October 2017 may be a little less than a year away, but there are some things you should know now if you want to receive your retroactive pay. Things like “Don’t get pregnant yet.”
The UFT leadership hailed the 2014 contract as a great victory. Reps flooded schools to push it and somehow, even though most people we know voted it down, over 70% of members voted for it. Critics however point to the many issues that caused this contract to fall short of being a great contract.
One such issue is that even though you may have worked everyday since the previous contract expired in 2009, if you were not an active employee on October 1, 2015, you didn’t get your first retro check. Many members out on maternity leave did not receive their 2015 retro payment and the same will happen in less than a year.
The MORE caucus raised a resolution at the UFT Delegate Assembly to rectify this situation and included those out on medical leave as well. As usual, it was voted down by the company union caucus, Unity. It’s not that it was just voted down, but members who were new moms were insulted as well. To speak against the resolution, Unity’s Greer Hanse-Velasquez of the Queens UFT office stood up and had the audacity to say “members knew they had a choice to make. They knew that.”
What choice did they have?
“Should we have a baby or get several thousand in back pay? Hmmm let’s see.”
Ms. Hansen-Velasquez also ironically happens to be the Queens UFT Maternity Liaison.
Since conception to birth and recovery can span several months, members reading this today may already be pregnant and out on October 1, 2017. We wish them a healthy pregnancy and hope the UFT leadership can open up talks with the city to rectify this unfortunate situation. Starting or growing a family is when you need additional funds the most and your “choice”to do so shouldn’t prevent you from obtaining the payment from work you already competed years ago.