Thursday, October 03, 2019

No Food for You, City Teachers!

We're lucky in our school. We have one of the last teacher cafeterias in the city. I'm not sure exactly how many are left, but there are only a few among Queens high schools. Michael Bloomberg, who has billions of dollars and therefore knows everything, decided that teacher cafes needed to make a profit of be eliminated. He therefore closed a whole lot of them.

I don't have as much money as Bloomberg, and therefore I don't hold universal omniscience. Therefore I don't know how many cafeterias make money. I do know, though, that the concept of convenience does not always need to revolve around profit. For example, if I don't need to leave the building to get lunch, I'm likely to spend more time working. That might directly benefit those for whom I work, in this case, the children of New York City. Not being a financial expert like Mike Bloomberg, I think that is likely worthwhile, even if it costs a miniscule fraction of the city budget.

Of course Bloomberg had no issue dumping millions into computer systems that didn't work, or no-bid contracts on companies that left city children standing outside freezing waiting for buses that never showed up on the coldest day of the year. He had no issue appointing his wealthy BFFs for jobs like chancellor of NYC schools, regardless of their utter lack of qualifications. He didn't mind tossing around his own cash to buy another term, against the twice-voiced direct will of the people. But I digress.

Mayor de Blasio never moved to change much of what Bloomberg left in place, hence the flurry of stories of lawsuits from Bloomberg leftovers claiming they're being discriminated against for being white. Boy, it's tough to be white since Bloomberg left and no one's around to kiss Eva Moskowitz's ass with the  loving care it requires. She can't get a handle on her self-worth and isn't even paying herself a million a year yet.

One thing de Blasio did was eliminate charges for lunch for city kids. Personally, I think that's a great idea. I'm horrified when other districts indulge in lunch shaming, depriving children of food or making them eat things other kids don't have to. If families are poor, it's no business of schoolchildren. I'm glad they don't have to identify themselves as poor on a daily basis. Children can be particularly cruel.

However, in some schools teachers used to buy lunch in the student cafeterias. Now that they don't accept cash anymore, that's no longer possible. As if that's not enough, I hear some of those cafes give free lunch to custodians and aides. It's incredibly creepy they'd do that while freezing out UFT. That needs to stop. If people want to buy lunch in the cafe, there needs to be some provision for it.

More to the point, the mayor needs to step up and value teachers. All the teacher cafes need to be reopened, even if the city has to pay someone 15 bucks an hour to service it. I know some of them have been repurposed, while others sit idle and deserted. Again, though I haven't got as much money as Bloomberg, I can tell you that investing very little money into job satisfaction for teachers might show a return. Maybe fewer teachers will walk before reaching five years.

Actually, there's a strong upside to not treating teachers like crap. It might set an example, for instance, that our children shouldn't be treated like crap either. It's nothing less than common sense to extend this very small courtesy for those who serve the overwhelming majority of New York City's children.

Of course, common sense is the least common of all the senses. If I were Bill de Blasio, I'd want to do something worthy of positive attention right now. The presidential bid didn't really do it. Here's another approach Mr. Mayor. It wouldn't hurt right now to show you value educators. You can have total credit for the idea. No charge. Sometimes profit isn't everything.
blog comments powered by Disqus