NY1 has an article about how NY Education Chancellor Walcott has said that to balance the budget, layoffs will have to incur in order to deliver promises.
Teacher layoffs may be off the table in this year’s budget fight, but the schools chancellor said at a City Council budget meeting on Wednesday that 225 workers without permanent jobs in the school system could still get pink slips. NY1′s Grace Rauh filed the following report.
City public school teachers are spared layoffs this year, but Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott told City Council members at a Wednesday budget hearing in City Hall that the same cannot be said for all Department of Education employees.
“There may be layoffs,” said the chancellor.
There are expected layoffs of some 225 school workers, many of them school aides. All are without permanent jobs in the school system but they are still on the payroll, and Walcott said that arrangement is unsustainable.
The vulnerable employees are members of the municipal union District Council 37.
“We have already started a conversation with DC 37 on how we can look at some savings and maybe do something together to either prevent or minimize layoffs within the DC 37 workforce,” said Walcott.
Those same conversations took place last year, but to little avail. Close to 700 school employees, nearly all of them from the union, were laid off in the fall. At the time, city officials said union leaders refused to accept a new health care fund that would have saved the city money.
The union did not respond to a request for comment.
Any deal with the union would have to be reached in the next few weeks, as a final budget deal is due by the end of June.
“We have basically three weeks before the budget is finalized, and so our goal is to have productive discussions with DC 37,” said Walcott. “We are committed to do that and I know that they are probably committed to do that as well.”
The chancellor also said the city is looking to offer teachers without permanent positions incentives to resign.
The hearing was perhaps most notable for its lack of shouting and friction between council members and school officials. Sparks did fly briefly over funding for charter schools.
“Charter schools are getting a $104.9 million increase and public schools, their budgets are remaining flat,” said Brooklyn Councilwoman Letitia James.
A calm atmosphere ultimately prevailed. That likely has something to do with Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed budget for education which is about $650 million higher than the current one.