NEW YORK (AP) — New York City's public school teachers have voted to approve a new contract with the city that will give them back pay and small raises, the United Federation of Teachers announced on Tuesday evening.
The UFT said around 90,000 votes had been cast, with more than 77 percent of those approving the contact. Negotiators reached a deal May 1 after a nearly five-year labor dispute.
"The new agreement gives teachers and parents a larger voice in how their schools are run and how they can better serve their students," UFT President Michael Mulgrew said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said, "Now, more than ever, education determines a child's destiny. And that's why we sought a contract that was first and foremost about transforming public education."
Not all union members were pleased, though. The Movement of Rank and File Educators said that the contract doesn't address issues such as class size and that the raises are offset by cost of living increases.
Teachers will receive back pay equivalent to nearly 8 percent of their salaries and a series of additional small raises through 2018 under the nine-year contract. The deal offers bonus pay for well-reviewed teachers and aims to save the city $1 billion in health care costs over the length of it. It also revamps the teacher evaluation system, and teachers will receive one-time $1,000 ratification payments.
Teachers will receive a series of incremental annual raises, totaling 10 percent by the end of the deal. They will receive 1 percent from 2013 to 2015, then 1.5 percent in 2016, 2.5 percent in 2017 and 3 percent in 2018. The deal expires in October 2018.
The city's public school system is the nation's largest.