By Naeisha Rose
The United Federation of Teachers (UFT) announced last weekend that its members overwhelmingly ratified a new contract with the city that would give teachers a 7.7 percent raise over the course of 43 months, according to UFT President Michael Mulgrew.
“I want to thank the members of the UFT for their resounding support of this contract. The new agreement gives teachers a larger voice in how their schools are run, and shows what we can accomplish when we stand together,” Mulgrew said.
Roughly 90,000 UFT members, or 87 percent, voted in favor of the contract. Starting salaries over the course of the deal will increase to $61,070. More experienced teachers will see their base pay rise to $128,657. The American Arbitration Association counted the votes.
The current starting salary for new teachers entering with a bachelor’s degree is as low as $56,711 and teachers with a Master’s degree and over 22 years of experience make as much as $119,472, according to Alison Gendar, a UFT spokeswoman.
Effective Feb. 14, 2019, wages will increase by 2 percent. In 2020, there will be a 2.5 percent increase and in 2021, there will be a 3 percent raise for the 43-month contract for a total of 7.7 percent in compounded wage increases, according to Michelle Herman, another spokeswoman at UFT.
The UFT contract with the city is worth $2.1 billion and will extend into the fiscal year 2022, according to Councilman I. Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans), who is the chair of the Committee on Civil Service and Labor.
“This agreement demonstrates that good faith negotiations yield positive and equitable gains for all parties,” Miller said during the preliminary agreement phase of the contract in October.
Last month, Mayor Bill de Blasio was happy to get the door closed on the negotiations between the city and the teacher’s union, and was looking forward to what the contract would mean for students.
“We’ve set ourselves on a path in this city to ensure that we will be the fairest big city in America,” said de Blasio. “One of the most essential components of that is making sure that every child gets a good education regardless of zip code and the way to do that is a partnership between our school system and our educators for the good of all.”
Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose