The Unity folks have been at my school, and my colleagues tell me they're predicting gloom and doom come contract time. The city is certainly going through a rough patch, there's no money, times are tough, so batten down the hatches.
Still, I can't help but recall that back in 05, we were told we had to follow the pattern set by DC37. It was 2%, or some such nowhere-near-cost-of-living figure. The rest, we were told, would be purchased with givebacks--severely weakened seniority, no more UFT transfers, permanent building assignments, meaningless punishment days in August, no grieving letters and a litany of hard-won rights Randi "Everything is on the table except vouchers" Weingarten agreed to sign away--and she still managed to do so for less than cost of living.
So for them to lower expectations at this point (Given their track record, it would be tough to lower mine) is remarkable. A pattern, in fact, has been set by DC37, and it calls for 4% raises over each of two years. It would be highly hypocritical of Ms. Weingarten if she were to inform us that, during tough times, we can't actually get the pattern. I can't say whether these folks were advised to say this, or whether they were just running their mouths without previous instruction. In any case, it's a particularly stupid position to take before negotiations, whatever else is going on.
But nothing Ms. Weingarten does or says surprises me anymore.
Related: Here's a noteworthy anonymous comment:
Any idiot can get the pattern; it's already in the city budget. Randi wants you to think they won't offer it to the teachers and then when she gets the 4 and 4, she claims victory. Why are you falling for this?