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Streamed live on May 1, 2014
Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced the City of New York and the United Federation of Teachers have reached a preliminary contract agreement.
The 9-year agreement will implement a number of groundbreaking reforms that will make New York City schools laboratories of innovation and improve public education for every student, while also making important changes that will provide more than $1 billion in health care cost savings over the next four years, and support excellence in teaching.
The agreement respects workers with a fair deal and provides pathways for teachers to help their colleagues while earning additional pay. The agreement also protects taxpayers, because it can be fully funded within the city's current budget framework, without the need for tax increases.
The UFT's 110,000 professional employees have worked without a contract since November 2009, and this agreement, once ratified by the union's membership, would constitute the first major labor agreement struck by the de Blasio administration. It fulfills the mayor's pledge to achieve an agreement that is respectful, fair, fiscally responsible, and embraces reform. The agreement covers the past four and a half years in which teachers went without a contract, and extends until 2018.
Those raises are made achievable in part through a historic and sweeping reform of public employee health care, amounting to more than $1 billion by 2018, along with additional city resources. Were these reforms, designed to save money while protecting current member benefits, extended across the municipal labor force, they would yield at least $3.4 billion total over the same four years, effectively bending the curve of rising health care costs for the first time.