Bloomberg: No Raises For NYC Teachers


bloombergNYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg said New York City teachers won’t get planned raises for the next two years, but their jobs will be saved.  The mayor had proposed laying off 4,400 teachers in his budget plan last month. The job cuts were part of his plan to make up for hundreds of millions in aid the city expects it won’t get from the state.Bloomberg said in a statement today that he has canceled the 2-percent raises planned for teachers for the next two years. He says it is not an ideal solution but will save those teachers’ jobs.

The budget plan last month called for shrinking the 300,000-person city workforce by nearly 11,000 jobs through 6,000 layoffs and 5,000 by attrition.

Bloomberg criticized Gov. David Paterson’s budget plans last month, saying the governor’s proposal would cripple the city.

“The governor’s proposed budget in effect balances the state books by starving New York,” Bloomberg said on May 6.

Bloomberg said the state has overspent, has taxed New Yorkers until they bleed, and while the city acted prudently to deal with a failing economy with eight rounds of slashing city services, Albany did not.

“Albany failed to anticipate the crisis and failed to take similar steps to tighten its own belt and we face a terrible price for Albany’s irresponsibility,” Bloomberg said.

The price? Try $1.3 billion in money the state is taking away from the city, initially forcing the mayor to reduce the work force by 11,000, close 20 fire companies, reduce library services, close 50 senior citizen centers, and rais parking meter rates from $2 to $2.50 an hour

“Make no mistake about it, unless the Legislature acts New York City residents will pay the price for Albany’s bad decisions and I will remind everybody who unfortunately may lose their jobs that it is because of Albany’s fiscal irresponsibility,” Bloomberg said last month.

“This mayor is talking truth to power. We cannot play a budget dance with the lives of millions of New Yorkers that are in fact teetering on the edge in terms of real cuts,” Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer said.

But it is the teacher cuts that hit home.

“I love my job. I love teaching Spanish. It’s what I always wanted to do. It’s unfair, it really is. It’s going to hurt the schools and many students,” worried teacher Vianela Brito said.

“I have a daughter in school. It’s very important for getting kids ready for college,” added Rita Sydnor Hickery of Brooklyn.

The governor responded angrily to the mayor’s attack. His budget director charged that the mayor is using the state as a scapegoat to shirk responsibility for his own budget choices.

{WCBS-TV/Noam Newscenter}