Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Does Mayor Michael Bloomberg Really Have The Authority To Freeze Our Salaries? The Short Answer Is Yes But It Won't Happen
Mayor Bloomberg, with much fanfare, has announced a wage freeze for principals and teachers for the next two years. This wage freeze flies in the face of the "City pattern" that has always been followed and in fact the teachers union has already went to PERB to make sure the "City pattern" is followed. However, unlike the police any PERB decision is not binding and can be ignored by either side. Historically, both sides have used the "City pattern" and the PERB arbitration that generally follows the "City pattern" as political cover to get a new contract. Despite, the budget crises look for this to happen here but with a twist.
Look for the Bloomberg Administration to pick off a weaker union (DC-37?) to settle for a vastly inferior contract. Let's say 3% and a no layoff clause with "givebacks" for two years for the 2011-12 time period. Now there is a new "City Pattern" in place. Once the new contract is in place. Look for the Bloomberg Administration to follow the PERB recommendations, after ignoring them, and give the teachers a four year contract that will be 11% (4%, 4%, 1%,2%), with "givebacks" ( a sixth class, unpaid coverages, more time, etc.). Since the teachers have not had a raise in three years (May 19, 2008), the union leadership will recommend its approval because it is based upon the two "City patterns". Therefore, our salaries will fall further behind the neighboring suburbs and create an even more hostile classroom environment as our "givebacks" will reduce teacher discretion and individuality.
Yes, Mayor Bloomberg will lift the wage freeze but remember what the consequences will be for the New York City teaching profession.