Layoffs? Fight back!

by Jonathan Halabi

Mayor Bloomberg has announced his preliminary budget, with a reduction from 75,000 to 69,000 teachers, with over 4000 of that reduction to come from layoffs.

Some things we can do:

  • Demonstrate Thursday May 12. There will be actions downtown. Ask your Chapter Leader, who should be in regular contact with the District Rep, or check daily for updates on http://uft.org for details.
  • Mobile phone bank. Ask your Chapter Leader about which day the staff in your school can do lunch time mobile phone banks to your council person (even those who are on our side need reminders to stay there).
  • Ask your Chapter Leader to arrange a date to picket in front of your school. Doing something together, all of you, builds solidarity. It feels nice. And gets us ready for what comes next. If there is a common date in the district, all the better.
  • Ask your Chapter Leader if there is going to be a Council District meeting with the council person (when the meeting happens, you’ll want to make sure your school participates – even better if you are there Day 1 and can work on getting the site to be close by)
  • Watch out for fax campaigns!  Once they are announced it is easy to send the faxes. Leave the right page open on the computer, and everyone can send one – takes just a minute. And the politicians see them.
  • Pass good information. When you learn something important, share the information and where you learned it. Conversely, don’t pass rumors. People are nervous (with reason) and rumors are our enemy.
  • Finally, stay ready. This fight will not end June 1 or Brooklyn-Queens Day or the beginning of Regents. We are in for a battle, and Bloomberg is too. We don’t relax until we’ve spared the classrooms and saved our colleagues’ jobs.
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