Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Bloomberg Moves to Block Teachers’ Raises

From The NY

After warning of widespread teacher layoffs for months, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced Wednesday morning that the city would eliminate planned raises for all of its public-school teachers and principals for the next two years, which he said would “save the jobs of some 4,400 teachers.”

“This was not an ideal decision and it certainly does not solve all our budget issues,” Mr. Bloomberg said in a statement, which was released after he notified Michael Mulgrew, the president of the United Federation of Teachers, about his decision. “In our conversation this morning, Michael Mulgrew and I agreed that we would go together to Albany and Washington to press our case to restore more education funding.”

The mayor’s statement portrayed the decision as final, but in his own statement, Mr. Mulgrew said that the mayor did not have the power to take such a step. The union’s contract with the city expired in October, and negotiations over the current contract are at an impasse.

“He does not have the power to unilaterally decide on the teachers’ contract, and we have reached no agreement on his proposal to freeze teacher pay,” Mr. Mulgrew said.

The head of the principals’ union implied that he, too, would contest the move. “We have not consented to his proposal to eliminate raises for the next two years, and we have yet to sit down at the bargaining table,” said Ernest Logan, the president of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators.

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