Call the mayor!
Even better take a day off, or take 10!

Anonymous said...

Deblasio does not need us & Cuomo hates us..... what are you smoking? reality based? I love you reality based but I think you are delusional right now....and once Trump & Devos get into power, Deblasio & Cuomo will have even more power over us.

Anonymous said...

Umm, I just read this blog and nothing says that the rumor is true or not true. The bottom line question on this is do we get to vote on any changes to our CAR via a ratification by the rank and file or can the UFT agree on it's own to eliminate our CAR? I can personally see some major lawsuits if the city tries to eliminate the CAR. Some teachers such as I have well over 120 days in our CAR This adds up to tens of thousands of dollars or half a year of terminal pay for many teachers. Lastly, Chaz asks why the UFT would want to be "first in line to get a FML deal from the city:. Well, the stupid UFT was first in line to get a crappy new contract that set the worst pattern in recent memory for city unions. Oh, yeah, why are there secret negotiations going on right now in regard to this? Our contract does not expire for another 2 years and yet we have a new evaluation system that has to get hashed out in the next 2 weeks!

Anonymous said...

contract ends on 11/30/18, not june 2019.

Anonymous said...

Dwarka does anal!

Anonymous said...

"Opening gambit" by the city? Why is the city in negotiations right now in regard to this? Is it true that the city did indeed make the offer to get rid of the CAR in exchange for FMLA? Who is leaking this information? Can you provide a link to the Facebook postings on this? If this opening gambit is indeed true it does not shock me. I too remember when Klein tried to put an 8 page contract on the table as an opening gambit to the UFT. They did not go for that but we have provided the city with a ton of givebacks since 2005.

Chaz said...

RBE:

I don't believe the rumor myself but it would not surprise me that the City would like to get something from the UFT for the paid FLMA.

Anonymous said...

Heads up, ATRs. ATR Supervisors are targeting ATRs that took FMLAs this year or last.

Anonymous said...

The UFT supported Thompson. DeBlasio remembers that. The UFT is the kiss of death for elections. DeBlasio could care less about possible votes by our members. 75% of teachers live outside of NYC, can't vote for mayor. Haaaaa!

Anonymous said...

DeBlasio doesn't need the support of the UFT. He will be re-elected --unless there is some hard evidence that he is involved in corruption as the local tabloids are trying to make that case on a daily basis. The contract's last pay raise goes into effect in mid-June 2018 and it expires Nov.1, 2018.

Bronx Teacher said...

The Facebook page is "Vote No On the UFT Contract." The guy drinks at the Kook-Aid fountain of Solidarity.

Anonymous said...

I know for an absolute fact that the UFT and city did have negotiations where eliminating or reducing the CAR was discussed, however the negotiations failed 6 months ago. This is old news. The UFT and NYC could not agree on the terms. I think it's terrible that they even negotiated on eliminating our CAR, but as I said the negotiations aren't current,

Anonymous said...

Old news! I knew about these negotiations a year ago. They went well, but de Blasio stopped negotiating for some reason. I thought it wasn't such a bad idea when a friend who works for DOE legal told me. I heard it discussed again at the convention, pretty openly. Don't be scared, the deal fell through a long time ago. Mulgrew would sell de Blasio anything, I don't think de bozo wants to buy...even at a fire sale.

Anonymous said...

Could somebody, please, please, tell us exactly where this rumor started. When exactly did the city make this offer during "secret negotiations".

Former Teacher said...

Not sure why everyone feels this could never happen. The teaching force is younger, mainly women. Many go out on maternity leave and have very few days in CAR and then spend years trying to get back to positive numbers. For most of the teaching work force CAR is not terribly important. Most teachers today do not see themselves retiring from the system so terminal leave does not hold meaning for them. You only get this CAR money at retirement. So I would not be do quick to think that this will be decided by the union with no input from the members and if the union puts this to a vote, it very well may pass. The last contract passed with no problem.

Anonymous said...


Certain endorsements, like those of the teachers union or Black Lives Matter, tend to backfire. DeBlasio (despite his reflexive support of BLM) wants neither - he is aware of the backfire effect.
Let's not kid ourselves, nobody wants a UFT endorsement in an election. Call it the kiss of death.

Anonymous said...

I'm an ATR who took a FMLA last spring. I've been an ATR for 8 years and never had a supervisor. Now I have one that formally observes me every two weeks. I asked her how many formals, she said as many as SHE WANTS. I met another ATR who just came back from a FMLA and now has the same thing happening after coming back from a FMLA. This is harassment for taking a federally protected option. If I went over 10 days I would be targeted as well. I believe the UFT is trying to fuck around with our CAR.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I might get some haters here, but here it goes: I am a public school teacher in NYC. I have been working for the DOE for over 15 years, I am sorry to say that I do not believe that any city worker should have paid maternity leave. Having a baby is a choice. It is a choice that should be taken seriously, like purchasing a house. However, I do not think that that anybody who chooses to have a baby should be paid while they take maternity. If a person chooses to have a baby, they should save up the money for it or have enough days in their CAR to ensure that they will be paid. Now there are rumors that my CAR may be eliminated to pay for people who choose to have a baby and do not have enough money saved up or days in their CAR. I do not see the fairness in this at all. If a person can't afford to save up for maternity leave, then they are not ready to have a baby in my mind. Having a baby is everybody's right. Getting paid while away is not.

Anonymous said...

NYC provides teachers with fair priced insurance which includes birth control. Anybody who chooses to have a baby should have enough money saved to raise that baby. Paid leave for someone who chooses to have a baby does not make sense to me. Having a baby is choice. It is not the same as getting sick or being in an accident where insurance is needed to pay for the sickness or injury.

Anonymous said...

Well here is another reason to want CAR to stay... think of it as severance when the city fires us. 2 for 1 = 60 days is a month's pay with benefits while trying to land that job at Walmart.

If the city wants us to take our days instead of bank them, that is fine by me, but I have a real problem with UFFingT and the City changing the rules mid-game, as in now you have them and now you don't - if they can do it to your CAR, they can do it to your Retro and your health care, and your pension and your fixed TDA.

So let me get this straight, I should lose all my CAR days so people can have babies during the school year. No I don't think so. Breed on your own time and your own dime people.

Anonymous said...

The simple fact is as follows: The UFT should never, ever, allow the City to eliminate the CAR of teachers currently employed. If the UFT and rank and file want to get rid of the CAR for new hires, that is fine with me. As mentioned by the person who posted above, it is insane to change the rules of the game in the middle of the game.

Anonymous said...

If I lose my 145 days in my CAR to a bunch of teachers who choose to have baby, I don't know how I will contain my anger. The divide of teachers that will incur due to this will be massive. Not all women want to spawn.

Anonymous said...

UFT part of the same corruption.

Anonymous said...

Hey UFT, Read my lips take my CAR over my DEAD Body!
I dragged my ass into work while I watched people purposely plan to give birth in June - Sept. Here is an idea, stop taking off every time your 17-year-old kid sneezes or your suburban school district has a snow delay. Accumulate some days for legitimate illnesses or emergencies, instead of trying to ruin one of the best benefits out there. If the city wants to move to a use it or lose it sick day approach, fine going forward but otherwise this is just unconscionable.

Anonymous said...

LOVE IT!!!!! 1 more week and then when we come back it's REGENTS MONTH 2017. YeeeeHawwwww!!!!!!!!!!!! Flying by. LOVE IT!!!!!!!! REGENTS prep PER SESSION ALL THE WAY BANK IT BABY!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

This is probably one of those pesky gender issues. I am a male. I tend not to take days off, even when I'm sick. After ten years, I have almost one hundred days in my CAR. I also avoid days off because in the first school I was at, the principal actually put letters to file for those teachers who took more than five days off, even though we were entitled to them. MY second school lets it be known that teachers should not take days off or 'face consequences' as well.

Be that as it may, female teachers still take off more. My payroll secretary is amazed by the number of days I have in reserve and has repeatedly asked me to transfer some of my days to her as a 'gift' because she has negative days in her bank. (There is a procedure for this, believe it or not.) She is an older woman and is sick all the time and takes a lot of days off every year.

I laugh and demur, yet I see the pattern. The female teachers take off far more than the male teachers. They even take more sanity days too. Will pregnancy leaves be used to take away from men what they have earned?

Anonymous said...

Our Union has become a complete joke.

Anonymous said...

They are basically doing what they want since the UFT is not doing anything for its members.

Anonymous said...

There is also systemic age discrimination going on.

Anonymous said...

Nice! Liberal teachers are finally becoming conservatives. Welcome!

Anonymous said...

...and doesn't it seem that as soon as the young lady gets her job title, she's already dropping one...

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the DOE wanted CAR eliminated just for ATRs. They are the most senior staff with the most CAR. This would have been blatant discrimination from the UFT if Mulgrew agreed. Might be the reason for his statement about ATR negotiations not going well.

Anonymous said...

It's freezing, graded essays all last night, I am dreading the Regents grading assignment I'll be getting, and now I realize my CAR could be bargained away. Don't want to sound like that mom's basement weirdo who used to troll here but thank goodness I don't work weekends. Happy Thursday everyone.

Anonymous said...

We won't allow Unity to hand over an easy endorsement to Mayor de Blasio. No. He has to work for it.

UFT Members Not Happy With Mayor de Blasio
https://www.facebook.com/nothappywithbill/

Anonymous said...

So glad I stopped my COPE contribution & I can't wait to stop paying union dues.Do not touch my CAR! Hey UFT crooks, mess with the CAR and you will wake up the walking dead ... the majority of the "union".


Hey, Mike, Go hang out with Pat Lynch for a minute learn how to be a man and a union leader.
Hey Mike, go work for the DOE or why don't you and Randi start a charter network with Devos' money called: Seat at the Table Charter Network for illegal immigrants where everyone gets an IEP and free breakfast, lunch and dinner. For inspiration, A picture of Randy, Mike, Charlotte and Carmen will be provided in every classroom, champions of common core national standards, academic achievement and best practices like: if you are learning and you know it, clap your hands. Turn and talk to a partner, even if you are from two foreign nations and don't speak the same language.

Welcome to the feature presentation: zombie apocalypse of NYC public schools paid for by the dues paying members of UFT.

UFT wants 2 years of mentoring, LMAO. Like that is going to matter. If you are under 35, get out of this job. You have been warned.

Anonymous said...

At this point in time a teacher that is expecting a baby is only allowed to use CAR days to cover the day of birth until the baby is 6 weeks old. A person can have 200 CAR days but that doesn't matter. Once the baby is 6 weeks the person has to return to work or go off payroll - a leave without pay. A woman who gives birth through caesarean can use her sick days for 8 weeks.

Yes, there are woman who don't have CAR days that need to take off for maternity, but most pregnant teachers have some CAR days. The DOE limits the amount of days that can be used for maternity.

The Paid FMLA leave will be for the father also, but I'm sure it will be only for the 6 weeks. The only people that will benefit from the Paid FMLA will be the ones that don"t have 30 days in their CAR - enough to cover 6 weeks. This paid leave will also benefit someone who becomes really ill and doesn't have enough CAR days but the City will probably cover 6 weeks also for a major illness. I'm sure the DOE/City will be paid back in some way. Right now a full-time teacher can borrow up to 20 days and every time you earn a CAR day the DOE takes it once a person has negative CAR days. A person that retires with a negative CAR balance has to have summer checks withheld.

The UFT will make some underhanded deal with the City about CAR days and Mikey will say it's the best we can get. Union members need to get together and fight back before a secret deal is made.

Anonymous said...

"Mikey will say it's the best we can get". I call BS on that. The best deal we can get is what we have right now. I am a male and have 120 days in my CAR. Common knowledge states that everybody should have three months salary saved up in the case of a medical emergency. Women who choose to have a baby should do so on their own time. If the city is going to make a secret deal with the city it should only be for new hires only in regard to their CAR. Current teachers should be able to keep the CAR days that hey have and be able to use those days as the current contract states.

Anonymous said...

I heard about this from Leroy Barr at a meeting at my school. He said that to get paid FMLA leave we would need to "change the way our CAR works" and that "you couldn't have FMLA leave and days in your bank, we would have one." He didn't say eliminate it, but we all got the point!

I happen to have nearly 100 days, but after he said that to our school in April, I've gotten sick more often. Every snow storm brings a cold, and beautiful summer days with the thought of going to work now make me get depressed...so I have to stay home.

Anonymous said...

I AM A FEMALE WITH 115 DAYS - just to break the stereotype. It is so annoying how men act like Women get pregnant by themselves. Whether it be on the subject of reproductive rights, planned parenthood or maternity leave. Men need to stop lapsing into this denial that women self-fertilize. And women need to stop allowing this characterization. Anyway, the bottom line is: the powers that be what to divide and conquer and this is happening. The city is trying to break a promise and the UFt is going along with it. Anger should be directed at the city and the "UNION" not people who need FMLA. The city is using this as an excuse to take away an expensive benefit. Don't get spun by the deception by blaming families or sick people. Otherwise, critics just sound like workers without pensions hating on workers with pensions. Just stupidity that won't ever change and the master manipulators know this to be true and that is why they do what they do: pit one against each other: me and you. The bottom line is the UFT needs to know that this can never happen. It would be great if every one who posted on this blog took an actually action to communicate this. If every person called UFT headquaters, if everyone collected signatures to tell Mulgrew don't you dare, if we staged a protest outside of UFt.People will say it won't matter and shut down this suggestion but I have been working in this cursed job for 14 years and I have never had anyone try to engage me - if anything there is a silence from the chapter leader. It is time we get union members engaged because otherwise for certain nothing will change. Do you really think Mulgrew would not respond if 80,000 or even 5,000 members were actually ACTIVELY engaged?

Anonymous said...

My school is such a cruel place to work that some female teachers actually try to get pregnant so they can take time off. No joke. Three in the last two years have come out and said this is why they wanted to have a baby - to get a block of time off!

Anonymous said...

So, women are taking time off to get pregnant at your school and you want me to loose my CAR? Ummm, I don't think so!