De Blasio on Teacher Deal: "There is Mutual Understanding”

Friday, May 02, 2014

New York City and the teacher's union have agreed on a contract that includes back pay and changes to the way teachers are evaluated, interact with parents, and get their health care. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that even though the contract must still be ratified, he believes "there is mutual understanding" between the union and the city. The new contract will "deepen the relationship between parents and teachers," said de Blasio about the provisions in the contract that require more parent-teacher conferences and time for teachers to write and call parents during the week.

Pressed for details on how the teacher health plan would change, de Blasio said he was being "broad on purpose" in not offering details, but "this allows each union to chose for a menu [of health care saving options] so long as we get to the dollar figure." The Mayor's office claims it can save over $1billion over the next four years through streamlining health plans and wielding purchasing power.


Bill de Blasio

Comments [43]

If you like your retroactive pay raises, you can keep them, if you stay in the employment of the NYC Brd of Ed as a teacher, unless you decide to retire, then you can keep it all.
What else does the "fine print" reveal?

May. 12 2014 10:36 AM

The nature of the UFT leadership (will the rank-and-file members reject him?)

" . . . The sentiments echo his remarks to the teachers union’s delegate assembly on Wednesday night, where he said that the union pushed to require supervisors to rate teachers on 22 skills as a way to “gum up the works” and spoke disparagingly of the Bloomberg administration. Chalkbeat reported those comments Thursday, which critics pounced on as proof the union did not fully support changes meant to increase accountability for teachers.

"Mulgrew also raised eyebrows with a critique of education “reformers” who oppose teacher tenure and support charter schools, whose ideas he said were destroying public education. On Friday, he said it was merely the latest showdown in a lengthy battle and said he no longer wanted to associate himself with the term “reform.” . . . "

May. 10 2014 04:53 PM

"Oversold, Underfunded"-

"New York’s burdensome new teachers’ contract uses gimmicks to make the numbers work."

(See what people other than De BLAH-sio are saying about this deal:)

May. 02 2014 09:24 PM

Watch this simply amazing response by Astorino (running for Governor against Cuomo) to the bogus Cuomo attack ads about "discrimination" and using "affordable housing" for the usual race baiting. Bravo, Astorino.

May. 02 2014 05:20 PM


"Buid more affordable hones not housings. Stop going up and spread out. Nehemiah in Brooklyn is a great model. People take more pride in a house and maintain it better"

Wasn't that the sirens' assurance of the Clinton-Bush policies?

All in it together

" . . . The regulatory reforms that have since been pushed through at Basel read as an extended mea culpa by central bankers for getting things so grievously wrong before the financial crisis. But regulators and bankers were not alone in making misjudgments. When economies are doing well there are powerful political pressures not to rock the boat. With inflation at bay central bankers could not appeal to their usual rationale for spoiling the party. The long period of economic and price stability over which they presided encouraged risk-taking. And as so often in the history of financial crashes, humble consumers also joined in the collective delusion that lasting prosperity could be built on ever-bigger piles of debt."

May. 02 2014 11:09 AM
David H.

Brian stated this morning that charter schools are public schools. If New York charters are like those in my state (New Jersey), they are operated by private non-profit organizations. They are not accountable to the public in the way that public schools are. The latter are run by boards or officials who either are elected or appointed by elected officials. The same is not true of charter schools, which therefore are not public schools in any real sense. The fact that they receive public funds does not make them public schools, any more than the fact that a private social service organization receives public funds makes it a public agency.

May. 02 2014 11:01 AM

Buid more affordable hones not housings. Stop going up and spread out. Nehemiah in Brooklyn is a great model. People take more pride in a house and maintain it better

May. 02 2014 10:56 AM
Margot from Lower east side

Please ask the mayor about any changes to the health care plans that would include coverage for breast pumps for breast feeding moms. Most plans cover this but due to a loophole in the Affordable Care Act, NYC employees do not receive this coverage.

As a lactation counselor who provides breastfeeding education, counseling and support to expectant and new mothers, I have frequently been told by clients who are City of New York Employees that their health plans will not cover breast pumps. This is particularly disturbing because NYC has been actively promoting breastfeeding through the "Latch On" campaign (, yet it's own employees are not entitled to the very support that can be instrumental in establishing and continuing breastfeeding. Breast pumps are particularly important for mothers who have their babies prematurely or whose babies need additional monitoring and support after they are born. These babies are often separated from their mothers because they require a stay in the NICU and are not able to be put to the breast right away. These moms need to pump their early breast milk (colostrum) so that it can be fed to their babies either from a syringe or feeding tube. Although colostrum is important for all newborns, it is considered even more valuable to feed to premature and high needs/high risk babies because their health is in a more vulnerable state and colostrum can help to boost their immune system. In addition, if these moms do not pump frequently they will have many more challenges establishing an adequate milk supply when their mature milk comes in. Breast pumps are also essential for mothers who are returning to work and who will need to continue to pump breast milk for their babies while they are at work.

May. 02 2014 10:53 AM
Ralph Candelaria

Very excited about the teacher's agreement. This is the reason I voted for Deblasio. Gives hope to the rest of us city employees with our contract needs moving forward.

Having said that though, and being an animal lover myself, I feel that more than anyone else it's real estate that will really get the leg up at the end of the day... In other words it honestly doesn't really feel that it's about the horses. I feel for anybody that has to run for office cause the way the system's set up there's no choice to raise money if anyone's going to get elected. Otherwise Deblasio would at this point have more support citywide and I really want to see him do well cause it's obvious he's interested in seeing the working people do well.

May. 02 2014 10:50 AM
Amy from Manhattan

My #1 issue is the environment. If we don't deal w/threats to the environment, most other problems will get worse than they would otherwise. I had the chance to talk to then-candidate Bill de Blasio after he spoke at a local political event & to ask him about his position on environmental issues. He supported a moratorium on fracking & said his campaign website would have his position on the issue within a week. When I checked it, it did have detailed & nuanced coverage of several aspects of his approach to the environment.

I'd like to ask Mayor de Blasio what he's done so far/how he plans to put those plans into effect.

May. 02 2014 10:50 AM
john from office

Seth, that is true, I agree. Joe, I need spell ck.

I am surprised he was on time.

May. 02 2014 10:49 AM
MCK22 from NYC

More money as an incentive to teach in difficult schools is a good start, but not sufficient. Difficult schools burn out, especially burn out dedicated and idealistic teachers who are willing to do extra work for their students. If you teach in a "bad" school the assumption now among many principals and even some other teachers is that you must be an inferior teacher who couldn't get a job at at better school. So in addition to more money, there needs to be an official route to returning to a "normal" school without the current stigma of having taught in a "bad" school.

May. 02 2014 10:49 AM
Faith Steinberg from UWS Manhattan

Why should teachers not have to pay for their health insurance, Brian asked. I am not a teacher but teachers in this society are underpaid for the responsibility they have undertaken educating our children. When there are people out there who earn millions by investing merely to make more millions is a reflection on the ethics of our society.

Teaching is a highly stressful job and teachers are exposed to the many varieties of illnesses that children bring to classes all the school all terms. That's why they should have their health care paid for.

May. 02 2014 10:48 AM

@john for office
"Why do progressives have to name things with flowerly language??"

oh, please both sides do it. that's soooo shallow to blame one side.
death tax, death panels, war on terror, etc. too many to rename.

May. 02 2014 10:46 AM
Dr dave

Dear Mr. Mayor. Give all the full-time teachers and their families NYS Medicaid. By executive order. It would be 90% cheaper than private health insurance.

Dr dave ores. NYC

May. 02 2014 10:43 AM
Tamara from Queens

More money for a longer work day? What? They have every holiday, winter, spring breaks, summer off, and are paid full time. Are they there to teach the kids or not?

May. 02 2014 10:43 AM
MCK22 from NYC

Overall, the agreement seems generally fair but, based on experience in the system, giving principals more say over additional compensation will lead to abuses in several forms, just as allowing political patronage produces abuses in local government. The problem with the ATR teachers (who do not have permanent assignments) is usually not the teacher, despite Beth Furtig's ignorant and prejudiced opinion on this matter, but the fact that an experienced teacher still costs the school budget more than a new teacher. The way to solve the over supply of ATRs is to return to the central budgeting of teachers salaries instead of school based personnel budgeting. Some ATRs are good for the system if the ATR teachers are treated well. Experienced teachers can fill long-term absences better than a new teacher, but again, the principal's incentives in the current system lead to maximization of the number of warm bodies in front of the classes.

May. 02 2014 10:42 AM
Joe from nearby

John from office- "flowerly"? What's that?

May. 02 2014 10:42 AM

@jgarbuz -- "super-scraper tall public housing"
That's exactly the opposite direction that public housing is going. We've already learned the lessons of warehousing the poor. why do you think that 80/20% housing came about? the goal is to mix the rich and poor so that extra cops are not required for drug crime, ec.. you couldn't be going more in the wrong direction and against history and the past lessons learned. jeez.

May. 02 2014 10:42 AM
Ben from Brooklyn

I think additional classroom time is far, far more important than some teacher conference time which working parents obviously are not going to be attending that often. ugh!

May. 02 2014 10:42 AM
Ben from Brooklyn

Has this guy given any reasonable answers?! I am having buyers remorse with my vote!

May. 02 2014 10:40 AM
John from office

Why do progressives have to name things with flowerly language??

Clinic is a "center of excellence"

Court house is a "Justice center"

Why is that?? Feel good stuff

May. 02 2014 10:38 AM

@john from office -- you're wrong on both counts. how about an apology for such negativity?

May. 02 2014 10:38 AM
David from Lower Eastside

Reduce healthcare costs: stop giving private health insurance companies $40 billion every week.

They are completely not needed. Go to state wide or citywide not-for-profit healthcare.

May. 02 2014 10:37 AM

The NYCHA buildings should be made taller or perhaps torn down to build super-scraper tall public housing or perhaps mixed housing in their place. Everything is going UP and so must housing for the poor and disadvantaged. Only they should be rebuilt with more humane interiors.

May. 02 2014 10:37 AM
BK from NJ

Wait what?!?!
The guest said that we would have to pay the teachers are only paid for the school day?! That they won't do supportive work without getting paid more?! Boo hoo. That mind set is pure BS. I work in sales. It is 9-5. Bit to do well, I have to work on business planning, strategy, administrative stuff - all at night "after work". I can't believe that guest just said the teachers won't work after the school day unless they are paid more. Just sickening.

May. 02 2014 10:37 AM
Robyn Stuart from upper east side

I retired from teaching in 2011. The extra money fir me will be about 4,000$ per year for two years. Will this money be refigured into my pension, my TDA, and my social security? Even if it us another $20 a month, for me that's two prescriptions

May. 02 2014 10:35 AM
Joe from nearby


Please discuss how (& why) billionaires (like the Waltons) are pouring millions into funding the expensive attack TV commercials targeted at the mayor if he so much as gets in the way of charter schools, and how they are spending huge sums to push these schools, which are just private operations that siphon public funds from public schools, i.e. social leeches.

"In effect, Walton has subsidized an entire charter school system in the nation’s capital, helping to fuel enrollment growth so that close to half of all public school students in the city now attend charters, which receive taxpayer dollars but are privately operated.
Walton’s investments here are a microcosm of its spending across the country."
-"A Walmart Fortune, Spreading Charter Schools"

Thank you.


May. 02 2014 10:32 AM
mauritz from UWS

As someone without children, I am concerned about Mayor DeBlasio's myopic first few months as mayor.

May. 02 2014 10:31 AM
Steph from Brooklyn

Since teachers are paid for a full year of work, why can't they do this development in their summer/holiday time off instead of taking time away from the children? BTW, with common core, they are given the lesson plans, they don't even make them anymore.

May. 02 2014 10:28 AM
john from office

Mayor will be late and Brian will make a note of it. He works on CPT.

May. 02 2014 10:27 AM
Pedro M

People don't understand that money doesn't fall from the sky. There is no such thing as "affordable" housing. The money those units are not paying toward property taxes, water, sanitation, maintenance, fuel, etc are picked up by everyone else within the building or by the tax payer making it even more expensive for everyone else.

As for the teachers contract, it is sad that they will get rid of the extra instruction and the taxpayer gets stuck with 3+ Billion in more costs. Great negotiation there.

May. 02 2014 10:26 AM
Bobby G from East Village

New York City unequivocally supports it teachers, police, fire, sanitation and all unionized City workers.

A simple question for the Mayor: How will we pay for these contracts and will you bust the budget?

May. 02 2014 10:19 AM
Nicole from Manhattan

Just wondering about the teacher contract: I am leaving the system this summer but am owed about $21,000 of back pay. I have been a NYC teacher for 6 years. Will I ever see any of this money???

May. 02 2014 10:11 AM
Nicole from Manhattan

Just wondering about the teacher contract: I am leaving the system this summer but am owed about $21,000 of back pay. I have been a NYC teacher for 6 years. Will I ever see any of this money???

May. 02 2014 10:11 AM

You have to give the Mayor his due.
He successfully negotiated a contract to remove students from the influence of teachers for 30 minutes per week, and it only cost between three or four billion dollars!

May. 02 2014 09:25 AM

Mayor de Blasio: How to Get to 200,000

(i.e., "How to build or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing")

Would that resemble the reality of the method by which the Obama Regime stimulus "saved or created" "150,000 American jobs"

Or is it more similar to de Blasio's signature effort to conjure a "full service hospital" on the LICH site in Brooklyn Heights?

Why don't you ask the Mayor?

("No one ever went broke overestimating the ignorant cupidity of the American people" [with apologies to H.L. Menken] )

May. 01 2014 02:08 PM
Fishmael from NYC

New housing units is a laudable goal, and should be vigorously pursued. However - one thing staring us in the face is *simply enforcing the existing laws* and not allowing the ludicrous erosion of rent-stabilized housing stock through landlords' and developers' duplicitous practices: over-inflated MCI costs, concealing the rent-stabilized status of units and presenting them as "market rate", and running services to the ground to drive out rent-stabilized tenants.

Landlords should not be able to drive out tenants by attrition, in not making repairs and maintaining their buildings to code. Why do we have to watch news coverage *every year* of buildings with no heat, mold, chronic leaks, etc?
The lack of enforcement in the area of rental housing tells the real story about what the priorities of the New York legal apparatus are.

Apr. 29 2014 10:35 PM
sailmon from ny

One can wonder about the sustainability of the regulations being proposed by the mayor. Time and again, the popular and ill conceived principles of a wish to heal all problems through government action seem to fail world wide. Is New York the next Detroit? Working on it. Regardless, New York City mayors embrace the molasses of the city's bureaucracy. Where is governing greatness, and its courage of conviction?

What the city needs instead is a fast, efficient, mass transport system to bring people in and out of it. By 2030, there will be one million more people here. I don't think short term measures will improve housing sustainably. Investment in transport instead will democratize housing costs. The city would loose power as more Hoboken-like communities develop 40 to 60 miles away. There is a simple rule of math. You simply cannot maintain quality of life and grow 3 percent per year sustainably. An alternate plan needs to be devised to reduce the demands on the city and still enable the regions' growth. I would encourage people to demand a long term plan from the city.

A debate about high speed rail, new access tunnels, and a new leading edge public transportation system would truly benefit the people and allow a virtual reach of the city to expand a hundred miles or so. Some countries have seen their provincial towns boom by putting high speed rail into service. The MTA, instead, seems to prefer high speed subways that derail.

As the city prides itself in a renewed high tech economy, a quick glance at San Francisco's transformations of late, (Apple and Google bussing people in and out of the city)are a reminder that tech economies compound housing affordability problems. Ask for a 10 year and 20 year regional long term plan from your politicians. Trouble is, only china has such a plan and most of us here think about the now. New York's long term plan, located at talks a popular story: green, park and recreation spaces, and planting a million trees. It does not seem to present a comprehensive plan, I encourage reading the transportation chapter as an illustration to this. "We are working on" is a common theme in the document. "Maintain and improve the condition of our roads" has to be a laughable quote. One favorite is the airport delays. You can, however, expect heavy taxation on your private cars, including more parking regulation, more tolls labeled "technology and pricing based mechanisms to reduce traffic congestion" and more taxis: "expand for hire vehicles". The proposals lie into modifying behavior of individuals, not about creating a greatness of infrastructure and capability to serve the people. There is a very fundamental philosophy at work, oriented against, but disguised in favor, of quality of life.

Apr. 29 2014 09:58 PM
thatgirl from manhattan

While I'm glad someone in this administration is talking about the "supply" side of affordable housing (which Scott Stringer managed to leave out in his "assessment"), this still avoids the uncomfortable reality that is shoring up existing housing, be that the dwindling rent-stabilized stock, Mitchell Lama (tragically allowed to be decommissioned and sold off to its occupants in many cases--effectively pulling up the ladder created), or NYCHA.

There are dozens of buildings here allowed to enjoy J-51 tax avoidance, which was, supposedly, meant to help fund upkeep, improvements on older buildings here. Now, several years in to that benefit, many of these buildings want "out" of the benefit and want to impose MCI increases on tenants in apartments where a minimum of "improvement" has been made--and the DHCR doesn't require landlords to submit receipts or details of said "improvements."

Since Pataki, we've watched the DHCR and the Rent Guildelines Board get loaded up on development and otherwise real estate bigs, and witnessed the rights of tenants slow to a trickle--all while ushering luxury high-rise co-ops and condos that are empty of owners, who, in spite of Bloomberg said, don't pay day-to-day consumption/sales or income taxes; they're merely places to park money to these multinationals who spent, perhaps 10 days per annum in our city.

Developers who've "pledged" 10-20% "affordable" units in new construction have been allowed to wriggle out of these commitments more and more; why provide them any more tax abatement or fast track approvals in the DOB for this neglect? They whine about needing to make "the most" out of every development project, and point to that reason as to why they will never develop rentable or ownable properties for working people.

When will housing be up to those who actually live and work here?

Apr. 29 2014 07:59 PM
jeremy eagle from Inwood

Eliminate Major Capital Improvement Rent Increases (MCI) from regulated rental property laws that permit landlords to pass on to tenants all THEIR costs of maintaining their property. Not only does it allow the costs of repairs and improvements to be passed on to tenants but the formula used allows the determine dollar amounts to be added to base rent to be added permanently, increasing landlord revenue while hastening rental units off of regulated affordable levels and onto the market where anything goes. Well, affordable housing units go and people who live in those units are pressured out of the city.
MCIs may have made sense back in the 70s when landlords were burning their "underwater" properties when the city population was decreasing and property values dropping but we all know its completely different now and has been for years. Get rid of MCIs!

Apr. 29 2014 07:33 PM
Marianne from Staten Island

The biggest blow in the housing situation was created by the de-regulation of Mitchell Lama complexes in the city with the Bloomberg Administration's helping hand. These were rent stabilized complexes with long-term stable tenants. Various deals were negotiatedat at the end of the 1990's, some with better , others entailed long and costly lawsuits and hostile landlords. Such example is the Independence Plaza North.
Many of the tenants live there since the 1970s, many old, infirm and poor. The poor people had opportunity to apply to Sec.8 , meaning that they pay an income-adjusted rent and HPD subsidizes the difference to market rate.
Thus, a landlord in Tribeca is free to charge,say $6000 for a 2 bedroom.
I have Sec.8 friends living in that complex and their apartment still has rusty appliances, stoves and broken kitchen cabinets , unpainted rooms from the 1970s, yet the landlord still pockets the $6000 rent , curtesy of HPD and the tenants as if it was a top-notch place. Management does not respond to tenants.
Tenants are afraid to complain to HPD for obvious reasons ; it is a prime location where they spent their entire life, their assets and eligibility are constantly being scrutinized and the landlord is ready to kick them out for minor indraction -- and of course, get a bigger profit for a vacated apartment.

Tenants were also notified in that complex by HPD that since sequestration of federal funds, 2 people living in a 2 bedroom apartment (a mother and son, father and daughter, elderly disabled people, etc) should move into a one-bedroom flat or studio. Where to -- there is no answer.
It is curious that Independence Plaza North was singled out as I have other fiends in other Mitchell Lama buildings (both in Manhattan and in Queens) and the sequestration does not apply to the 2 people households there...?

Apr. 29 2014 07:24 PM
Karen G from NYC

The one thing that people in NYCHA buildings have is light and air-- and sometimes a water or park view. That seems to be much in demand with all the luxury towers going up around town so that only CERTAIN people can enjoy the light, air and park views.

Post Sandy many buildings still do not have working boilers, the elevators often don't work, and safety is an issue. This plan to build market rate buildings on NYCHA land came up under the last administration and was a cruel joke. There is little enough recreational open space in NYCHA building neighborhoods. The proposal to remove open space from NYCHA residents' use is cruel. Given the economic segregation of NYC, NYCHA buildings and residents would probably be fenced in with razor wire to protect the new residents.

There are other places to build affordable housing, but NYCHA grounds is not one of them. What ever happened to the affordable house which was supposed to go up when Forest City Rattner got the right to build the arena in Brooklyn and knocked down so many homes. Who was there to hold that developer to account?

Apr. 29 2014 07:15 PM

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