Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We have all heard the expression a picture is worth a thousand words.” When you turn to the centerfold of this newsletter and see the photo of our membership voting to ratify our new contract, the level of enthusiasm for the deal is extremely evident. Over three hundred members attended the summons meeting and listened intently as the terms of the agreement were explained in detail. The vote to approve was very near unanimous. Thank you for the ringing endorsement!

The new economic terms will be implemented in stages. The first amount you will receive is the $1000 signing bonus which should be paid in late February (about 35 days after January 15th). Approximately one month later, you should receive slightly more than an 8.5% increase added to your current salary. The retroactive salary owed for the period of July 1, 2011 up to the date the increases are implemented will be paid out at least one month later. Then, in early July, you will receive your first lump sum payment. This payment will equal 12.5% of the amount that is still owed to you at that time on the 4% increase due from January 1, 2008 and the 4% increase due from January 1, 2009. You will be paid the balance of the lump sum payments according to the schedule in the Memorandum of Agreement. Local 891 will closely monitor the payments to insure they are timely but more importantly that the amounts are correct.

Anyone retired and off payroll by February 11, 2015 will receive all monies due in one check. Understand, this means you must have completed or waived your remaining terminal leave by February 11, 2015. The income is pensionable. If a member retires after February 11, 2015, they will continue to receive their lump sum payments according to the schedule and your pension will be adjusted. The estate of an active member or retiree who dies prior to the full payout of any monies owed will be entitled to the payments. Please be aware if you are terminated, resign or transfer to another City title and/or agency you will forfeit whatever lump sum payments you have yet to receive.

Remember, other than the economic increases there are no changes to any of the terms of our CBA. We have agreed to negotiate proposed changes that would expand the day school schedule by taking resources currently used to reimburse us for those hours and adding it to the day school funding. Precisely what a stipulation might look like in terms of hours, dollar amounts, which buildings, etc. are impossible to say at this time. We had sought prefunding of extra activities in negotiations while the City was looking for expanded access to the schools. I assure you, if we come to terms, they will be in our best interest. There have been many questions about the Department of Education using a “Direct System of Custodial Care.” Right now no one can answer those questions because there is no concrete proposal. I have secured a guaranteed seat at the table if the City wants to explore such a system under the terms of our existing CBA.