The reaction to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed layoffs of 4,100 teachers was defiant, as the president of the United Federation of Teachers, Michael Mulgrew, angrily promised to hold a giant protest modeled on the Wisconsin protests held this past winter.
UFT President Mulgrew Inspires Crowd of Teachers
Michael Mulgrew was speaking to a crowd of educators at the annual spring conference of the UFT held in midtown Manhattan.
“Mr. Mayor, it’s not going to happen, and enough is enough!” Mr. Mulgrew shouted as he drew the crowd of educators into a frenzied chant of “Enough is Enough.”
Chancellor Dennis Walcott Shows Restraint
The newly appointed Chancellor of Schools, Dennis Walcott, listened carefully to Mulgrew’s remarks as he sat on the dais, without clapping. Walcott was hired last month to replace the former chancellor, magazine mogul Cathie Black.
Before Mulgrew’s speech began, Walcott and Mulgrew warmly embraced and shook hands as the audience applauded him earnestly when Walcott told the teachers, “I think the world of
But the teachers saved their real enthusiasm for a surprise guest, Wisconsin State Senator Jon Erpenbach, who was welcomed with nothing short of a standing ovation. Erpenbach is the defiant lawmaker who took 13 colleagues out of Wisconsin to go into hiding in order to prevent the passage of Governor Scott Walker’s legislation to nullify the bargaining rights of unions in his state.
March of Thousands Planned
Thursday, May 12 is set as the date for the UFT and other like-minded city unions to bring tens of thousands of supporters to a march from City Hall and other places to converge on Wall Street, demanding that Mayor Bloomberg make the big financial institutions, who were saved by the bailout, to pay more to prevent the severe budget cuts that are being threatened for education and other vital city services.
Mayor Bloomberg released to the public the city’s upcoming $65.7 billion budget on Friday, calling for 6,100 teacher cuts, including 2,000 jobs which will end by not replacing retiring teachers with new ones.
Mulgrew plans on having parents, students, clergy and others at the rally, showing that they can be defiant of the mayor’s plan.
“It’s a political game” Mulgrew asserted. “We will not stand by and accept this anymore.”