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New contract to give NYC principals and assistant principals higher pay and parental leave

Mayor Bill de Blasio delivering his 2020 State of the City address on Feb. 6. (Photo by Mark Hallum)

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza came to a tentative agreement on a contract with the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators (CSA) that includes increased pay and paid parental leave, the city announced today. 

“Those who protect and educate the city’s children deserve the time necessary to welcome their own children into the world,” said CSA President Mark Cannizzaro.

The union, which represents over 6,400 public school principals, assistant principals and other education administrators, has been without a contract since April of last year. Under the new contract, union members will receive a retroactive salary increase of 2 percent and are set to get a 2.5 percent pay raise in July of this year and a 3 percent raise in September of 2021. 

“Our school leaders put their students first each and every day, and this historic deal will deliver on key reforms,” said Carranza in a statement. “With this agreement, we are ensuring our schools retain top talent and our employees get the fair wages and benefits they deserve,” de Blasio said in the same statement. 

Prior to the new contract, union members who became parents had to use their sick or vacation days in order to spend time with their new arrivals. Now, CSA members are allowed up to 25 workdays of paid leave in order to spend time with the newborns or newly adopted or foster child. 

Also as part of the contract, middle school and elementary school principals will get a salary increase in order to close the pay gap with high school principals, who have traditionally been paid more than their middle school and elementary school counterparts.

A spokesperson for the union touted that under the new contract CSA principals have the right to hire an assistant principal tasked with assessing the school’s climate and culture in order to increase safety. According to the spokesperson, there are 100 schools in the city with no assistant principal. In January, CSA sent a letter to the Department of Education asking that school administrators be given more freedom of discretion in handling school misconduct. 

In the letter, CSA wrote that only 20 percent of principals were satisfied with the tools they had been given ensure school safety. The letter continues on to say that although administrators were supportive of the administration’s restorative practices, recent changes to the school disciplinary code was detrimental to schools. 

“Assistant principals are particularly necessary given that our system is deeply committed to using restorative approaches to student missteps, which understandably take time and care,” said Cannizzaro in the letter.   

CSA’s new contract with the city will expire in 2023.  

Alejandra O'Connell-Domenech