things like this I just don't know what to say. Just a few short months ago I was at the New York Hilton with my school's delegates and Punchy Mike Mulgrew was regaling us with tales of how the cupboard was bare and we'd have to wait an extra ten years for the money most city employees had received by 2010. It was the best they could do. Retro pay was not a God-given right.
You see, until that point, I'd thought the city pattern was sacrosanct. After all, when we wanted to get a little more than the pattern, we were told we had to give back, and boy did we give back. We gave up seniority rights and sentenced thousands of experienced teachers to be wandering ATRs. We made sure thousands of teachers would be patrolling lunchrooms, halls and bathrooms. Because perish forbid anyone should have more than 40 minutes to prepare the classes that Charlotte Danielson demands these days.
But every time I turn around, there's more money. The week after I find out that Mike failed to get the city to pay for the large retro payment for recent retirees, I see that Scott Stringer up and found a billion dollars. That's a lot of cash. It kind of makes me wonder why UFT needs to pick the pockets of every working teacher to fulfill the city's contractual obligations. Why the hell did leadership place a dollar figure on retirees? Wasn't it obvious to anyone remotely paying attention that a huge immediate payment is a tremendous incentive?
You'd think so, but you'd be wrong. As far as I can tell,this particular tidbit eluded absolutely every person in leadership. Thus, they agreed to a dollar amount to make these payments, asked the city nicely to make up the difference after people retired in droves, and when the city declined, decided to pass the cost onto us, the members. Thanks a lot, leadership. Money ten years later, and a few extra deductions to keep the promises for which you failed to plan.
However, on the positive side, I just got a great magazine from NYSUT. Since I have to wait another five years for the money I earned on 2010, I can now purchase a treadmill for 26 easy payments of 41.99. Or a coffee machine for 32 easy payments of 3.33. And best of all, I don't have to pay any interest!
That's a good thing, because the city owes me around $40,000 right now, and they won't be paying me any interest either.