Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Back When Three Months Looked Like Six Weeks (Your DOEnut of the Week!)

DOENuts rule #42: There are three types of people that, while wonderful,  should never be taken at their word:

*A School or district leader
*An insurance salesperson
*Anyone from Unity UFT leadership.

Just to be clear: rule 42 does not state you shouldn't like or deal with these people. Quite the contrary. They are all needed and necessary parts of teacher's daily life and routine. Some of them are tons of fun to talk to and work with. In fact, you'd be silly to not work with these folks on some level. But rule 42 does state -quite clearly, actually- that folks from any of these above mentioned groups should never ever ever be taken at their word.


Got it?

Cool. Let's begin.

Last year, my union and the DoE reached an agreement on a new contract. As part of that agreement, teachers who retired were guaranteed all of their retroactive 'back' pay from the periods of 2009 to the date of the contract. Under the deal, the rest of us will get our backpay in these insanely complicated partial payments which occur every most Octobers between now and the 2020. But teachers who retired before a certain date are guaranteed the entire amount of their backpay.

This is the way it should be. Retirees shouldn't suffer the same crap with regard to retroactive pay that we do and I have no problem waiting while those who served the students of NYC all this time and retired get the full amount.

But, lo and behold! After the Bloomberg reforms, tons more teachers retired than they thought would do so. This was no surprise to some of us cynics. But it was, apparently, a surprise to everyone else!

According the ICEUFT blog, the extra retirees created a budget hole of about $60 million and that hole needed to be made up.

And, they made it up. From the same ICEUFT post:

.... part of the 5% raise scheduled to take place on May 1, 2018 will be deferred for six weeks.  We were supposed to finally get the last 2% of the 2009-11 money added to our salaries on May 1, 2018 in addition to a new 3% increase.  Now the 2% will be added as scheduled but the 3% raise will be deferred until June 16, 2018.

This is cool. I don't mind taking care of the retirees as their service in helping build my union take care of me, and my family, so well. Because of their efforts, I have the best healthcare, best retirement and the best pay (for an urban city teacher) there is. So I'm cool with extending a raise a bit more to make sure they get their money. I am, however, in agreement with James Eterno who described it  this as 'Just another new indignity added to many for working teachers.'. That too is correct.

What is not correct is this announcement that teachers will have to wait six weeks for this 3% raise. That is just not the case. In fact, while the 3% will be seen in our June 16th paycheck (maybe the June 30 check as well), the actual raise will not be a regular part of our pay until September of 2018 -a full three months after the agreed upon time. This is because of the way our summer pay is calculated.

I'm not sure how to explain our summer paychecks. But, for just a moment, it may be better to not understand them as part of our regular salary. Instead, think of them as pro-rated checks that reflect the average amount of each of the DoE's pay periods (not counting coverages and other overages) throughout the school year. Let me try to explain it this way.

Let's say you made $1,000 per paycheck for an entire school year. Your summer pay is $1,000 per check. But let's say the guy next to you made $1,000 per check for only half of the year. Perhaps he was on leave or maybe he had just come into teaching in the middle of the school year. Although he made the same $1,000 as you, his summer checks are still based on the same average of total pay periods from September to June. Since he only worked half the time, his summer checks will be half of yours -$500.

This happened to Mrs. DOEnuts years ago. She taught for only the second semester at aschool in Manhattan. On the very last day of school, we were surprised that she received summer checks totalling almost exactly half of the check she had earned as a temporarily assigned social studies teacher. We called to ask whether we had to give the money back and got a full lesson from a nice lady at Court Street.

Just to underline the point: Let's say you made $1,000 for the first half of the year, but then received a raise of some sort halfway through the year. If you made $1,050 dollars for the second of the year, your summer checks will be roughly $1,025 per check -the average amount you made from September to June.

And let's say that you get a raise of 3% from a union contract but that raise doesn't kick in until  the final pay period of the year -on June 16. What you'll see during the summer is the average of what you made from September to June (it's just the total amount divided by 20). It won't reflect the raise at all.

That's right! Notwithstanding the final pay period of the year (perhaps the June 30th check as well), they found a way to extend our raise for three full months -all the way into September of 2018- and make us all believe it is only for six weeks. Nice, right?

So to Mr. Scheinman, city negotiators and our own beloved Unity-led UFT, for pulling the wool over our eyes, on a Friday -before vacation!- I humbly confer upon you this DOE-nut Of the Week for the week of Friday, February 13, 2015! I realize today's date is actually ex post facto, but no worries! I've decided to make your award effective from last Friday -so just go ahead and pretend you won it then.

All those involved in this grift get a $5 gift card (via email, of course) to the Dunkin Donuts of their choosing, with the first 12.5%  being distributed on October 1st, 2015, the second 12.5% on October 1, 2017, then 25% on 10/1/18, 25% on 10/1/19 and 25% on 10/1/2020. Your gift disbursement should look something like this:

10/1/2015 - 62 cents
10/1/2017 -63 cents
10/1/2018 $1.25
10/1/2019 $1.25
10/1/2020 $1.25

All disbursements should be divided by the amount of folks involved in this mess deal.

And no worries about the money, folks! As your new deal implies, I'm good for it (just as long as I don't die)!

1 comment:

  1. Friday the 13th combined with Valentine's Day. It's like a date with Michael Myers courtesy of the UFT!