New York City Mayor Adams announced on Tuesday that the United Federation of Teachers has reached a tentative contract agreement that provides annual raises,retention perks and a ratification bonus set pattern by a previous contract hammered out by the Adams administration and DC 37, the city’s largest municipal union.
This agreement is retroactive from September 2022 through November 2027.
This agreement provides teachers with a 3% annual pay raise for the first three years of the contract and a 3.25% pay increase in 2026, followed by a 3.5% raise in the final year. Additionally, it includes a $3,000 ratification bonus and retro payment to teachers.
The agreement also includes a new retention bonus that starts with a $400 payout in May 2024, followed by slightly higher payments in subsequent years until it reaches $1,000 in 2026 and every subsequent year.
As part of the deal, the city has agreed to allow for an expansion of voluntary remote learning in public schools. This follows a pilot program run this year in dozens of schools across New York City that allowed students to take online classes taught by public school teachers from across the city.
This program may open up access to advanced placement and other accelerated courses to students who lack those opportunities in their own schools, as well as meet the needs of young people with jobs or other responsibilities seeking evening or weekend classes.
Language in the tentative deal will make it possible to create school-based courses that can run after school or on weekends in high schools and grades 6-12 schools.
About a quarter of high schools could start offering these classes this fall, and the goal is to have all high schools participate in the program by the 2027-2028 school year.
The plan estimates that 2,500 to 3,000 students may participate in remote learning next school year.
Mayor Adams indicated that he had pushed for the virtual learning piece of the contract and had even floated the idea earlier during his 2021 run for mayor. This new agreement would allow some professional development days and parent-teacher conferences to also shift online.
Some UFT members who do not work in school buildings will be eligible to work remotely up to two days a week, which would give them some flexibility to manage their schedules.
Sources confirmed that the contract would also give teachers a day off on the Monday after Easter and the last two days of Passover.
UFT President Michael Mulgrew highlighted that the provision for more remote learning is an effort to increase equity across all schools by giving students in underserved schools the chance to benefit from AP and other advanced classes, regardless of the qualifications of their teachers at school.
It should be noted that this provision for extending remote learning may appear to run counter to the mayor’s views on virtual work, as early on in his administration, he mandated that all city workers would have to show up in person for work while the city was still emerging from COVID.
However, Mayor Adams softened his stance on virtual work with the DC 37 contract, which provides a program that allows the city and union to explore options for work-from-home.
It also set a pattern for other non-uniform unions in the city, such as the UFT.
It bears mentioning that this agreement with the teachers union follows the pattern set by a previously hammered-out deal with the DC 37, marking a successful milestone for the Adams administration.
The tentative deal will need to be ratified by UFT members before it takes effect. This agreement is expected to go a long way in making public education more equitable and accessible to students across New York City.
In summary, this landmark agreement sets the stage for an increase in access to advanced courses across all schools, possible work-from-home options, and a boost in teacher morale.
It is a positive step forward for New York City’s public school system.
The UFT agreement will provide New York City teachers with a ratification bonus, annual raises, and retention bonuses.
In addition, it will provide new opportunities for remote learning and flexible working arrangements that could open up access to more advanced courses for students across all of New York City’s schools.
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