The vote is in and the city’s teachers have approved the nine-year, $9 billion contract the United Federation of Teachers negotiated with Mayor Bill de Blasio last month. NY1’s education reporter Lindsey Christ filed the following report.
With 77 percent voting yes, the city's teachers, nurses, guidance counselors and other school-based professionals handed Mayor Bill de Blasio a big win Tuesday when they ratified his deal with the United Federation of Teachers.
“I am very, very happy that more than 3 to 1 approved this contract,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew.
Of the about 106,000 active union members, more than 90,000 submitted a secret ballot with a simple yes or no.
The votes were tallied all day Tuesday. And when the results were announced, Mayor immediately released a statement, calling the deal historic. Earlier in the day, he'd spoke about it while visiting a school in Queens.
“This contract recognizes that our teachers are the key to our future success. That was not the governing philosophy for a number of years in this city and it was part of what was holding us back, that we didn't understand and respect the role of teachers,” de Blasio said.
Teachers have only voted down one deal.
The first contract the union negotiated with Mayor Guilani failed in 1995, when just 44 percent voted yes.
The first contract with Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2002 passed by an overwhelming margin, with 94 percent approving it.
But by 2005, when the last major deal passed, only 63 percent of members who voted, voted yes.
This is the first labor contract negotiated by the de Blasio administration and it's expected to set a precedent, since the city's other 151 labor unions are working under expired contracts.
“I can't wait for the opening of the next school year because it's going to be a different school system,” said Mulgrew.
The contract includes raises that add up 18 percent, some of which are retroactive. There will also be new bonuses for teachers in hard-to-staff schools and those recognized for excellence who are willing to work as mentors.
And every active teacher will get a check right away, a $1,000 signing bonus.