New York City and its teachers union struck a deal Friday to secure a $900 million back-pay payout the de Blasio administration had attempted to cancel just a day earlier.
The United Federation of Teachers and City Hall agreed to pay out half of the $900 million payment this fiscal year and the second half in the following fiscal year.
The union also extracted a pledge from the city to not layoff any teachers this year and cemented a previously agreed-upon 3 percent pay hike on May 14, 2021.
“In addition, with teachers facing layoffs around New York State and the rest of the nation because of the pandemic’s damage to the economy, we were able to convince the arbitrator to add a no-layoff pledge and a guarantee that the teachers’ next contractual raise — a 3 percent increase set for May — will not be challenged by the city,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew said.
The de Blasio administration on Thursday had called off the massive payout, which was due this month.
It was the last in the series of five back pay payments stemming from union negotiations between 2009 and 2011 — citing the ongoing financial crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
First Deputy Mayor Dean Fuleihan had written to the teachers union that the cancelled payment would help the city avoid potential layoffs.
Mayor de Blasio on Friday billed the agreement as a $450 million savings for the city.
“The City faces the gravest fiscal crisis since 9/11, but we will build on our record of strong financial management by making the tough decisions and sacrifices we need to keep the City running,” de Blasio said.
“This agreement allows us to avoid laying off the teachers who’ve done so much for New York City’s schools and students. But make no mistake, the need for the Federal and State governments to step up and provide us with aid is as pressing as ever.”
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