Mayor de Blasio And UFT Reach Preliminary Agreement On 43-month Contract Promoting Equity & Excellence For All Agenda

October 11, 2018

Bronx Plan will include additional pay for teachers in 180 high-needs schools and Collaborative Schools Model of decision-making

NEW YORK––Mayor de Blasio and United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew announced that the City of New York and the UFT have reached a preliminary contract agreement for over 129,000 City workers – approximately 36 percent of the City’s workforce. This agreement is pattern compliant for the 2017-2021 round of bargaining. Once ratified, 60 percent of the City’s workforce will be under a contract agreement.

The 43-month agreement includes the new Bronx Plan. The plan, which will include schools citywide, is named for the challenges our Bronx schools faced and is designed to address their specific needs and the needs of schools facing similar difficulties. For the next three schools years, this comprehensive set of interventions will drive improvement at 180 historically underserved schools. The Bronx Plan will encourage staff to come, stay and invest in these schools and students with a hard-to-staff pay differential for certain critical positions. Of the 180 schools, 120 schools will participate in the Collaborative School Model granting them additional resources for data-driven, collaborative decision-making processes.

The agreement also strengthens teacher development including by expanding nationally recognized teacher leader roles and changing requirements for in-service teachers earning credits after a Master’s degree; launches a remote teaching pilot program; and continues salary increases for UFT-represented staff, including teachers, guidance counselors, social workers, paraprofessionals, and school psychologists.

“With this agreement, 1.1 million New York City students will get the school system they deserve, and more than 129,000 educators will get the salary, resources and support they need to continue molding our future leaders,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I’m proud that this agreement includes the new Bronx Plan, a new program that will help us retain strong teachers in schools with historically high rates of attrition. It’s another way we’re lifting up our students and laying the groundwork to make New York City the fairest big city in America.”

“A major feature of this agreement is the way it empowers teachers to help improve their schools by giving them a seat at the table where important decisions about resources and strategy are made. This contract, and in particular the Bronx plan, takes some radical steps by putting key decision-making powers in the schools. It creates a unique labor/management environment and gives us the opportunity to introduce real change,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew. “While the old governance structure would never have let us get to this point, mayoral control was key to the creation of universal pre-k, and has helped us make progress in city schools. Given the importance of the issues and the long-term initiatives that are part of this contract, the UFT is calling for the continuation of mayoral control as the governance structure for New York City public schools.”

“Supporting great teachers means supporting great results for our students and families, and this agreement is truly an investment in New York City’s 1.1 million students and families,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “I am particularly excited about our Bronx Plan, which will advance equity by bringing resources and support into some of our most historically underserved schools. I thank Mayor de Blasio and President Mulgrew for their partnership and collaboration as we move closer to Equity & Excellence for All.”

“This agreement proves that we can balance the needs of our students and teachers in a way that is also fair to New York City taxpayers. By maintaining a respectful dynamic between the City and its workers, we are bringing innovative reforms to schools that have historically been underserved, and, when ratified, bringing a majority of the workforce under a contract agreement for the second time under this administration. I want to thank Mayor de Blasio and UFT President Michael Mulgrew for their continued partnership and for always putting the needs of the kids first,” said Robert Linn, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Labor Relations.

The Bronx Plan
The Bronx Plan will help retain teachers in schools that have historically had very high rates of teacher attrition – leading to great investment in the schools and students – and give teachers and school communities’ greater voice in decision-making.

The plan includes:

  • Additional Pay for Hard-to-staff positions: The Chancellor will be able to designate up to 180 schools to receive a “Hard-to-Staff Differential” to attract and retain good teachers, guidance counselors and other hard-to-staff positions. UFT members will be eligible for an additional $5,000-$8,000 in salary per year.

The schools will be selected this fall. Schools in the Bronx and other boroughs with high teacher attrition will be a focus of this program.

  • Collaborative Schools:Of the 180 schools, 120 schools, with the greatest focus in the Bronx, will also participate in the Collaborative Schools Model. The schools will begin their collaborative planning processes this fall. The program will:
    • Give teachers and community members a substantial voice in a school’s decision-making process;
    • Provide data coaching to assess needs and drive long-term planning;
    • Bring Equity and Excellence programming to these schools on an accelerated track;
    • And provide a $25,000 Innovation Fund to each of the 120 schools annually to be allocated by school committee members.

Stronger Schools Citywide
The agreement includes additional innovations to better serve students and families, and drive improvement across the system. The reforms are focused on recruitment, development, and retention of teachers across the City, including:

  • New teacher leadership positions: Starting in September 2019, the City will offer two new teacher leadership roles, Teacher Development Facilitator and Teacher Team Leader. Teacher Development Facilitators will take on additional responsibility supporting student teachers in their schools and preparing them to be successful from Day 1 in a full-time position. Teacher Team Leaders will work outside the classroom, developing Master Teachers, Model Teachers, and Teacher Development Facilitators across the City. Teacher Development Facilitators will be eligible for an additional $3,000 in salary per semester, and Teacher Team Leaders will be eligible for an additional $14,000 in salary per year.

The new teacher leadership roles build on the creation of three roles under the last UFT contract: Master Teachers, Model Teachers, and Peer Collaborative Teachers. There are approximately 1,500 teacher leaders across the City, and these investments in teacher leadership were recognized when New York was recognized as a Great District for Great Teachers in 2017.

  • Strengthening teacher advanced learning requirements: Starting in September 2019 for teachers with three or fewer years of experience, teachers applying for a salary increase (“differential”) for advanced learning beyond a Master’s Degree will have the opportunity to focus on high-quality, relevant coursework aligned to the school system’s needs. Approved courses, known as A+ courses, may include culturally responsive education, best practices in math or science, bilingual or special education, or computer science.
  • Remote teaching pilot: Starting in Spring 2019, Bronx high school students will participate in a 3-year, remote-teacher pilot program. These courses will be led remotely by teachers, who will be able to engage their students and answer questions in real time. The pilot will expand access to AP courses, advanced foreign language courses required for an Advanced Regents Diploma, and elective courses, allowing schools to expand course offerings.
  • Teacher evaluation observations: Starting in September 2019, we are revising teacher observations in our teacher evaluation system -- more closely tying the number of evaluations teachers receive to their experience and effectiveness. Tenured teachers previously rated Developing and Ineffective will be observed more frequently than teachers rated Effective and Highly Effective; probationary teachers will be observed more frequently than tenured teachers. Observations will be completed in cycles throughout the year to ensure more valuable feedback and development opportunities for teachers.
  • Pre-screening: As part of the contract, the DOE is working to develop a pre-service suitability screen, which will determine prospective teachers' suitability to teach in addition to the rigorous background check and qualification processes they currently undergo. The screen is currently under development.

Healthcare Savings
Continuing to build off the health care savings reached during the first four years, this agreement incorporates the second health savings agreement with the Municipal Labor Committee reached in June of this year. The agreement will provide total health care savings of $1.1 billion through Fiscal Year 2021 and $1.9 billion of annual savings thereafter.

The total cost of the tentative UFT agreement through fiscal year 2022 is $2.1 billion, which is offset by substantial healthcare savings and funding already in the City’s Labor Reserve, for a new net budget impact of $570 million.

Fair Wages
The agreement respects workers with a fair deal and provides pathways for teachers to help their colleagues while earning additional pay.

UFT employees will receive the following compounded wage increases:

  • February 14, 2019       2.00 percent
  • May 14, 2020              2.50 percent
  • May 14, 2021              3.00 percent

Once ratified, this will be the third major labor agreement with the UFT struck by the de Blasio Administration. The first was struck in 2014, after the UFT had gone without a contract for five years.

The proposed 3-year, 7-month contract would begin on 2/14/19 and expire on 9/13/22. Terms of the agreement must be approved by the union’s full in-service membership.

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