Agreement Provides Pay Equity for Head Start Educators with Public-School Teachers

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The pay of more than 2,650 Head Start teachers will be boosted to match the salary of public-school teachers under a tentative agreement by the city, union and the Head Start Sponsoring Board Council.

The agreement, announced Thursday, affects workers at more than 200 centers throughout New York City. It follows a similar deal reached in July for 4,000 early childhood educators represented by Local 205.

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

downloadThe tentative agreement runs through Jan. 31, 2022. The agreement requires the approval of Head Start workers in Local 95.

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

Under the agreement, Local 95 certified teachers will receive four salary increases over three years.

The base pay of teachers with master’s degrees will be increased retroactively to $53,135 on Feb. 1 and $53,581 on Oct. 1. The base salary will increase to $62,235 on Oct. 21, 2020, and $68,652 on Oct. 21, 2021. Over the course of the contract, the raises amount to $15,517.

Teachers with bachelor’s degree will their base pay increase to $48,232 on Feb. 1, and $48,372 this year with additional jumps to $55,651 on Oct. 21, 2020, and $61,070 on Oct. 21, 2021. All told, their raises will amount to $12,838.

The base pay of the Head Start workers will match that of public-school teachers by the end of the contract.

Non-certified teachers and support staff will receive a $1,000 ratification bonus.

“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 DC 37’s Non-Profit and Private Sector Division. 

Local 95 President Linda McPherson said: “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.”



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