Agreement on Teachers' Contract Is Imminent, Union Leader Says
United Federation of Teachers (UFT) President, and ILR alumni, Randi Weingarten announced yesterday that an agreement between the union representing New York City?s 80,000 teachers and the Board of Education could be in the offing. Despite continued pressure for concessions from Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Harold Levy---who are locked in a dispute over control of NYC?s schools---the last round of negotiations saw an improved tone and an agreement by the city and the union to adopt the basic provisions of a recent fact-finding report (see WIT for April 10, 2002). Although she is optimistic that an agreement can be reached before a May 8 strike vote scheduled this past Wednesday, Ms. Weingarten made it clear that the strike will still be held if the two sides have not settled by that time on such remaining issues as the uses of a $56 million recruitment fund and of an agreed upon 20 minute increase in teachers? workdays.