snow days or lack thereof
The president of the city’s teachers’ union, Michael Mulgrew, said today that receiving retroactive pay raises for his members is a “big issue” going into contract negotiations with the new administration, in his most specific comments on the topic to date.
“Myself and the mayor—Mayor de Blasio–have been very clear that we don’t want to do negotiations in the media,” Mr. Mulgrew told WNYC during a radio interview this afternoon, before acknowledging that back pay will indeed be a key issue moving forward.
The Land of Ice & Snow
Mayor Bill de Blasio faced a barrage of questions today over his decision to keep schools open, despite forecasts of up to 14 inches of snow
For the lion’s share of more than 30 minutes of on-topic questioning following a storm update at the city’s Office of Emergency Management headquarter in Brooklyn, the new mayor and his schools chancellor repeatedly tried to explain their call to keep schools open during the sixth major storm in as many weeks.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to keep schools open during today’s blizzard received a cold response from the city’s teachers’ union and elected officials.
Michael Mulgrew, the union’s president, called the decision a “mistake.”
The United Federation of Teachers is screening its calls.
Republican mayoral hopeful Joe Lhota says the president of the powerful teachers’ union, Michael Mulgrew, has refused to take his phone calls, despite repeated attempts to connect.
The city’s powerful teachers’ union voted today to endorse Bill de Blasio for mayor–after snubbing him during the Democratic primary in favor of Bill Thompson.
“Mr. Thompson has asked us to support Mr. de Blasio because he knows–as well as Mr. de Blasio knows–the city can no longer afford to go in the direction which it has been going for way too long,” United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew told reporters gathered tonight at the union’s Lower Manhattan headquarters after its delegate assembly had formerly voted for the second time this election season.
standing his ground
The city’s powerful teachers’ union just can’t seem to get mayoral races right.
When the United Federation of Teachers offered its coveted endorsement to Bill Thompson in June, it was seen as a game changer for the candidate. But the union’s efforts came up short yet again, with Mr. Thompson conceding the contest today after placing a distant second.
This is not a new situation for the UFT, which chose to sit out the 2005 and 2009 races, and–as its critics like to point out–last backed a winning candidate in 1989.
Bill vs. Bill
Despite mounting pressure to drop out of the mayor’s race, Bill Thompson emerged from a meeting with his highest-profile backers tonight and again refused to concede a runoff until more votes are counted.
“It continues to become clearer and clearer that there are tens of thousands of votes that are out there. We believe that the votes should be counted,” Mr. Thompson told reporters, standing in the lobby of the teacher’s union headquarters with his wife and a gaggle of supporters, including Congressmen Charlie Rangel and Hakeem Jeffries.
The Bill Thompson Show
Flooding the steps of City Hall with dozens of supporters, Bill Thompson and his high-profile surrogates urged voters to reject the polls–and the candidate leading them– at a final get-out-the-vote rally this afternoon.
With less than 24 hours to go before the polls open, the campaigns are in final crunch mode, making their closing arguments and trying to ensure supporters turn out to the polls. And to maximize his time, Mr. Thompson is currently in the midst of his second 24-hour tour, which will keep him campaigning through the night.
“This is not a race about who’s on Twitter. This is not a race about hairdos. This is race about serious business,” said Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr., taking a dig at front-runner Bill de Blasio’s popular television ads featuring his famously afro-haired son. “This is a race about hard-working men and women of the City of New York who are unfortunately still struggling to make it by.”
Bill Thompson’s mayoral campaign shifted into high gear yesterday, embarking on a dizzying five-borough, 24-hour tour that took him from the Staten Island ferry to Bronx meat freezers into the wee hours of the morning.
Politicker hung out with Mr. Thompson from 2 a.m. to past 7 a.m. on this journey, where Mr. Thompson, grinning and sipping coffee, maintained his stamina well into the morning, hoping to dispel the sleepy-campaigner branding from his 2009 bid.
Former Comptroller Bill Thompson’s mayoral campaign got its most significant boost to date this evening with an endorsement from the city’s powerful teachers’ union.
The endorsement, which was officially announced just before 6 p.m. following a vote by the union’s 3,400-member Delegate Assembly, will provide Mr. Thompson with the organizational muscle of the United Federation of Teachers, which boasts a sophisticated voter outreach operation, approximately 170,000 members across the five boroughs and millions of dollars to spend.