November 2, 2011
The union representing New York City public school principals and administrators announced today that it has hit a major roadblock in negotiations for a new contract.
Union members received a new contract — gaining a 23 percent raise and forfeiting some seniority rights — in 2007. That deal expired in March 2010 and the union has been negotiating a new contract ever since.
But talks stalled and last month, the union asked the New York State Public Employment Relations Board to declare an impasse. Yesterday, PERB agreed and is now recommending that a mediator take over to jump-start negotiations. If mediation fails, the contract talks would enter fact-finding and arbitration, a complex process that would likely push a new contract far into the future.
“We met with the city several times and were unable to reach an agreement going forward,” said Council of School Supervisors and Administrators spokeswoman Chiara Coletti. ”The negotiations were going nowhere.”
The city teachers union, United Federation of Teachers, has been at impasse since January 2010. A mediator was appointed two months later but the union is still preparing for the fact-finding stage of mediation.
In the past, the promise of raises has helped has moved along contract talks. But a shrinking budget means the city can no longer offer sizable raises in exchange for concessions.
CSA first made the announcement today in an email newsletter to its members. From the newsletter:
CSA Contract Negotiations with City Are at Impasse
CSA filed for impasse with the NYS Public Employment Relations Board in October over the city’s failure to negotiate a new contract with the union. On Nov. 1, PERB agreed with CSA that negotiations with the city are, indeed, at an impasse. By declaring an impasse over the city’s objections, PERB concurred with CSA’s position that the assistance of a neutral third party mediator would be beneficial to advance the collective bargaining process between the parties.
The union will keep you apprised of meetings with the assigned mediator and looks forward to continued negotiations to deliver our members a fair and equitable contract. The last contract expired on March 5, 2010. The 1982 Triborough Amendment to the state’s Taylor law mandates that the terms of an expired contract remain in force until a new contract is approved.