The city's teachers union offered the first glimpse of its contract demands tonight, but remained silent on the possible pay raise many have predicted — and on whether the union plans to sweeten its chances at a good contract by endorsing Michael Bloomberg.
The glimpse came at a meeting of the delegate assembly, the union's ruling body, where members were given a seven page list of demands that fell under categories such as compensation and health.
Union president Michael Mulgrew addressed the crowd, which spilled out of the room and into the hallway of 52 Broadway, the headquarters of the United Federation of Teachers. The event was closed to the press, and union members were told not to share the seven-page document with reporters.
According to several in attendance, Mulgrew lectured on the grim state of the city's economy and the need to get the union's new contract finalized quickly. One teacher, who asked to remain anonymous, said Mulgrew seemed to be pushing the union to reach a deal quickly, before the economy worsens. "They're presenting it like there's this brief window of time, because of the economy, in which to rush the contract through," he said.
Council Member John Liu said he credits the UFT with helping him enter a runoff in the comptroller race.
Winners in yesterday's primary elections dropped in on a UFT Delegate Assembly this afternoon, where I am hanging out, waiting for the contract negotiation news.
Council Members Bill de Blasio and John Liu, who are both heading into runoffs in their respective races, for public advocate and comptroller, dropped by, as did Daniel Dromm, the teacher who is running for City Council in Queens. Dromm defeated Helen Sears, a sitting Council member, in yesterday's primary.
Liu told me that he owes the teachers union for his victory yesterday. "Teachers have a massive impact. They have delivered in ways I could never have expected," he said.