UFT Contract Update: The Numbers are Finally Here – and They’re Interesting.

Finally, after over a week of waiting, the data is out on how each title voted on the UFT contract (see also here for the 2018 comparison). Yes, we already knew that just under 75% voted yes in general, and that one division (OT/PTs) voted no. Now we know the specifics of how teachers, paras, guidance counselors, and the many other UFT-represented titles voted. Before people get nervous, don’t worry – this data is as basic as it comes. No one knows how we personally voted. Heck, we don’t even know if every chapter’s ballots made it through after ‘mailgate’ (UFT leadership, the HS Executive Board is still waiting for that data). But, we do have some interesting larger trends to analyze.

  • Teachers voted roughly the same as the general UFT numbers (about 3/4 yes and 1/4 no). We don’t have breakdowns yet on how different divisions voted (high schools, elementary schools, middle schools, 6-12 schools, etc). We’ll likely never have it; in fact, I’m not even sure it exists. Rather than speculate on how I think each sub-division voted, I’ll just leave the thought that we should record these numbers in the future. Contractual language can be very different for teachers of different grades – not to mention teachers of different licenses. It would be of considerable interest to see if numbers are different for subgroups than they are overall. That could lead to critical information that might help us improve contracts in future years.
  • Paraprofessionals voted yes, but it was closer (just under 3/4) than many might have expected based on previous years. This is unsurprising. In 2018, raises were roughly consistent with inflation and paraprofessionals had big wins on due process. In 2023, paraprofessionals did not have major labor gains and were amongst the most ill-affected by sub-inflationary pay ‘increases.’ Discontent amongst paraprofessionals also translated into Unity not winning all of the functional chapter’s seats in the last chapter election.
  • All ‘supervisory’ titles didn’t have a single no vote. Teachers and paras may be wondering what I’m talking about here. Doesn’t CSA represent supervisors? Yes, for principals, assistant principals, and most others. But, surprisingly, the UFT does represent a small group of supervisors who exert disciplinary power over other UFT-represented subordinates. Specifically, UFT represents the supervisors for nurses, therapists, and school security. As the OT/PT and nurse supervisors were inexplicitly grouped with their subordinates as a bargaining unit, their contract was ironically voted down. This, I imagine will cause some interesting rifts between supervisors and OT/PTs in the coming weeks/months. I’m absolutely vexed that UFT leadership grouped them all together. I can only imagine that this was an approach to ‘gerrymander’ their way into diluting no votes into yeses. Boy, did that plan go wrong.
  • OT/PTs voted no in higher numbers than they did in 2018, with about 2/3 voting no and with a much higher number of members voting in general. And yet, in 2018, 52 Broadway listened to members and actually renegotiated a second contract. Fast forward to 2023, and we’re seeing the ruling party orchestrate a ‘revote’ campaign to plow through contrived acquiescence to the contract a majority voted down, despite an even more overwhelming ‘no’ this time around. This cannot stand.

For other titles, make sure to check out the official numbers.

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