Highlights from the May 12 issue of New York Teacher:
Mayor uses ‘smoke and mirrors’ to rationalize layoffs
New revenues, strong economy do not shake Bloomberg’s pursuit of pink slips
Despite reporting a multi-billion-dollar city budget surplus that continues to grow, Mayor Bloomberg refused to reconsider his plan to lay off 4,278 teachers — 5 percent of the teaching force — when he presented his executive budget on May 6. UFT President Michael Mulgrew said the mayor was obscuring the truth that he has, in fact, many other budget choices short of layoffs.
Mulgrew maps out strategy to fight layoffs
Also proposes new co-location policy during rousing Spring Conference speech
In a rousing speech that had the 2,000 attendees of the UFT’s May 7 Spring Education Conference on their feet clapping and joining in chants of “Enough is enough,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew laid out a plan to bring teachers, parents and community members out on the streets to fight teacher layoffs.
May 5 rallies throughout the boroughs to protest cuts
‘The Education Mayor’? REALLY?
At rallies throughout the city, UFTers donned matching black T-shirts emblazoned with the UFT logo and the slogan, “‘The Education Mayor’? REALLY?” that called into question the mayor’s record in the area considers his greatest legacy. The angry crowds were not buying the Bloomberg budget story.
Queen of green
Staten Island teacher-activist makes children want to join her world of science
It seems that wherever you look in the area around Staten Island’s PS 57, there are landmarks of Patricia Lockhart’s compassion. Behind the school is Eibs Pond Park, where Lockhart, science teacher and head of the park’s education program, can often be found with her students caretaking the wetlands, one of the Going Green Projects she instituted 15 years ago.
May Day: Born in the USA
For generations, May Day, the International Workers Day celebrated by working people in more than 200 countries, was ignored in the United States, the country of its origin. In fact, the annual holiday is as American as cherry pie, commemorating as it does the 1886 nationwide general strike in which U.S. trade unionists walked off the job in support of an eight-hour workday.
Giving care in Colombia
UFT nurses, backed by union’s Disaster Relief Fund, join mission treating poor children
Six nurses from Brooklyn’s Lutheran Medical Center labored nonstop 12 to 14 hours a day for a week in Colombia in April, assisting in repairing cleft palates, removing thyroid glands or gall bladders, treating burns and burn scars, and performing myriad other procedures on poor children and a handful of adults desperate for medical care.
Francis Lewis’ overcrowding draws a crowd
Some 150 parents, teachers, students and local community and political leaders demonstrated on April 29 outside the notoriously overcrowded Francis Lewis HS in Fresh Meadows against budget cuts and teacher layoffs.
Court hears union’s TDR appeal
Lawyers for the UFT argued before the Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court on May 3 that the Department of Education should not be allowed to release Teacher Data Reports to the press. They are full of inaccuracies and are potentially harmful if teachers’ names are published with the results, the union argued.
UFT builds bridges to faith-based communities
Continuing his efforts to strengthen ties between the UFT and New York City’s diverse communities of faith, UFT President Michael Mulgrew on April 28 hosted a “faith-based breakfast” for New York clergy and community leaders at union headquarters.
Students, staff united in support for Independence HS chapter leader
More than 100 students, alumni and teachers demonstrated on April 28 in front of Independence HS on Manhattan’s West Side demanding that the principal drop 3020a dismissal charges against the chapter leader and that the Department of Education investigate chronic leadership failure at the school.