Resolution in support of Unit Costing for the NYC Department of Education

The following resolution was submitted to the April 27, 2015 UFT Executive Board. Jonathan Halabi (me) motivated, and began by excusing the technical nature of the details.

1. School Closures + 2. Unit Costing + 3. End of Seniority Transfers + 4. Fair Student Funding have led to a crazy system where principals avoid hiring experienced educators (to save money) but end up costing the city more (by hiring brand new hires). This is the combination that floods the ATR pool.

Schools that desperately need experienced educators are coerced into avoiding them. Schools, principals, teachers, and kids are the losers, and only Klein and Bloomberg and the reformers are winners.

And now that school closures seem to be stopping, Andrew Cuomo is going to start it up again, with receivership.

The easiest link in that quartet to attack is Unit Costing – especially since we can negotiate outside the contract, with Fariña who has every reason to agree with us, and it is either cost-saving or cost-neutral.

The reso was tabled to check if it is in conflict with previous resolutions. We expect to revisit it at the next UFT Exec Board, May 4.

Whereas under the Bloomberg and Klein regime, the number of educators seeking to transfer was forced to go up, while it became harder for educators with significant experience to transfer;

And whereas massive school closings led many experienced educators to seek transfers;

And whereas the end of seniority transfers took away the guarantee that most educators would be able to easily find new placement, and introduced “mutual consent” whereby an educator could be easily rejected;

And whereas the end of unit costing put an actual price next to each educator’s name in the school budget;

And whereas Fair Student Funding gave principals budgetary incentive to avoid hiring experienced (and expensive) educators;

And whereas this helped flood the ATR pool and keep it full;

And whereas this led to many administrators avoiding accepting experienced educators;

And whereas this result was caused by all four of the above changes taken in combination – massive school closings, the end of seniority transfers, the end of unit costing, and school based personnel budgeting – and that any three of them would not have been enough to cause this crisis;

And whereas this led to de facto budget cuts for schools that did not lose educators in any given year, due to contractual raises;

And whereas this led to the perverse practice of principals hiring brand new educators, inflating the DoE budget, which is real, in order to reduce the school’s budget, which is not;

And whereas the new de Blasio Administration and chancellor Fariña have not continued the practice of massive school closures, but Andrew Cuomo has forced “receivership” into law, which will force experienced educators to apply for new placements;

And whereas the United Federation of Teachers successfully bargained a clause in the new contract that removes the financial constraint on principals hiring ATRs, but 1) that provision does not apply to other experienced educators, who our schools desperately need, and 2) notwithstanding the clause in the new contract, many principals are reluctant to take ATRs because of a long history of paying a financial penalty for hiring experienced educators;

And whereas Klein’s DoE successfully argued that unit costing was not subject to collective baragaining;

And whereas the new de Blasio Administration and chancellor Fariña have been willing to engage in constructive conversation with the UFT, therefore

Be it resolved that the United Federation of Teachers will vigorously raise the issue of returning to unit costing (ie, charging each school the citywide average for each salary) with Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña for school year 2015-2016, and will negotiate a rapid implementation, without harming current school budgets;

And be it further resolved that these discussions and negotiations are understood to be separate and apart from any contract negotiations.

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1 Response to “Resolution in support of Unit Costing for the NYC Department of Education”



  1. 1 School Budgets – Return to Unit Costing | New Action - UFT Trackback on July 17, 2015 at 2:20 pm
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