This is means that almost any public employee in New York who is 55 years old or older and has 25 years in will be able to retire with 28 years. I ended the post writing that it didn't seem like. abad deal.
And it really isn't for most public employees. Typically, the retirement rules require 30 years of service and the bills currently before the Senate and the Assembly would shave five years off of that. That's a very good deal for most public employees.
It's a great deal for NYC Sanitation workers. A great deal for NYC Custodians. An amazing deal for DC 37 members. It's just a great deal all around.
It happens to be a terrible deal for one type of public employee: The New York City School Teacher. Why? Because an unusually small amount of city school teachers will qualify.
Many city school teachers, who would otherwise have qualified for the package, had already opted into another 25/55 retirement plan all the way back in 2008. That plan was a trade; the teacher union agreed to a merit pay scheme by the Bloomberg administration and, in exchange, a special 55/25 early retirement incentive was offered to all city teachers. Anyone who wanted could opt in, pay a small amount from each check (1/85%) and, by the time the reached their 25/55 threshold, could retire. Teachers have been reaching their 25/55 threshold, and have been retiring under the plan ever since. (In 2019, around 8,500 city teachers retired. Many under this plan (see page 139)).
The 2008 deal wasn't made to all public employees. It was only offered to school teachers of New York City.
Gov. Eliot Spitzer is poised to approve a deal that would sweeten retirement incentives for New York City teachers, a move that their union and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg support but that budget watchdog groups say is financially risky.Because Mr. Bloomberg has agreed to the measure, which would allow teachers to retire five years earlier than they can now and still receive full pension benefits, Mr. Spitzer is likely to sign it, according to an administration official who did not want to be identified because no final determination had been made.
And because of this, city school teachers will benefit least from the incentive that is currently being debated in Albany (see my last post here for a link to the bills in both houses of the legislature).
So when I said 'not a bad deal', I was wrong. This is a pretty bad deal for New York City teachers.
Haven't we been through enough? The Post -The NY Post- has even caught on to how bad city teachers have been hurt over the past few months, noting that teachers haven't even been informed of how many of us were exposed to COVID back in March. City teachers had to petition to even have our schools closed in the middle of the month and almost everyone I know does not trust in the processes of the city school system to adhere to CDC guidelines next Fall. Now they face a retirement incentive that will incentivize precisely (or very very close) to no one who teaches in New York City.