From the NY Post:
Despite the worst economy in nearly four decades, the Bloomberg administration has allocated money to hike teacher salaries by 8 percent over the next two years, documents show -- even before it sits down for contract negotiation talks.
Asked if the city was prepared to grant two generous 4 percent salary boosts for teachers, [Labor Commissioner James Hanley] responded, "That amount of money is allocated, yes."
City teachers' top maximum salaries would jump more than $8,100, to approximately $108,200. Starting pay would be hiked more than $3,700, to $49,245.
The potential raises would be nearly double the 2 percent inflation forecast for the next two years and would cost taxpayers hundreds of millions.
An 8 percent boost would be consistent with other union settlements since 2007.
But those deals were negotiated before the city's dramatic fiscal crisis. Now the city faces a $5 billion-plus budget gap projected for the next fiscal year, which is expected to be particularly difficult to close.
Critics say the administration isn't even trying to negotiate.