At the annual spring UFT conference, attendees where not happy with Mayor Micheal Bloomberg’s new budget which calls for over 4000 teacher layoffs. UFT head Mulgrew through down the gauntlet stating that NYC is actually in a surplus (according to Bloomberg) and this surplus could easily account for teacher layoffs.
“He can stop the layoffs and still have a very large surplus. And let’s be clear — that money belongs to the people of New York City and not to Mayor Bloomberg,” said Mulgrew.
Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott did not address the cuts specifically and instead told the crowd the focus needs to stay on the students.
“It’s going to be tough. We’re going to have agreements and disagreements around a number of issues, but I pledge to michael and I pledge to all of you that I will always accessible to you,” said Walcott.
The union is planning several rallies over the next few weeks. It says it will not stop fighting until teacher layoffs are off the table.
“I’ll do anything I can to support the system. This system is a great system and we’re here because we love the kids,” said teacher Mary Anne Spallone.
“I think we need the teachers. I think we need the smallest class sizes,” said Mirtha Gil, an assistant principal. “So I think the teachers are hoping that the mayor will reconsider the importance of education and that this is the future, not only of the city, but of the world.”