The Land of Ice & Snow
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.
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.
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 teachers’ union’s political action committee, United for the Future, has released its first television ad touting the union’s chosen mayoral candidate: Bill Thompson.
The ad, entitled “Forgotten,” is clearly meant to appeal to black and Latino voters, touting the former comptroller as the only candidate who will stand up for the sea of diverse faces featured in the slickly-produced 30-second spot.
Take a look at the photo to the left. Now zoom in on the man in sunglasses. Just behind the woman in pink’s shoulder. See him? Yeah. Whoops.
A colorful mailer touting mayoral candidate Bill Thompson appears to have made a flub–including what would be the lovely image of Mr. Thompson greeting a smiling little girl–were it not for the guy who seems to be giving the finger to the photographer.
Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota heaped praise on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s education legacy in a speech this morning, commending the current mayor for achieving “incredible” results, and admonishing his Democratic rivals for failing to give him equal praise.
Mr. Lhota pointed to a smattering of improvements on state tests, as well as the city’s jump in graduation rates–which actually dipped slightly this year.
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.