June 3, 2014
NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña applauded today's full ratification of a historic United Federation of Teachers contract that rewards and retains good teachers, fosters innovation in the classroom, deepens parent involvement in schools, and delivers more than $1 billion in health care savings. From launching up to 200 new Innovation Schools to investing more in professional development, the contract will usher in reforms that transform New York City schools and support the teaching profession—and do so within the City's commitment to fiscal responsibility.
"Now more than ever, education determines a child's destiny. And that's why we sought a contract that was first and foremost about transforming public education. We are going to help good educators stay and grow in this profession, and usher real reform that will lift up kids across the whole system. And at the same time, we are securing unprecedented health care savings, which make this a fiscally responsible contract that protects our budgets and our taxpayers," said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
"This day is the result of months of collaboration. Our goal was to make this not just a teachers' contract, but an education contract—and we succeeded. This is a new day for our educators, and for our students and families. And it shows what can happen when we put children at the center of our agenda," said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, a lifelong educator.
The agreement marks the "resolution of a long-standing budgetary risk for the city," as Moody's described it, and sets a pattern for the over 150 expired labor contracts that is below inflation rate. As a result, the Mayor's Fiscal Year 2015 Executive Budget, for the first time, paints an accurate picture of the cost of a labor settlement, following years during the previous administration in which contracts remained open and unresolved.
The agreement with the Municipal Labor Committee secured an unprecedented $3.4 billion in permanent, guaranteed health care savings—the first major reduction in health care costs in the City's history. Even after the agreement, out-year budget gaps and debt service remain well below historical averages, and the City's annual general reserves are more robust than in any previous administration.