Teaching Profession

N.Y.C. Administrators’ Contract Lacks Major Changes

By Jeff Archer — April 30, 2003 3 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

For months, Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein has said he wants to steer more of New York City’s best principals to its lowest-performing schools. His remarks have fueled speculation that contract talks with administrators might yield changes in the way the system deploys its school leaders.

Not this time around, it seems.

Officials of the union that represents principals and other educational administrators in New York say they’ve reached a tentative agreement with city negotiators on a contract that includes no new provisions aimed at moving principals around within the 1.1 million-student district.

Members of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators have until May 8 to vote on the deal, which calls for an 8 percent wage hike over 27 months.

Jill S. Levy, the president of the union, said it wasn’t the right time for administrators to accept major changes in work rules. She points out that the current contract expired two years ago. Also, since the agreement now being voted on would be retroactive to April 2001, it would itself expire at the end of this school year.

After that, new talks could begin—although, according to the practice in the city, not until a new contract with the United Federation of Teachers is negotiated.

“After this is implemented,” Ms. Levy said of the administrators’ new contract, “then maybe we can have some serious conversation about what life should look like for principals and other people in the system.”

A spokesman for the chancellor’s office said last week that officials there would not comment on the ongoing collective bargaining process. But it’s no secret that Mr. Klein considers strengthening school leadership a hallmark of his improvement strategy for the nation’s largest school system.

In a series of proposals unveiled in December, the chancellor suggested paying $25,000 annual bonuses to experienced principals who agreed to spend three years helping to turn around low-performing schools. The plan was for participants in the bonus program to mentor aspiring principals who would take over the schools after the third year. (“N.Y.C. Chancellor Aims to Bolster Instructional Leadership,” Jan. 8, 2003.)

Power Struggles

According to the CSA, however, the idea bogged down in the recent contract talks over whether the bonus money would be “pensionable.” Union leaders say negotiators for the district balked at their contention that the stipends should figure into the income that determines the size of administrators’ retirement benefits.

Ms. Levy said her group also rebuffed attempts to give the chancellor new authority to transfer principals between schools. Currently, principals are hired through a process in which committees of educators and parents at schools screen candidates for the positions.

Colman Genn, a former superintendent in the city’s Queens borough, said he wasn’t surprised that such changes didn’t make it into the new labor agreement. But he hopes similar proposals are able to survive the next round of negotiations.

“Right now, it’s like an industry that can’t move its people where they’re needed,” said Mr. Genn, who is now a senior fellow at the Center for Educational Innovation-Public Education Association, a local nonprofit group.

News of the tentative administrators’ contract comes amid intensifying debate over the education policy changes undertaken in New York since last spring, when state lawmakers gave Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg control of the city’s school system.

At a hearing last week, legislators grilled one of Mr. Bloomberg’s deputies and Mr. Klein—who is the mayor’s handpicked schools chief—over plans to reorganize the city’s 32 community school districts into 10 regions that report more directly to the chancellor’s office. Key members of the state legislature argue that the mayor lacks the legal authority to make such changes.

In at least one respect, though, the labor agreement now before the city’s administrators would further Mr. Klein’s objective of improving the system’s corps of principals. Along with the 8 percent raise, the contract calls for additional increases for assistant principals to ensure that they’re paid more than senior teachers, which is not always the case now.

The change is aimed creating more incentive for educators in the system to move into administration. Predicts Ms. Levy: “I think we are going to have more teachers who have greater experience apply for assistant principalships.”

Related Tags:

Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attendance Awareness Month: The Research Behind Effective Interventions
More than a year has passed since American schools were abruptly closed to halt the spread of COVID-19. Many children have been out of regular school for most, or even all, of that time. Some
Content provided by AllHere
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession Opinion ‘A Culture of Care’: How Schools Can Alleviate Educator Stress This Year
It takes more than deep breathing to alleviate the stress teachers feel. Here's how to get to the root cause.
Sean Slade & Alyssa Gallagher
6 min read
shutterstock 740616958 resized
Shutterstock
Teaching Profession Reported Essay Students Aren’t the Only Ones Grieving
Faced with so many losses stemming from the pandemic, what can be done to help teachers manage their own grief?
4 min read
Conceptual Illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
Teaching Profession We Feel Your Grief: Remembering the 1,000 Plus Educators Who've Died of COVID-19
The heartbreaking tally of lives lost to the coronavirus continues to rise and take a steep toll on school communities.
3 min read
090321 1000 Educators Lost BS
Education Week
Teaching Profession Letter to the Editor Educators Have a Responsibility to Support the Common Good
A science teacher responds to another science teacher's hesitation to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
1 min read