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by Cara Metz | June 28, 2012 New York Teacher issue
The UFT has started the fact-finding process after mediation with the Department of Education on the contract failed to resolve the serious differences between the two sides.
The union’s 300-member negotiating committee — with rank-and-file representation from every school level, district and functional chapter — unanimously voted to take that step in its stalled contract negotiations at a June 11 meeting at union headquarters.
“I don’t care what the mayor thinks, the teachers of New York City need a raise,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew told delegates at the Delegate Assembly two days after the negotiating committee had met.
Fact-finding is a legal process that would lead to a nonbinding recommendation by a three-member panel of arbitrators. Those recommendations could serve as a framework for a final contract.
In recent history, the recommendations of fact-finding panels have helped the UFT and the DOE to reach agreements to replace expired contracts three times — in 1993, 2002 and 2007.
The UFT’s contract expired on Oct. 31, 2009. Under the state’s Taylor Law, all the terms of the expired contract continue in place until a new agreement is reached, unless there is a strike.