NYC Head Start teachers approve contract that will raise salaries for some by $15,500

Members of DC 37’s Local 95 has voted to approve a new contract that will substantially raise salaries for some teachers working in New York City Head Start programs. 

The deal is the second in recent months that aims to close the pay gap between pre-K teachers working in publicly funded but independently run programs and those in public schools.

The union announced on Monday that the contract was ratified by a 162-26 vote. Under the agreement, certified teachers with master’s degrees will see their pay increase by more than $15,500. By Oct. 2021, they will earn $68,652, which is in line with starting salaries for public school teachers.

Head Start programs are primarily federally funded, but the city also contributes to costs and some Local 95 members teach in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Pre-K for All program.

Most of the union’s 2,600 members are support workers, such as custodians, cooks, and assistant teachers. They stand to gain a one-time $1,000 bonus.