Mayor de Blasio, Uptowns Rodriguez And Others Announce Tentative Agreement For Head Start Employees

­­­­Mayor Bill de Blasio, and others today announced a tentative agreement between District Council 37/1707 Local 95 and the Head Start Sponsoring Board Council of New York City. The others included speaker Corey Johnson, Labor Relations Commissioner Renee Campion, Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, District Council 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido, Local 95 President Linda McPherson and Head Start Sponsoring Board Council Director André Lake.

The agreement will benefit approximately 2,650 Head Start program staff who work at over 200 centers throughout New York City, and provides a pathway to pay parity between certified Head Start teachers and entry-rate Department of Education salaries by October 21, 2021. This agreement follows the deal reached in July between the Day Care Council of New York and District Council 37/1707 Local 205, and both agreements will serve as the model for remaining certified early childhood education providers.

“Head Start is critical to educating our youngest New Yorkers and uplifting entire families,” said Mayor de Blasio. “With this agreement, we’re ensuring our kids have the very best teachers during their most critical stages of development.”

“In this year’s budget negotiations, the City Council committed to ensuring parity between community-based early childhood educators and their DOE counterparts. I am so proud to announce that we are achieving that goal. In July, we announced the first step toward closing this gap. This deal guarantees that our Head Start educators receive the raises to which they are entitled, and that we continue to create a more equitable early education system. We cannot tolerate pay disparities in our city among educators. On behalf of the City, we thank you DC 37 / 1707 for being fierce advocates throughout this process. The Council looks forward to our continued collaboration on this vital issue,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

“This agreement once again demonstrates that by working together, great things can happen. Not only does it provide our Head Start members the long-awaited wage parity that they deserve – it creates an education career ladder that is vital to establishing the next generation of leaders,” said Henry Garrido, District Council 37 Executive Director.

“I want to thank Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Johnson and DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido for their diligence in the pursuit of this agreement which gets my members the well-deserved wage parity that we fought so long for. With this agreement, my members are now able to see the light at the end of tunnel,” said Linda McPherson, President, Local 95.

“Achieving Parity with this contract negotiated between Local 95, DC 37/1707 and the Head Start Sponsoring Board of NYC is a momentous occasion for Head Start and Early Head Start organizations in NYC.  It facilitates employee recruitment and retention.  It also gives agencies the ability to develop leadership pipelines that enable us to better serve our Head Start families. New York City has, now set an overarching precedent for the nation, our employees can truly say that they are fortunate to work in a system where the welfare of employees match the welfare of the children and families that they serve,” said André Lake, Head Start Sponsoring Board Council of New York City.

According to the tentative agreement, Local 95 certified teachers will receive the following salary increases over three years:

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Non-certified teachers and support staff will receive a $1000 ratification bonus.

While Local 95 workers are employed by providers who are members of the Head Start Sponsoring Board Council and the agreement was negotiated between those two parties, the City has supported the negotiations. At full ramp up, the cost of the settlement in Fiscal Year 2023 is approximately $7 million.

The tentative agreement covers the period through January 31, 2022. The agreement must be ratified by District Council 37 /1707 Local 95’s membership.

“Our Head Start programs are the most comprehensive in the country. This agreement is a monumental feat for our Head Start members and recognizes not only their value as teachers and educators but also the contributions they make to keep families together and doing well,” said Kim Medina, Special Assistant to the Executive Director for District Council 37 Non-Profit and Private Sector Division.

“I commend the Head Start Sponsoring Board and the union in reaching this important agreement. The Office of Labor Relations is happy to have assisted the parties in finding solutions to these challenging labor issues, which represent another important step toward addressing longstanding recruitment and retention challenges in this sector,” said Commissioner Renee Campion, Mayor’s Office of Labor Relations.

“I thank Mayor de Blasio for his leadership as we take this important next step in our partnership with community-based providers across the City. This administration’s unprecedented investment in early childhood education has been successful because of the tireless dedication of these talented educators, and I’m excited to continue working together to provide, free, full-day, high-quality early education to New York City’s youngest learners,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza.

“As the Chair of the Education Committee and under the leadership of Speaker Corey Johnson, we made it clear that pay parity for early childhood educators was a top priority for the City Council in the Fiscal Year 2020 budget. I commend the Administration, Local 95, DC 37/ 1707 and the Head Start Sponsoring Board Council for reaching an agreement that closes the wage gap between Head Start employees and their Department of Education counterparts. The Early Learn NYC Head Start programs provide vital wraparound services—childcare, Pre-K, UPK and healthy meals— to our young learners that hundreds of working families rely on daily,” said Council Member Mark Treyger, Chair of the Committee on Education. “I thank Speaker Johnson, my Council colleagues and the steadfast efforts of advocates for pushing this initiative forward. This is another positive step towards salary equity and the Council will keep working until full pay parity is achieved for all early childhood educators.”

“The Women’s Caucus of the New York City Council is pleased to learn that Local 95, DC 37/ 1707 and the Head Start Sponsoring Board Council have reached a collective bargaining agreement that will impact approximately 2,650 program staff of Head Start. The salary difference between early childhood care providers and their Department of Education counterparts affects parents, educators, and children alike, and the members of the Women’s Caucus have consistently advocated to rectify the pay gap. In June, we accomplished this goal by securing additional funding in the city’s budget toward equal pay in this field, which mostly consists of women and women of color. We are proud of Local 95, DC 37/1707, and the Head Start Sponsoring Board Council for reaching this agreement, and look forward to the continued investment in the people who provide young New Yorkers’ with a robust education,” said Council Members Margaret Chin and Carlina Rivera, Co-Chairs of the Women’s Caucus.

“My colleagues and I have fought to preserve the value of pay equity for many years, and I commend the Administration for their progress on this and look forward to working with them on related issues,” said Councilman I. Daneek Miller, Co-Chair of the Black, Latino/a, and Asian Caucus. “Pay parity for the workers who care for our children is incredibly important. Head Start is essential for communities like Southeast Queens, where there’s a need for the early childcare and family education that the program provides. This collective bargaining agreement will serve to empower program staff and ensure that qualified and experienced workers are attracted to these positions.”

“I am happy to hear that DC 37/ 1707 and the Head Start Sponsoring Board Council have struck a deal to address the day-care parity. This deal will ensure that all Local 95 certified teachers in the Head Start Program receive the respect and the pay they deserve,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Co-Chair of the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus. “Our teachers and professors give a lot of time and care to ensure that all children and students are prepared for the upcoming challenges, we must provide them with a proper salary.”

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