OK boys and girls--it's contract time once again, and you know what that means! RUMORS! Now let me state at the outset that this is just a rumor. I am not one of the 300 members of the negotiating committee. I am Michael Mulgrew.
No, just kidding. I'm an ordinary teacher with just one pension, unlike our UFT friends, so I don't know any more than you do. But the rumor is a doozy.
According to someone who knows someone who is kind of friends with someone who knows something, I can irresponsibly spread the rumor that the UFT is angling for a new salary step--45 credits above the masters.
At first blush, I thought...Nahhh...it doesn't make any sense. But then I thought about it, and from a UFT tucking in Mike Bloomberg perspective, it makes a lot of sense.
Think about it. Mulgrew negotiates the usual pattern 4% minus the .58 percent we lost to get the two days before Labor Day which we used to have but then gave away but got back. (Whew.) That's not really much of a victory, is it? But suppose they put in a new step--a 45 credit above the master's step?
Well, that changes everything. Suppose Mikey gives even a measly 2 grand for that 45 credit plateau. With the 8% over two years and the two K for the step, Bloomie could claim to have raised the top teacher salary to $110K!! Think of it! Near parity with the suburbs!
Sure, it would be a win for Mulgrew, but other than the above claim, how does it benefit Bloomie to raise teacher salaries in a time of economic stagnation? Simple. Not only does he get to claim that he's creating a pool of highly qualified teachers, but the kicker is he hardly has to pay anything! I'd bet a year's worth of UFT dues that the number of teachers with 45 credits above is probably less than 3%, so few of us would qualify. As for all the teachers who would go back to school for the extra moolah--so what? It'll take most teachers a few years to get those extra 15 credits, so Bloomie won't have to pay for this for years. Politicians love plans that let them take credit now but pay far after the election is over.
Also, it's pretty common knowledge that most teachers leave before putting in 5 years, so they have no chance of getting to 45 above. The majority of teachers take 5 years just to earn their master's, and another 3 to get the 30 above. Tack on two more years for the additional 15, and most teachers are long gone before seeing any money. Of those that make it for those ten years. they can just close your school and fire you. Or send you to the rubber room.
So sharpen those #2 pencils--it's time to go back to school! Those of you who have taken those wonderful 3G courses are no doubt salivating at the idea of taking some more. Personally, I already am well past 45 above, so unfortunately I will have to miss that distinct pleasure.