Teachers Union Furious As NYC Releases List Of Layoffs

Mayor Wants Albany To Let Him Pink Slip Based On Performance

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A plan for possible teacher layoffs was generating plenty of anger Monday. The City Department of Education released a list of thousands of teachers who’ll get the axe unless Albany kicks in more cash.

EXTRA: List Of Proposed Teacher Layoffs (Excel Document)

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb: Bloomberg would welcome a check from the UFT

1010 WINS’ John Montone: Bloomberg says we have to downsize intelligently

The doomsday list details the worst case scenario under the mayor’s current plan to make deep cuts to education. It shows exactly how the planned 6,000 teaching jobs will be eliminated.

Around 1,400 positions will simply go unfilled but 4,600 teachers will be formally laid off. Nine schools will lose up to 70 percent of their teachers. Other schools would be untouched.

Almost no subject will go untouched, with art, gym and music likely taking the hardest hits.

michael mulgrew Teachers Union Furious As NYC Releases List Of Layoffs

Michael Mulgrew, UFT President, tells CBS 2 the layoffs will be catastrophic for education in NYC. (credit: CBS 2)

Are the cuts necessary? Leave a comment below

“I don’t know how that process would go. It’s a very scary thing,” said teacher Roberta Rowner back on Feb. 17.

Under the current “last-in-first-out” policy, schools that are new or have recently added a newer crop of teachers will be the hardest hit.

However, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was pushing for a change, lobbying lawmakers in Albany to allow him to lay off teachers based on performance rather than seniority,  getting rid of teachers who meet several criteria including an unsatisfactory rating and high absentee rates.

“We’re not trying to hurt anybody. I would love to have more teachers in the classroom rather than fewer,” the mayor said on Feb 17.

The teachers unions were fiercely fighting any change to the seniority system.

“We’re looking at a list that is absolutely designed to cause a lot of fear and panic in schools and communities trying to pit teachers against teachers and community against community, and it’s something that is not needed,” said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers.

1010 WINS’ John Montone: UFT President Michael Mulgrew calls the layoffs unnecessary

WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs: Mulgrew to Mayor Bloomberg: “Knock it off!”

Monday turned into a war of words between Mulgrew and Bloomberg. In the morning outside P.S. 126, Mulgrew accused the mayor of fear mongering and playing politics with the children of New York.

“Knock it off,” Mulgrew said. “Stop playing games, stop politically maneuvering for your own reasons and work with the teachers of this great city.”

“We are not, we are not going to allow the mayor to divide us,” Mulgrew told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer. “We will speak truth to silly, silly, silly political tricks so that someone can do things in Albany that are very, very bad for all of the children and the people and the working families of New York City.”

Bloomberg later fired back saying, “Any time he wants to write us a check to close what is now a $600 million deficit I’d be happy to cash the check and say thank you, then we still would have to find more money to keep the 6,000 teachers that we’re assuming we’ll downsize,” Bloomberg said.

Related: State Budget Threatens Funding For Students At New York School For The Deaf

The layoffs will be especially hard at one Brooklyn school where half the staff could be pink slipped, reports Kramer.

As she went from class to class at P.S. 682 in Bensonhurst on Monday Principal Josephine Sportella-Giusto said she is haunted by the fear that half the teachers in her school won’t be there next fall unless seniority rules are changed.

It would just cause havoc among our entire school community. Our parents are invested in our teachers. Our teachers know all the students by first and last names we are a tight community,” Sportella-Giusto said.

The principal’s problem is that when her school opened two years ago half the educators she hired were new teachers, either just out of school or making career changes. They have little seniority.

One of those whose jobs would be lost is Theresa Nguyen, who gave up a marketing career and spent her summer taking special training to teach autistic kids here.

“It doesn’t seem right and it would be very unfortunate, both for the children and for myself. This is actually a second career for me and this is a love that I have. I chose to go into teaching because I have a love of children and to be able to teach them,” Nguyen said.

Angry at the idea of teacher layoffs? Happy seniority may be altered? Tell us in the comments section below.

More from John Montone
  • Evan Schwartz

    Teachers do not give tenure, they receive it from administrators. Focus people!

  • big picture

    i am noooooooooooo fan of teachers but all the critics here have to realize something. You start taking away the benefits of teachers and the quality of teachers in NYC will deteriorate rapidly. When i worked in the private sector (bank) i knew about a dozen people that didnt like the 9-5 bs, quit, went back to school and became teachers. They weighed the pros and cons and decided to make the switch. All these people were well educated and decided to take a pay cut in order to get some of the other benefits that come with being a teacher. Teaching in NYC is a HORRIBLE job. Nobody will take it. Most of this kids come from broken homes or are illegal/legal immigrants. Once you start messing with the benefits people wont want to go through the schooling to become a teacher. It wont be worth it. This city is already doomed, so this really wont matter too much. Everyone in this city expected everything for nothing. Have more kids, the city will pay for it. Get a job off the books so you can colect welfare and at the same time not pay income tax. Keep blaming the teachers, see where this gets the city.

    • lizzie05

      How can u not be a fan in teachers? Who taught you to read and right and get your job in a bank????

  • Steven

    City time payroll scam cost the city 80 million pus….guess who was one of the politicians who agreed to the vendor. I love it….here is a mayor more concerned about smoking on the beach and in the parks, and then handing out 50.00 tickets to a 16 year old who doesn’t have any money anyway. I did not vote this guy in…everybody says; “Well he only takes a dollar a year as a salary he must be good because he is rich” Save the teachers we need them.

  • rebecca Bond

    This is all about politics. People need to stop the rhetoric about rich politicians or wall street. That is NOT THE POINT. Unions should not be able to flex their muscles and barter our children’s future away. The system is broken. The numbers are clear — we don’t compete academically in the global economy and the only people who seem resistant to change are the unions. Why would they be? It’s a good gig. The union system was created over 50 years ago and hasn’t been updated. It’s a new world ruled by old, outdated policies. It’s not personal, but they can’t resist making it personal.

    • JB

      R Bond — You couldn’t be more wrong. What the reality of this topic is that unions are being blamed for the financial crash — by Republicans. They want to divert our eyes from Wall Street, Bankers and their elected enablers. We don’t have money, because it’s all sitting on the sideline, waiting to undermine our president (who happens to be the wrong color and is from an exotic place — Hawaii). This is just disaster capital all over. It’s the ghost of Milton Friedman and his Chicago School of Economics that wants to privatize everything every government function (Other than making life easy corporations and hard for workers). Please, step back from this single battle and take a look at the larger war that has started.

  • Douglas

    Hand writing is on the wall for all Governmental employees. We do not want Union representation anymore. Safest way to secure your job is to kick your unions out. You have paid dues to the Unions……will they now support you should you get laid of? Answer is NO. They want the dues to support the Union bosses lifestyle.

  • Stu

    My high school had 42 students in a class. The capable and motivated learned; the rest did not. After dumping the gross surfeit of administrators, we need to take the available funds and divide that by a reasonable salary — that is how many teachers we can afford and we will just have to learn to teach with whatever class size results.

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