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Mayor Adams, NYC teachers union reach a tentative contract agreement

By 06/14/2023 8:22 AMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff

According to Mayor Adams’ announcement on Tuesday, the city and the teachers union have tentatively struck a contract that includes annual raises, retention benefits, and a ratification bonus.

The agreement reached with the United Federation of Teachers, which has around 120,000 members, is similar to one previously negotiated between the Adams administration and DC 37, the largest municipal union in the city.

The UFT agreement runs retrospectively from September 2022 to November 2027, and during the first three years of that time, teachers are set to get 3% yearly raises.

They would receive a pay increase of 3.25% in 2026 and a 3.5% hike the following year.

It also contains retroactive compensation, a $3,000 one-time ratification incentive, and a new retention bonus that will take effect each year in May. Beginning with a $400 payout in May 2024, the bonus structure will increase in value in 2025.

The agreement states that the bonus will be paid to active members every spring after that, “in perpetuity,” up to a maximum of $1,000 in 2026.

In the rotunda of City Hall, Mayor Adams declared, “It’s a great deal for workers.” “City taxpayers deserve fairness.”

According to the union, the starting teacher wage in the biggest school district in the country would grow by more than $11,000 by the end of the proposed deal, reaching $72,349 with the bonus.

The top compensation would be $151,271, and most teachers might get $100,000 in eight instead of 15 years, which is half as long as it used to take.

The tentative agreement’s language would also open the door to more public schools offering voluntary remote learning.

According to the UFT, this will build on a pilot program that began in dozens of schools this year and allows students to enroll in online classes taught by teachers from public schools all over the city.

It will also enable the creation of school-based courses offered in high schools and schools for students in grades 6 through 12, either after school or on the weekends.

This fall, a quarter of high schools might begin to offer these courses; by the 2027–2028 academic year, all high schools might be offering them.

According to projections from the city, between 2,500 and 3,000 pupils could engage in virtual learning over the upcoming academic year.

Adams stated that he advocated for the virtual learning component of the contract and noted that it was a concept he had previously raised during his bid for mayor in 2021.

David Banks, chancellor of schools, stated on Tuesday that the city is now prepared to move forward.

During the epidemic, he says, “We discovered that some students, particularly nontraditional students, benefited from the additional flexibility in their schedule.”

Students in danger of failing their classes could keep up with their studies on a schedule that suited them.

He continued, “The days of just working in the classroom and within the four walls of the school are finished.

The initiative might provide students who don’t have access to Advanced Placement or other accelerated courses in their home schools with such possibilities, as well as fill the demands of young people looking for evening or weekend sessions due to employment or other commitments.

UFT President Michael Mulgrew said, “We don’t want it to be dependent upon if you have a school lucky enough to get an AP teacher or a physics teacher; only the students in that school could get that class.”

“You can see in this agreement that we want to open up that equity to everyone.”

Three hundred sixty students will be enrolled in two full-time, hybrid virtual high school programs the city previously announced.

Local education officials acknowledged that the state gave those the go-ahead to award degrees on Tuesday.

Some UFT members who do not work in school facilities may be able to work remotely up to two days per week. Additionally, some parent-teacher conferences and professional development days will move online.

The union’s spokeswoman, Alison Gendar, noted that while virtual conferences will be the “default,” schools must accommodate parents’ requests for in-person sessions, even if they had to be organized on a different day.

According to sources, the contract would grant teachers a holiday on the Monday following Easter and the final two days of Passover.

The 2023–24 school calendar was issued this month, but the Education Department omitted those vacation days that often coincide with spring break, inciting outrage among union members on the bottom rung.



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