When the economy dipped in 2009 and 2010, many municipal workers in New York City were still given wage increases. Teachers didn’t receive that same wage increase. Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of the city then, opted to withhold the increase from teachers. The teachers’ union, United Federation of Teachers, has been fighting for the right of those teachers to get the wages they were due.
When Mayor Bill de Blasio was elected, the UFT and NYC reached a deal to pay the teachers the deferred wages over six years. The final payment was due this month, but the city claimed that it couldn’t pay. The matter was brought to a private arbitrator who recently issued a ruling in the matter.
The city must pay half of the estimated $900 million in deferred wages by the end of this month. The payment of the remaining half has been extended to July of 2021. This news is a mixture of good news and bad. These teachers, some of whom are now retired, will receive what’s due to them, but they’ll have to wait.
As part of the deal, there won’t be layoff for UFT members this school year. There’s also going to be a 3% raise for teachers on May 14, 2021.
These individuals have been waiting upwards of a decade to get the money that they should have already received. The ruling by the arbitrator is a good reminder that employers can’t use financial difficulties as a way to shirk on employee pay. Employees who do their job duties should receive the pay that they’re supposed to get.
Any employee who isn’t getting the wages that they’re due should explore their legal options. This many help them recover those wages, even if it does take a considerable time to do so.