The No Raise, No Layoff Plan
June 2nd, 2010
Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to freeze salaries for teachers, school administrators and Department of Education managers will prevent the layoff of some 4,400 teachers, Schools Chancellor Joel Klein said at a press conference earlier today.
The city had originally budgeted to give members of the United Federation of Teachers 2 percent raises in each of the next two years. Eliminating the increase, Klein said, would free up some $400 million and so would save some 4,400 teaching jobs slated for elimination in the mayor’s executive budget released last month. The system would, however, would still lose about 2,000 teachers through attrition.
Budgets going out to principals today will include a 4 percent spending decrease that, Klein said, could show up in cuts to afterschool and Saturday programs, layoffs of teachers aides, and cuts in professional development programs.
Earlier today, the union issued a statement (reprinted below)
sharply disagreeing with the no raise idea. ” [Bloomberg] does NOT have the power to unilaterally decide on the teachersí contract, and we have reached NO agreement on his proposal to freeze teacher pay,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew said.
The Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, which represents principals and assistant principals, also has balked at the plan. “We have not consented to his proposal to eliminate raises for the next two years, and we have yet to sit down at the bargaining table,” union president Ernest Logan said in a statement.
The teachers contract with the city expired in October, and negotiations had reached an impasse. The teachers have been working under the old contract. Klein said that, under state labor law, this could continue indefinitely.
“The mayor has the power to enter contracts, and the mayor has said any contract will not have any increase,” Klein said.
Saying he would have liked to give raises, Klein said the mayor’s move is “the right decision but not an easy decision.”
Klein held out the possibility that the city could grant raises if it received additional money from the state or federal government. The city has calculated that Gov. David Paterson’s proposed budget would cut aid to city schools by $500 million blowing a $750 million hole in the Department of Education budget
Mulgrew, Klein and Bloomberg have said they plan to go to Albany soon to lobby for additional aide.
Since this budget process began, skeptics have questioned whether the mayor was singling teachers out for particularly draconian cuts in order to pressure Albany to, as Klein’s put, it, “step up,” Whether the pay freeze will further pressure the governor and legislature remains anyone’s guess.By Gail Robinson on June 2, 2010, 1:43 pm
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