Posts Tagged 'teacher layoffs'

We win! No layoffs! (but the war with Bloomberg continues)

June, 28  2011

We won. Yesterday four thousand teachers were wondering how they would pay rent or mortgages this summer. And today they know – their jobs are safe.

We won by demonstrating, by phone banking, by winning over the City Council.

We have won a big battle. But the war with the mayor continues. He will come back at seniority next year. And school closings. And collocations. We are still working under an expired contract.

We need to keep pushing. We need to hammer away at the wasteful contracts. We need to mobilize as we have. But we also need to mobilize in a way that draws more of our members into the fight. New Action continues to call for school-level actions, including meetings and pickets, as appropriate. Picketing is not a panacea, but engagement by the entire membership is crucial.

 ATRs

Today’s agreement has a series of complicated-looking provisions that may help ATRs get regularly appointed. It would be fantastic if this works. But we have had contract language and side agreements designed to help ATRs get positions in the past, and the DoE has ignored or violated them (think about 18D!). We will need to watch how our brothers and sisters in the ATRs are treated very closely. If their conditions and positions do not improve, New Action will introduce a resolution (see reverse) for the next Delegate Assembly in October.

 Focus on conditions in the schools

Schools just had their budgets cut again yesterday. While this cut is not huge (average is under 3%) this is the latest in a series of cuts stretching back several years. The cumulative effect of is over 20% for some schools. Schools are bleeding not from a gash, but from a thousand paper cuts. And our children are losing necessary programs.

We will lose through attrition at least 2500 teachers. Again, this is on top of ten thousand more positions already lost in preceding cuts. Despite the CFE case, the DoE is forcing our students into larger classes.

Mayoral Control

Bloomberg’s brinkmanship over layoffs would not have occurred without the legislation that gives him direct control over the schools. It is time to end mayoral control.

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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.