The de Blasio administration and the United Federation of Teachers will return to the bargaining table in the coming weeks to hammer out an unresolved portion of the recently ratified contract, Capital has learned.
The two sides need to agree on how to pay union members who retired before June 30, 2014, because more teachers left than the contract had accounted for, both sides confirmed.
City Hall had set aside $180 million to pay lump sum retroactive wages to retiring teachers—a figure the union agreed to in June when it signed off on the nine-year deal that runs from 2009-2018. But the higher-than-anticipated retirement rate means the city may need to increase that total and negotiate how retroactive payments will be made to the additional retirees.
The union is likely to ask the city for enough money to pay all retirees 100 percent of their back wages at once—the same deal the first batch of retirees covered under the $180 million got. It is unclear whether the city will attempt to stretch out those payments over a period of years.
Capital previously reported 2,263 U.F.T. members applied for retirement in June, up from 1,484 applications in June of last year, according to figures provided by the New York City Teachers' Retirement System. (The figure includes CUNY instructors who are not covered by this contract.)
The U.F.T. deal was arguably the city's most complicated because the teachers had been without a contract since 2009 and did not receive the 8 percent raises former mayor Michael Bloomberg granted most municipal workers at that time.
In settling the contact, de Blasio's labor negotiators agreed to account for the 8 percent raises in 2 percent increments over a four-year period from 2015 to 2018, as well as pay out the retroactive cash from 2015 to 2020 in five installments, skipping 2016. Those payments will continue beyond the life of the contract.
The city insists the wages are not "retroactive" because they would not be granted to teachers who quit. Instead, the administration refers to them as "restructured payments." Teachers who opted to retire by June 30, 2014, were granted the entire back pay at once.
This is the kind of thing that happens when you negotiate a contract so complicated that it's got a hundred moving parts.
It will be interesting to see what happens in the end - does de Blasio stick to what he negotiated for the contract or does he try and weasel out?