Thursday, June 16, 2011

Something for Nothing

Nice if you can get it, and that's precisely what Mayor4Life Bloomberg is demanding from city workers. Basically, you give me 30 million a month, more than I would have saved by firing all those teachers, and I won't fire all those teachers.

Yet nowhere in the article does it mention the actual emergency which necessitated all those firings, to wit, a 3.2 billion dollar surplus. Last year, you probably recall, the mayor dropped the firings by unilaterally canceling the 8% pattern raise all other city workers got for teachers. I'm still not clear how that's okay with PERB, which insists on the pattern for all whenever it's such a stinker no one wants it. In 2005 the UFT agreed to draconian concessions to get a compensation increase that didn't even keep up with cost of living.

The real problem is this--if we give Bloomberg that money, it will not be enough, just as unilaterally canceling teacher raises was not enough. Next year, there will be another crisis. Perhaps the surplus will only be one or two billion, and we'll really need to cut back.  Bloomberg will roll out the LIFO nonsense again, and do his darndest to circumvent the contract he and the Tweedies agreed to. He'll find some other stooge in the Senate to demand we kill seniority protections only for teachers, and only for teachers in New York City, and he'll claim that's the magic bullet to force the improvements he hasn't been able to make over this long, long decade.

Do we want to even consider giving Bloomberg this money? Only if we can preclude a repeat of all this nonsense next year, and the year after. Bloomberg needs a face-saving out for his idiotic and longstanding contention that teachers need to be fired.  That's why it's a good thing they haven't given it up yet.

Let's make him pay dearly for any way out, and let's not give him another in come next year.
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