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Budget Deal Removes Teacher Layoff Threat

An agreement reached by New York City and the UFT will ensure that no New York City public school teacher will be laid off in the next  year, Mayor Bloomberg, Council Speaker Christine Quinn and UFT President Michael Mulgrew announced on June 24.

The agreement with the UFT includes financial savings to the city generated by redeployment of teachers in the Absent Teacher Reserve pool and a one-year suspension of study sabbaticals, along with additional resources from the City Council and the Department of Education.

The agreement forestalls the possibility – raised by Mayor Bloomberg in both the January Financial Plan and the Executive Budget  in May – that the city budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2011 would require the layoffs of more than 4,000 teachers.

UFT President Michael Mulgrew said:  “I want to thank all the parties involved in this agreement for their willingness to come together to prevent the harm that would come to our students from a massive loss of public school teachers.  In particular I’d like to cite the key role played by Council Speaker Christine Quinn and her members and staff, along with Chancellor Dennis Walcott and the DOE officials who worked with us to find ways to prevent what could have been a disaster for our schools.”

The UFT has agreed to procedures that will make it possible for the 1,200 teachers in the Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR) pool to be used more efficiently to fill long and short-term vacancies in their school districts. Such use is designed to save much of the money the DOE now spends on “per diem” substitutes to fill these vacancies.

The one-year suspension of study sabbaticals – which will take effect in the 2012-13 school year – will save the DOE the cost of teachers on these academic leaves. Teachers on one-year approved study sabbaticals receive 70 percent of their regular salaries.

Read The New York Times story for more details.

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