Discover more from The Wire: Powered by Educators of NYC
Will there be a contract this year? UFT’s latest communication suggests not.
A UFT contract draft now appears unlikely this year. A decent one appears impossible. What went wrong? - Repost from the NAC/UFT blog at https://newaction.org
On Monday, the 500-member negotiating committee will meet. That highly anticipated event, the culmination of a year of negotiations, will be followed immediately by the final UFT executive board meeting of the 2022-2023 school year. The very next afternoon, the June Delegate Assembly will be held. Big meetings like this are rarely so close together. You’d think the contract was ready for a vote.
But, as the DA invite email shows below, there may not be a contract vote this year after all. This comes as a bit of a surprise. Other unions like DC37 and PBA finished bargaining in February and April, respectively. And UFT leadership was signaling just weeks ago that the City and the DOE wanted the contract done quickly as much as they did. Then, almost immediately, they started to shift that tune.
It’s clear to me that UFT leadership wanted a contract before summer. They wanted to deliver that sub-inflation ‘pattern’ into our hands in time for our much-needed vacations. And in all likelihood, they wanted to encourage a yes vote by leveraging summer vacation against voting UFT members. But, as months went by, it appeared that they had misjudged the City and the DOE. Having signaled all over the place that they would only use ‘soft’ organizing tactics, UFT leadership showed that they had no leverage in negotiations. That summer contract they wanted was going to be harder to close than they thought. .
Then, the City started to play hardball. We were ambushed with a calendar that arbitrarily expanded our work calendar well beyond 180 days. That was big news for teachers, who erupted in outrage all over social media. But the real slight, at least according to early UFT communications, was the DOE’s unconfirmed adoption of the pilot workday. In retaliation, UFT leadership entered us into a nonsensical game of chicken that will now likely stick us with 37.5 minutes of tutoring after school each day, and no Other Professional Work (OPW) or Parent Engagement (PE) time. In other words, after a campaign that emphasized teacher-directed time, the result of contractual negotiations for this September may be that control of our time is gutted more than ever before. A terrible result – and a blow that will be compounded by a Unity-imposed ’10 % health insurance pay-cut’ whose deadline is closing in fast.
There is still time, of course. Maybe UFT leadership will get a last-minute agreement finalized this weekend. But under these circumstances, how good could it be? With such harsh wording in the DA email, isn’t it implicit that there’s no way we’re close to a good deal – one which would come close to meeting UFC’s 5 core demands? I sincerely doubt it.
The views expressed by our individual authors are their own and may not reflect the views of the EONYC community. Just as we may not all agree with the editorial views expressed as the collective Educators of NYC community.