Sunday, September 23, 2018

Looking For Retro At The Dairy Queen

I was a young man on November 1, 2009. That was the last time I remember looking handsome in a mirror,  the last time I can remember being able to stay out all night and still make it into work to  the next day, the last time I can remember ladies giving me a passing glance when I walked by.

It was also the last time the New York City Department of Education did not owe me money. 

In the months and years thereafter, there ensued a war against teachers in New York City so vicious that union leaders and politicians alike were felled and a movement -created specifically to push back against the Ed-reform movement- was born (or should I say wrought? hmm).

History will someday record that the fissures within the Democratic party have their roots in the decisions made around education during those first few months of that Obama administration -which happened to coincide with the third term of mayor Bloomberg.

So, of course, a new contract and a raise for teachers (like me) was nowhere to be had. And every day thereafter, as I become less and less youthful and gradually more worn until old, the City of New York started to owe me money.

When we finally did get a raise, in a contract I completely opposed, the money that I was owed, called Retroactive Payments, was rolled into a ridiculously confusing formula that ensured I would be getting paid a small amount every year (or so) until 2020.

Said one teacher, "we won't be made whole until some of us are dead and gone". And it was this -not being made whole for another 6 years- that represents price we teachers paid for suffering through the many affronts we experienced at the hands of politicians during a war against public education that took direct aim at us.

So each year, in October, we're given a little bit of the money that has been owed to us since we were young men and women. Almost like a pitty tip given to the Goodfellas character Spider after being callously shot in the foot for no reason.

And each year in October, the inevitable question among us arises: How much is the retro going to be?

And you know I'm going to tell how you to figure it out -of course I am!

But you also know that I wasn't about to go telling you without first making you read and remember the reason why we are owed this money in the first place. We are owed this money because countless politicians and leading members of our own unions felt that subjecting thousands of innocent teachers to be either fired, or terrorized in the workplace or humiliated in the press was somehow OK in the name of "progress". This isn't a  Susan Gregg Gilmore novel and it surely isn't free money.

OK, now that that's over, would you like to know how much you're owed? Sure.

All of the calculations in the payroll portal have be pre configured. This was true for 2015 and it was true for 2017. You can log in and check for yourself. Our total amount owed has already been calculated.  So if you were active in 2009 and if you're differentials are all the same, and if you're still active today, all of those numbers are calculated.

This year, we're owed twice as much, 25% as last year (12/5%). Therefor,  a good rule of thumb to follow is that this year's payment will be roughly twice as large as last year's.

Log onto Payroll Portal, find your way to the retro payment center and log on there, find last year's retro-only payment and double it. Then add your gross pay for the October check.

See? Simple. Just don't forget how we got here.

1 comment:

  1. The numbers are impossibly hard to work. The check will certainly be more than double what last time was. We were still owed 2% of the raise from 2009-2010 from October 2017-June 2018 when it was finally figured into our salary. If you're earning 100k, 2% for 10 months is about $1660. That number is then divided into 3(payment in 2018, 2019, 2020) which would be another $553 in each check.

    Still an absolute disgrace that we are waiting this long to settle a contract from 2009! A very sick union!