Retroactively Paying It Forward (On The City - UFT Contract) - The Jose Vilson

Retroactively Paying It Forward (On The City – UFT Contract)

May 1, 2014

Michael Mulgrew, Carmen Farina, and Bill de Blasio

Michael Mulgrew, Carmen Farina, and Bill de Blasio

In case it hasn’t already flooded your airwaves already, the De Blasio administration and the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) reached a tentative agreement to finally get teachers their just due. While I haven’t pored over the details of the contract, I’m certainly happy with any salary increase at this point. After four years without contract, the cost of living has jumped higher and higher without matching recompense for some of the most essential members of any flourishing society.

Of course, lots of people doubted whether the union would get retroactive pay or any contract at all this year after the mess Mayor Bloomberg left, but in fact, two rational sides worked out something they believed would advance the teaching profession.

The reason why so many of us feel comfortable with diverting the conversation around teacher contracts is to “unions” is because teachers themselves aren’t supposed to seek money for themselves. They’re supposed to keep their mouth shut, stay underpaid, and let others negotiate for them so they can pretend to not care about how much money they make.

Yet, it’s certainly appropriate for teachers to demand good pay. If anything, paying teachers means teachers can pay that energy forward.

I can’t pretend I know everything that this contract means, but I can tell you that, with the mounting debt of making a home in NYC, it’s good to know you have a union that’s willing to negotiate for your right to teach and make that home.

After 12 years of Bloomberg’s teacher-bashing, this is the big payback.

Jose

photo c/o Wall Street Journal

This post was written by...

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

For more about me, read here.

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