When Mayor Bloomberg presents his budget tomorrow, he will ask city teachers and principals to take modest pay raises in their next contract - no more than $1,400, according to those briefed on his spending plan for the coming fiscal year.
If they don’t agree, he’s threatening to slash school budgets 2.3 percent and cut 2,500 jobs.
That is the most dramatic of the proposals Bloomberg will make to help plug a nearly $5 billion budget shortfall for FY 2011, which begins in July.
The mayor, who routinely brags that teacher salaries have shot up 43 percent during his tenure, wants teachers and principals to accept 2 percent raises for the next two years instead of the standard 4 percent.
Those raises will only be based on $70,000 of their salary. Basically, that means if an educator makes $100,000, he or she would only get a raise on $70,000. It’s as if the extra $30,000 doesn’t exist.
2% raises, less if you make over $70,000 a year. I'm assuming Bloomberg wants additional concessions from the union for the 2% raises as well - at the very least, the "draining of the ATR pool," as one Klein cretin put it in a Gotham Schools comment thread the other day. Probably union agreement to tie teacher evaluations to test scores too.
I think I can come up with an answer for the mayor right now.
If you want to break the pattern for raises, then drop your demand for concessions from the union on ATR's and teacher evaluations tied to test scores. I'll take 2% a year for two years, but only if you drop the concessions demand and give the 2% for all of an employee's compensation, not just the portion up to and including $70,000.
How's that sound, Moneybags?
But don't start demanding layoffs. You've been hiring like crazy at City Hall (that truly awful human being, Howard Wolfson, has just been put on the city payroll for $209,000 a year to help start your BLOOMBERG FOR PRESIDENT IN 2012 campaign), so drop the jive about needing to lay people off.
If you want to start laying people off, start with Wolfson and the rest of the political consultants you pay out of the city coffers.
You know, if it was between 4% with concessions or 2% without concessions, I'd take the 2% without concessions any day of the week.
Of course I'd prefer 4% without concessions, but that would presuppose I belonged to a union with long-term strategy abilities and some idea of what the hell they were doing pre-2009 mayoral election.
And that presupposition would be wrong.
UPDATE: NYC Educator notes in the comment thread that the pattern is the pattern and if Bloomberg wants lower raises, then he has to buy us out with concessions or time.
I stand corrected. I think NYC Educator has it exactly right. If we take 2% a year instead of the 4% set in the pattern, we'll take 20 minutes a day back plus no more bathroom duty.