As your bargaining representative, the UFT has been working since the spring to finalize a new contract with ADAPT management that provides fair compensation for the difficult and valuable work ADAPT members do. While pay increases are an important part of compensation, the union has made it clear to Ed Matthews, the CEO of ADAPT Community Network, and the rest of the ADAPT management team that we have additional concerns related to pay which our members repeatedly have brought to the union’s attention and want resolved in the new contract.
Our bargaining committee includes UFT negotiations specialists as well as employee representatives from the school, day habilitation and residential work sites. Here are just a few examples of what we are fighting for:
- In accordance with the new state minimum wage, which takes effect on Dec. 31, 2018, an employee currently earning less than $15 per hour must be raised to at least $15 per hour as of that date. While all pay increases are good, one unintended result is that a new employee at ADAPT could be hired at an hourly rate that is equal to or nearly the same as the hourly rate of someone who has been working at ADAPT for many years or in a title with greater responsibility. The union is pushing ADAPT for a commitment to address this inequity in pay rates.
- Based upon salary information which the UFT requested and received from management during the course of these negotiations, some employees in the certified teacher assistant and senior residential program specialist titles are paid less than the contractual rate required by the current contract. One of the union’s demands is for affected employees to be made whole for all the money owed to them.
- The union is demanding reparations for on-call employees who meet the eligibility requirements (80 or more hours worked per calendar year) under the NYC Earned Safe and Sick Leave Act (also known as the city’s paid safe and sick leave law) but who have been improperly denied sick time by ADAPT management.
At the most recent bargaining session on Nov. 19, management put forth its first and only salary offer so far, a three-year proposal that addresses some, but not all of the issues mentioned above. This proposal was described by management as “a generous offer” designed to “attract and retain” staff and keep ADAPT “competitive” among other agencies of its kind in the coming years.
After review, it appears that some pieces of ADAPT’s total economic proposal could be acceptable to the bargaining committee as part of an overall agreement. However, the parties remain far apart on certain issues, and further negotiations are necessary. As usual, a major hurdle is management’s take it or leave it approach, which was conveyed loudly and clearly across the table through comments such as: “This is our best offer … we’re not here to go back and forth with you.”
With the holidays just around the corner, we hope ADAPT’s icy attitude will thaw. Our bargaining committee has some constructive ideas for management to consider, and we are ready to present those ideas at the next bargaining session. As of now, however, no additional bargaining dates are scheduled.
If you have questions about negotiations or any other work-related matters, please contact our chapter office at 718-722-6958.
We thank you for your continued support as our bargaining committee fights for a fair contract that benefits all ADAPT members. More information will be coming soon about what you can do to help.