Education, Features, headline, Law and Politics, New York

Collective Action Finally Leads To Pre-K Pay Parity!

July 11, 2019

By Silver Krieger

Public Advocate Letitia James cheers Early Childhood Education teachers and their fight for pay parity during an earlier City Hall rally held last year.

New York, NY — Mayor de Blasio’s administration put their money where their mouths have been for years – finally moving to compensate early childhood educators in community-based organizations for their role in the Mayor’s signature achievement – bringing educational opportunity to the youngest New Yorkers.

According to a press release issued by Brooklyn Councilman Mark Treyger, “The agreement will raise the pay of over 300 certified pre-K teachers by $17,000 to $20,000, depending on their education level, over the next three years — making their salaries commensurate with their Department of Education (DOE) counterparts’. The increases start in the fall. By October 2021, teachers with a master’s degree will earn $68,652 and those with a bachelor’s degree will make $61,070.”

Jennifer March, executive director of the Citizen’s Committee for Children, said, “today’s labor agreement marks a momentous accomplishment in addressing the pay disparities [between Department of Education staff and those working in Community-based organizations], providing the CBO workforce with the fairness and respect they have earned and providing children and families with the stability they need from their early education programs.”

She applauded “leaders of DC 37, 1707, the Day Care Council, the de Blasio administration and the City Council for today’s agreement.” The pact also reduces health care costs for the affected employees.

In all, according to Treyger, the contract extension will benefit 4,241 early childhood education employees with over 10,000 students in their care and serve as a model for remaining certified early childhood education providers. Remaining early childhood education providers not covered by the agreement include members of DC 37 Local 768, whose Early Childhood Educational Consultants serve as educational experts in day care centers throughout the City. They make sure that lessons at the day cares are age-appropriate and the facilities are safe and conducive to learning. Union members there are hoping that the terms of the agreement extend to their title as well.

March added, “While yesterday’s labor agreement impacts members of DC1707 Local 205, city leaders (the Mayor and Office of Labor Relations Commissioner) clearly articulated that this agreement establishes the model or framework that will be followed with Head Start educators (local 95) and non-union CBO educators. This labor agreement must be ratified by union members within 30 to 45 days and the DOE will soon thereafter release a new salary schedule. This new salary schedule impacts non-union and unionized certified teachers alike.”

The agreement shows how a strong union like District Council 1707 can gain benefits for its members.

July 11, 2019

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