After reaching a preliminary deal with the United Federation of Teachers last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio presented his $73.9 billion executive budget on Thursday as a "real budget" based on a presumed pattern from the U.F.T. deal.
De Blasio's proposal allocated roughly $5.5 billion to settle labor contracts over five years.
De Blasio described the U.F.T. deal, which has been recommended by the union's leadership but not yet ratified as a template for negotiations with the other 151 municipal unions, though several uniform-union labor leaders have said they believe the wage increases are insufficient.
"If I've ever seen a pattern, this is a pattern," de Blasio said, later adding, "We feel very confident this pattern will hold throughout the process."
It will be interesting to see how confident they feel at City Hall (and 52 Broadway, for that matter) if the UFT rank-and-file vote the contract down.
There's a lot of anger out there over it and while I have seen some pretty bad contracts in my time as a teacher pass by fairly large margins, there are two differences this time around from, say, the odious '05 contract vote.
First, all the teachers on social media passing along negatives about the contract proposal means the UFT does not control the message around the issue the way they do the debate at the DA.
It's hard to tell definitely from the blogosphere and the twitterverse just how strong the opposition to the contract is, but from what I can see, there is a potent element of opposition out there.
Second, teachers have taken a lot of beatings over the last nine years since the '05 contract - from the media beatings to the Bloomberg budgets (layoff threats every May!) to the Bloomberg closures to the Common Core to the teacher evaluation changes.
This contract is quickly becoming the repository of every bit of frustration and anger teachers are feeling over all the issues I just named above and more.
I hear that talking to teachers at school, many of whom I would term "apolitical" when it comes to union issues in general who are quite skeptical of the contract and say they are voting no on it.
De Blasio may say this proposal sets the pattern for the other 151 unions, but he doesn't seem to realize how pissed off teachers are and how this contract could get voted down.
The UFT leadership realizes it, however, which is why they filibustered the Delegates Assembly yesterday and allowed no dissenting voices to raise questions about the contract details.
Underneath all the bluster Mulgrew showed at the DA yesterday, there was clearly fear that they don't quite have as much control over this contract vote as they want the rest of us to think they do.