Already there is talk about the next contract and the failure of the negotiation committee to have a no giveback position. While I'm not holding my breath on dynamic, classroom teacher centered negotiations, I do believe that the parameters of the next contract pattern is starting to crystalize. Unfortunatly, it will include givebacks for a raise that won't equal inflation.
What am I talking about? Buried in last week's The Chief, the civil service newspaper, in the for the record section was the City's preliminary proposal to DC 37. It included a 3.15% raise for 2007 (same as ours) and two 2% raises for 2008 & 2009. What' are the givebacks? How about paying for health insurance (TWU) and a 6% contribution for new employees to the pension plan (Tier V). While both need outside approval (health -Municipal Labor Council and pension - State legislature) it is the basis of the next "pattern".
The UFT may say loud and clear that they will not agree to any City proposals for more time and a sixth teaching period, it is interesting that they are very quiet about other givebacks like paying for health and a new pension tier for new employees. Further, it is interesting that the UFT are not talking about takebacks. First, the contract negotiations must include getting back the days before Labor Day. The giving up of these days was a travisty and must be eliminated in the next contract. My previous articles have talked about the other takebacks and needs not be repeated here.
Finally, it is very important that the next leader of the UFT represent the classroom teacher and not the lawyer elite. While I'm interested that a candidate is coming forward to contest for the UFT presidency. I need to be convinced that this candidate is not an idologue and is a true champion of the classroom teacher.