It sure didn’t take New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio long to pay back his union buddies. After he took over City Hall the teachers union was suddenly interested in negotiating a contract, something they refused to do during the last years of Michael Bloomberg’s tenure. I’m sure they’re glad they waited.
Unions refused to negotiate for five years with former mayor Michael Bloomberg, and their refusal has paid off. Union chief Michael Mulgrew stood next to Mr. de Blasio in announcing a new contract and said he couldn’t “thank the mayor enough.”
And no wonder. The deal includes an 8% retroactive raise plus a 10% cumulative bump from 2013 through 2018. The 19.5% compounded pay increase will boost the starting salary to $54,411 from $45,530 and the maximum to $119,565 from $100,049. Teachers will also get a $1,000 signing bonus for approving the contract that rewards their recalcitrance.
The raises will cost the city $5.5 billion, and Mr. de Blasio is touting some $1.3 billion in savings from health care. But the contract includes no employee contributions for premiums, though most American workers pay 20% to 30% of their health costs. The specific cuts will be determined later, which may mean never.
Teachers at “hard-to-staff” schools will also receive $5,000 retention bonuses. But since schools with the highest vacancies tend to be low-performing, this is a reward for failure. Teachers appointed by a panel of union and district representatives to mentorship positions stand to earn an additional $7,500 to $20,000 annually. These teachers must spend a mere 30 to 55 additional hours a year on duties like “demonstrating lessons” and sharing “instructional best practices.” That works out to an hourly pay rate of $250 and $360.
I’m not sure if the article is behind a pay wall, if not you should read the whole thing. It goes on to describe the “Potemkin” charter schools de Blasio and the union came up with to make it look like they’re all for school choice.