Mayor Bloomberg and UFT President Randi Weingarten announced a tentative contract deal last night, just in time for Weingarten’s announcement Wednesday. The agreement would roll back pension benefits for newly hired employees, but preserve benefits for current teachers. It would also scrap the two work days before Labor Day that were added to the work year in the last contract negotiation.
Not mentioned in either Bloomberg’s press release or Weingarten’s e-mail to teachers (sent late last night and obtained thanks to a helpful reader): the small matter of the $81 million-a-year Absent Teacher Reserve. That’s the pool of teachers who are the losers in the system’s new hiring market — but haven’t been able to find positions at schools.
The union and the city struck a deal to try to drain the pool in November, but the number of reserve teachers stayed basically the same.
This appears to be Weingarten’s penultimate loose end before she leaves the city to work at the national teachers union full-time. The final deal she must announce: A contract agreement with the union-represented Green Dot charter school in the Bronx, which officials are unveiling this afternoon.
Here’s how Weingarten described the new citywide labor agreement in an e-mail to teachers, followed by Bloomberg’s press release:
The city press release, courtesy Liz Benjamin: