First, the union intends to do nothing about this. Union leadership is happy that there will be no layoffs and they didn't have to cave on the seniority issue - yet (remember, for a UFT concession on an issue of principle, it is always just a matter of time.)
The Times story notes how Mulgrew "softened his tone" throughout the day talking about the salaries and said he was happy that the mayor is going to go to Albany and Washington to lobby for more education funds.
That's really standing up for the principal of collective bargaining, isn't it?
The mayor decides to no longer negotiate a contract in good faith, gives 0% for two years outside of contract parameters and gives nothing back to employees in return for the 0% and the union says "Great! Let's take an Amtrak trip to D.C.!"
Next, I read this particular comment attributed to Klein:
Mr. Klein, in a news conference, said he expected the budget for 2011-12 to be even worse than this year’s, because the city will not have federal stimulus money.
What I read in that line is, next year the mayor and the chancellor are going to cry poverty and threaten layoffs again, and then at the last minute declare step and longevity freezes as a way to avert the layoffs (and of course the op-ed writers across the city will hail the decision as "fair" and "full of common sense"), forcing the union to fight the move in court.
And the UFT, which seems to exist for no other reason than to provide the leadership with benefits and limos, will do nothing.
Oh, they'll talk a good game, but in the end, accomplish squat.
I hope I am wrong about that, but I don't think I will be.
Because the funding issue isn't going to get any easier for the state or the city and Wall Street will remain volatile until the sovereign debt issue gets worked out (and maybe a lot longer than that) so I don't see the extra money rolling into the government coffers any time soon.
The irony here is that we are going to be asked to do so much more in the coming years now that the teacher evaluation changes have been approved and Obama's RttT and NCLB Jr. guidelines are driving policy on school turnarounds.
Some low performing schools will have longer hours and perhaps even Saturday school.
And teachers will be doing much of this (if not all of it) for little to no additional compensation.
The powers that be will say, "If you don't like it, quit."
And they will have thousands of applicants ready to take the job at a much cheaper salary and pension package.
So they know they have got teachers and they are using the hammer again and again and again on us.
And teachers are taking it.
The union is taking it.
As for me, I have one year and nine months to go for my next longevity increase.
During that time, my rent will increase, food will go up, medical expenses will go up, travel expenses will increase.
The money I receive in interest in my savings account won't go up much, however. Obama and Bernanke have made sure of that by keeping the Fed Funds rate at 0%.
And the compensation I receive at work won't go up - no raises for two years, little per session available, the college program I used to work has been canceled.
And then there could come the step/longevity freeze next year.
So I will have to make due with what I have and the powers that be will say "Be grateful you have a job!"
And I think to myself "Is this the change we can all believe in?"