NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Some New York City teachers are outraged they have to work on two major religious holidays and some say they may call in sick.

The Jewish holiday of Passover is Thursday and Good Friday is the day after. Teachers accustomed to having those days off are angry that Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza are making them come in.

Susanna Murray is a second grade special ed teacher in Woodside, Queens.

“A lot of the teachers, including myself, are feeling really upset and furious about the fact that we have to work those two days,” Murray told CBS2’s Marcia Kramer on Monday.


After teachers were told they will have to take sick days to observe the holidays, they lashed out at the mayor on social media.

“It’s not right to take away these holidays that are a part of family tradition,” Murray said.

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Derek Stampone teaches high school physics in Manhattan.

“Teachers were thrust into creating online learning for 1.1 million students in less than a week and that time both for family, students and teachers to recuperate, whether through the spirituality of their religion or in other ways, was well needed,” Stampone said.

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United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said he told de Blasio it was a mistake. He sent a letter to his 200,000 members saying it showed the mayor didn’t understand how hard they are working in these stressful times.

“That one we’re upset about it. Thursday and Friday are just such big religious observance days, especially here in New York City. So they were upset. I think what you are see there is a culmination of all anger and fear everyone’s feeling right now,” Mulgrew said.

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Parent Stacie Bono said parents were originally told that kids would have the holidays off.

“It doesn’t make sense. It’s not fair,” Bono said.

The union was able to negotiate for teachers to receive four extra sick days that they can use to observe the holidays, but clearly they’re still upset.

Comments (2)
  1. ALP says:

    Almost 10 million Americans filed for unemployment. Millions have no health care. What a privilege to be considered an essential worker during this time of crisis And how fortunate teachers are to be able to do this public service and not have to risk our lives as the front line workers do each and every day. Makes me sad and embarrassed that some Teachers complain about their call of duty. Majority of Teachers will comply, some begrudgingly. unfortunately the media will report on those voices, but I know the silent teachers will serve with dignity which is in my opinion the true meaning of Lent – sacrifice and service.

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