Sometime in 2019 the City and the UFT will start to negotiate a new contract. By law the next contract should be for two years, unless the contract is delayed or both sides agree on a longer contract. Assuming for now the next contract will be a standard two year deal, what can the UFT members expect?
First, here are some assumptions that I used:
- Bill de Blasio is still the Mayor.
- Metropolitan area inflation is 2.5%.
- The City economics is stable.
- State and Federal support remains unchanged.
Minimum raises of 2.5%, based upon the anticipated inflation rate and the baseline 2% raises the State is giving their unions. I see no reason for the UFT back-loading the raises or extending the contract beyond two years. Unfortunately, I also see our union agreeing to "givebacks" in the form of health care. Hopefully, it will not include larger co-payments or paying a monthly fee. The real question will there be additional "givebacks" such as time for money which has always worked against the members as the pitiful raises we have seen as the time go up from 6 hours and 20 minutes a day in the 1990's to 7 hours a day, almost a hour more! Adding time for money is not a raise! Finally, will the ATR situation finally be resolved by allowing for real "mutual consent" by both teachers and principals? I'm not holding my breath waiting for that to happen.
There are still other issues that can affect the next contract negotiations. Like the upcoming teacher shortage, potential class size reductions, and City, union relations. All three can positively or negatively affect contract negotiations as well.
Most importantly, the union negotiators must be more aggressive and rather than scare the membership by falsely claiming that if they don't take the City offer, the next offer will be worse. However., i strongly suspect that our union leadership rather roll over and play dead rather then force-the City to agree to a fair contract for their members.
The bottom line, I will not be holding my breath waiting for our union to negotiate a fair and generous contract with our present leadership in charge of the negotiations.