October 3, 2016
By Neal Tepel
New York, NY – New York City has settle a contract dispute that has been stalled for many years under the Bloomberg administration. The agreement provides the first comprehensive salary increase since 2006 for teachers and staff working in New York City day care centers. This landmark contract establishes competitive teacher salaries while upgrading health benefits of workers.
The four year labor agreement with the city resolves collective bargaining issues through 2020 for approximately 2,700 unionized employees working at Day Care Council of New York programs. These DCCNY’s member centers educate more than 10,500 young children.
The workers, members of District Council 1707 Local 205, will now have a competitive salary structure, a new pension tier, improved health benefits and skill development opportunities. The agreement was ratified with 84 percent of voting workers approving the contract.
While DC 1707 workers are employed by providers who are members of the Day Care Council, the City funds these early childhood education programs and participates in negotiations.
“This agreement between DC 1707 and the Day Care Council is proof of the good that can come through respectful, good faith negotiations. We celebrate real benefits that will help in our efforts to recruit and retain the skilled professionals who teach city’s youngest every day,” said Mayor de Blasio.
Under the agreement, starting salaries for Day Care Certified teachers will reach $50,000 (for those with MAs) and $44,000 (for those with BAs) in 2020 – in line with current starting salaries for UPK certified teachers. The entire cost of this settlement, which is approximately $145 million through FY 2021, was already reflected in the City’s labor reserve.
“There is no question that this agreement will directly benefit children. Across the City, tens of thousands of four-year-olds are learning in free, full-day, high quality Early Education Centers, and this will serve students and families through our efforts to recruit, retain and support high quality early education professionals," said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña.
The agreement creates a new salary structure that recognizes the value of these workers and addresses recruitment and retention issues.
For staff hired after October 1, 2016, a new pension tier has been created. The agreement also provides $2.2 million for a career ladder program that will allow staff to obtain additional credentials.
“Because of Mayor Bloomberg’s Early Learn program, these workers went nine years without a wage increase, only half of them could afford to cover themselves and their families with health care insurance, and their pension benefit was threatened. This contract puts things back on a normal track by providing for significant raises, affordable health care insurance and protection of their pension benefits,” said Executive Director of DC 1707 Victoria Mitchell. “It is a great victory for the workers.”