Teacher Unions Protest Layoffs Of Hundreds Of School Employees

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Hundreds of school employees from some of New York City’s poorest neighborhoods are joining the ranks of the unemployed.

Teacher unions railed against the Department of Education and Mayor Michael Bloomberg after more than 700 teacher aids and support staff were handed pink slips. Friday was the last day of class for laid off workers, including Cliftonia Johnson, a 13-year veteran of the DOE and an outreach specialist at Montevalley High School.

“To be put out on the street like this, I am extremely angry,” she told CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown. “Somebody needs to do something about this and truly investigate what’s going on.”

This is the largest number of city workers to be laid off at one time since Mayor Bloomberg took office. Department officials said the cuts will save $35 million.

“So my heart goes out to these workers but I also have a responsibility to make sure we have a balanced budget at DOE, and we knew that we had to make cuts and unfortunately these approximately 700 workers are the result of that,” explained City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott.

Teacher unions are protesting the layoffs, saying they unfairly affect minorities and the city’s poorest schools.

“Seven hundred plus members will no longer be employed. The unemployment rolls will now have an addition,” said Santos Crespo, president of Local 372. “Why did this happen? And why is it happening in the poorest of communities? The largest amount of these layoffs are occurring in communities of color.”

The City Council will hold a hearing on the layoffs next week and educators told Brown they plan to show up en masse to protest.

What do you think of the reaction to the layoffs? Sound off in our comments section below…

  • Bill Jones

    Don’t worry, your union will help support you. OOOPS I forgot, your union dues went to democratice political coffers and obscene union leader wages and extravagent vacations for the union leader ‘s family.

  • doc in NJ

    these guys will be back to work in no time, I’m sure, along with full medical and dental paid by NYC residents.

  • vandallis

    It looks like all the people in the picture are escaped African slaves in need of a good horsewhipping.

    • Jerry

      I believe you can use the horsewhipping as well as the teacher unions whose greed and self concerns not only take up all the taxes have turned this nation into third world in education and infrastructure.
      We should use more internet education until the unions see the writing on the wall, that is if they can read?
      The students are graduating with out this skill?

  • Alex

    You are saying to restore these people. How? City has no money. So, there are two options: a) raise city taxes b) lay off city workers.
    Also, they are singing a very old song that cut comes for only blacks. First, school chancellor is himself black. So, it’s nobody to blame in racism. Second: if it would be more whites cut, union would be happier?

  • victorbx

    First, the 700 school aides are not apart of the UFT, they are apart of DC 37. The UFT did make their concessions. It is sad that in June DC 37 did not make concessions. I believe in union, and I think we need to put these people back to work. These workers need to look at their union leadership too as part of the problem. I hope the council will restore their jobs! :-(

    • GFM2011

      I hope to see teachers’ unions completely eliminated in my lifetime… They are a cancer on society. I’m glad these people lost their fat-pensioned jobs, and look forward to reading about hundreds more getting leyed off. End teachers unions!

  • joo

    It’s not the teachers union(uft) it’s DC 37 bd of ed support people. Look at the picture.

    Does the news ever get anything right.

    • Jerry

      We are well aware of the group affected. It’s the cancer of the teacher union contracts wreaking havoc on the economy sucking the blood out of the public and jobs.
      For what? A substandard education system which is currently hovering near undeveloped world academic scores?

  • Jerry

    If the teachers were truly genuine in their protest they’d reopen their outrageous contracts and save the workers as well as the laid off teachers?
    This is a charade to give the semblance of concern.
    Their only concerns are for theiir own asses!

    • Bloomshorts

      You hit the nail on the head Jerry. Teachers just want their weekends and 6 hour days so they could ” occupy Wall street.” You think they care about these useless school aides who walk around school all day picking their noses?

      • dlath

        Not every school aid ebehaves taht way Bloomshorts. If the city or Brd of Ed did get rid of the SLACKERS and not go by senority maybe the real WORKERS would still have a job! School aides go beyond your so called “WALK AROUND THE SCHOOL” some positions are vital to the safety and health of students. so next time KNOW YOUR FACTS BEFORE MAKIGN SUCH AN IDIOTIC STATEMENT!!!

        • Dlath

          and i do know how to spell BUT NOT TYPE!! and also I am not a school aide, but know several.

        • max corkle

          dlath First, it is aide not aid. Even the stupid reporter got it incorrect. So nice to see that as a teacher aide dlath, you pay special attention to your spelling, grammar,etc.

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