Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bloomberg, UFT Going To Make A Deal On Layoffs?

City Hall News says the UFT and Bloomberg are quietly talking behind the scenes about concessions to stave off layoffs:

Even as tensions between the Bloomberg administration and the United Federation of Teachers remain high, the two sides are quietly talking about proposals that could sharply reduce the number of teacher layoffs the mayor has proposed, sources close to the budget process say.

While no accord seems imminent, the low-key discussions hold the potential to protect many of the 4,000 teacher layoffs Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said are necessary – while also giving him a face-saving way to avoid the spectacle of mass firings.

“We will continue to work with our colleagues in Albany to make the necessary changes in state law that will allow us to manage any layoffs in a more responsible, intelligent and equitable manner,” Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott told a City Council hearing yesterday.

The Bloomberg administration’s earlier hope to change the state’s “last in, first out” policy on teacher layoffs has been dashed in Albany, but Walcott was in the Capitol last week pushing for other changes to make it easier to fire egregiously bad teachers, like those convicted of felonies.

“Who’s going to be against that?” asked a high-level source involved in budget talks. “The UFT is talking to the mayor’s office and trying to figure out a compromise to make this work.”

Sources on both sides downplayed the results of such talks, saying discipline changes in the future won’t save jobs this year. But they said Bloomberg’s team is trying to reduce the potential for layoffs, since firing teachers would be deeply unpopular – especially for a mayor whose reputation on education issues has been falling.

The mayor is deeply unpopular, his education policies are deeply unpopular, his layoff proposal is deeply unpopular - the UFT does NOT need to concede anything here.

The savings that the mayor claims he needs can come from outside consultant contracts and the tech budget.

That's it.

Bloomberg plans to spend $550 million on technology upgrades next year, an outrageous amount considering he's claiming he needs to lay off thousands of teachers to save $300 million. He wants to do this so he can spend millions more on standardized tests and add dozens of new tests to every grade - not to improve education, just so teachers can be tracked.

It is egregious that the mayor wants to replace teachers with computers so that he can add dozens of standardized tests in order to track teachers.

Hammer that point home again and again.

Geez, it's not hard here.

People are sick of Bloomberg, they don't like him or his policies in general, and they REALLY hate his education policies.

78% of NYC public school parents oppose his education policies.

The UFT doesn't have to concede anything here.

The mayor is the one who has to concede.

As Public Advocate de Balsio, Manhattan Borough President Stringer and Comptroller Liu have all pointed out, Bloomberg has made a political decision to lay teachers off.

This has nothing to do with the budget in any real way.

The money exists to keep teachers on the job.

Bloomberg has just decided to spend it on computers, standardized tests and outside tech consultants instead of teachers.


  1. What Bloomberg will be legendary for is his arrogance and callousness; the UFT will be legendary for its ability to concoct "new realities" for NYC teachers.

  2. Any teacher layoff will mean a loss of dues to the UFT...and all they care about is THEIR bottom line, not about any issues that affect teachers...hey, look at their dishonesty with the last few contracts they shoved down our throats and all the deals they have made hush hush with Bloomberg.
    Yes, the UFT will collaborate with Bloomberg so that their bottom line and their patronage jobs are saved....
    However, they need to be careful about what they agree to without a full union vote. Everyone in my school--all of whom were apathetic or who thought the UFT was on their side has gotten wise and is disgusted with the union and its politics.....

  3. Interesting that speaker Quinn is now out front in the fight to avoid teacher layoffs. The same Quinn who orchestrated and twisted arms in the council to have the votes necessary for the mayor to repeal the term limits law. Who to believe in this political saga at the expense of teachers and classrooms. The UFT should not have to negotiate this aspect as the contract has a no layoff clause, and the budget does not necessitate layofss in order to reach equilibrium.