Mulgrew Says Retroactive Raises Are a ‘Big Issue’ Going Into Contract Negotiations

Michael Mulgrew. (Photo: Amanda Cohen)
Michael Mulgrew. (Photo: Amanda Cohen)

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. Continue reading “Mulgrew Says Retroactive Raises Are a ‘Big Issue’ Going Into Contract Negotiations”

Michael Mulgrew Won’t Take Joe Lhota’s Calls

Joe Lhota
Joe Lhota signs an autograph.

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.

Continue reading “Michael Mulgrew Won’t Take Joe Lhota’s Calls”

George Gresham Basks in Bill de Blasio’s Glow

George Gresham (left) celebrates the endorsement of Bill de Blasio.
George Gresham and Bill de Blasio.

Endorsing Bill de Blasio was a move fraught with risk in May.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn was the vaunted front-runner in the mayor’s race, according to the polls. It was widely assumed that former Comptroller Bill Thompson, the only black candidate in the race, would consolidate the minority vote.

But the influential healthcare workers’ union went with Mr. de Blasio, the city’s public advocate, who now stands as the all-but-assured Democratic nominee for mayor. Mr. de Blasio repaid their faith by making potential hospital closures a centerpiece of his campaign: in July, he was even arrested for protesting the closures of two Brooklyn hospitals, a move that gave him needed publicity.

Continue reading “George Gresham Basks in Bill de Blasio’s Glow”

Despite Bravado, Teachers’ Union Bets Wrong Again

The UFT endorsing Bill Thompson in June.
The UFT endorsing Bill Thompson in June.

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.

Continue reading “Despite Bravado, Teachers’ Union Bets Wrong Again”

Bill Thompson Says He’s Staying in the Race as Pressure Mounts

Bill Thompson tonight after his strategy meeting.
Bill Thompson tonight after his strategy meeting.

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.

Continue reading “Bill Thompson Says He’s Staying in the Race as Pressure Mounts”

UFT PAC Releases First Pro-Thompson TV Ad

A scene from the new ad.
A scene from the new ad.

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.

Continue reading “UFT PAC Releases First Pro-Thompson TV Ad”

Lhota Loves Bloomberg’s School Policies and Thinks Everyone Else Should Too

Joe Lhota  (Photo: Andy Kropa/Getty Images)
Joe Lhota (Photo: Andy Kropa/Getty Images)

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.

Continue reading “Lhota Loves Bloomberg’s School Policies and Thinks Everyone Else Should Too”