Layoffs

By the numbers

Layoffs

Teacher shuffle

Budget

New York

Quinn says council will hold a public hearing on DC 37 layoffs

A rally against the planned layoffs of school aides who belong to DC-37 Using new strategies, City Council members are mounting a final push to stave off the school aide layoffs that are scheduled to take place at the end of the week. Speaker Christine Quinn spoke to Mayor Bloomberg today about the layoffs, according to a Quinn spokesman, who said she plans to schedule a joint public hearing with the Finance and Education Committees to find out more about the scale of the proposed cuts. The DOE has maintained that the layoffs would save at least $38 million, but union officials dispute that total. "By our calculations, it should be closer to $22 and $25 million," said District Council 37's Local 372 president Santos Crespo at a press conference today. The event brought dozens of union and elected officials out in support of Crespo's union workers. It was then followed by a larger rally this evening that attracted Occupy Wall Street protesters. Quinn's announcement comes just days after the Black, Latino and Asian caucus discussed the option following a meeting with Chancellor Dennis Walcott in which little progress was made. Quinn has kept the issue at arms length up to this point, but inveighed against any future teacher layoffs last month on the first day of school. Crespo, who has offered three concession proposals to Walcott, said the council's intervention is the union's best option at this point. "What's going to make [the DOE] respond is going to be the City Council. If that happens, then we'll get to the bottom of this and see where the money is really going."
New York

City Council comes to table on talks to avert school aide layoffs

Union members and community members join Santos Crespo at P.S. 66 in the Bronx to protest school aide layoffs today. With the deadline to prevent layoffs of hundreds of school aides nearing, a familiar player is being introduced to help break up an impasse on negotiations. Chancellor Dennis Walcott, who has already rejected one proposal by DC-37 and its affiliate Local 372, which represent the aides, has accepted an invitation to meet with members of the council “discuss the issue pertaining to the DC37 layoffs,” according to an email sent out to the members today. The meeting is scheduled to take place tomorrow afternoon. Union officials are hoping that the City Council, which successfully brokered the deal to save more than 4,000 teacher layoffs in June, can once again come up with a solution to save jobs. One tool the council won't have is money; while the fight to prevent teacher layoffs took place before the 2012 budget was finalized, now all of the council's funds have been committed. "I assume this meeting is an attempt to help resolve some of the issues preventing an agreement between the union and the DOE," said an aide for one of the council members who will attend the meeting. The meeting is being convened by council members from the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus. School aides are the lowest paid school employees and are disproportionately black and Latino. So far, there has been no progress made in direct negotiations between union officials and the DOE, which announced lay offs of over 700 employees last month. At the time, DOE officials said that DC-37 employees were targeted because they were not willing to agree to budget concessions earlier in the summer. But talks reopened earlier this month and Walcott has said he continues to be open to more proposals.
New York

School aides union and DOE in talks to prevent layoffs

New York

Principals cut 2,000+ teaching jobs; city plans school layoffs

Budget cuts caused principals to cut thousands of positions this year, but the total number of teachers without permanent jobs rose only slightly, the Department of Education revealed today. The Bloomberg administration also announced plans to lay off nearly 800 school employees who do not belong to the teachers union, which negotiated a deal in June to avert layoffs. Most of those employees — 737 of 777 — belong to DC-37, which represents school aides and other auxiliary school personnel. The layoffs are set to start in October. When the city announced in July that schools would have to cut an average of 2.43 percent from their budgets, many principals complained that they had little fat to trim. They said they would have to turn to eliminating necessary positions and sending junior teachers to the Absent Teacher Reserve, the pool of teachers whose positions were cut or lost as a result of school closures or enrollment changes. In the end, they sent 2,186 teachers to the ATR pool this summer. More than a thousand of those teachers have already left the pool, either by finding new positions or leaving the system. A DOE spokeswoman said many of the teachers were rehired by their original schools after funding became available to keep them there. That leaves 1,940 teachers in the ATR pool with just weeks before the start of the school year.  Last year, the pool contained 1,779 teachers just before classes began. Though small, the growth in the size of the ATR pool still places added financial stress on the department.
New York

Layoffs to take center stage at tomorrow's City Council hearing

Chancellor Dennis Walcott will take the hotseat tomorrow morning before a City Council whose members are growing increasingly restive about the city's proposed teacher layoffs. According to the city's proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, the department is $350 million short of being able to fund its teaching spots. Mayor Bloomberg is pushing to close that gap by eliminating more than 6,000 teaching spots, 4,100 by layoffs. Insiders say council members are likely to grill Walcott on why the city's layoff estimates haven't wavered, despite two changes in chancellors since Bloomberg first unveiled them in November. They are also likely to demand why the city didn't cut other parts of the department's budget that doesn't directly affect the classroom, such as transportation and special education, both of which are projected to see a big spending boost next year. Many council members have said they don't think layoffs are necessary to balance the city's budget, and a few say they won't vote for a budget that includes layoffs. Robert Jackson, chair of the council's education committee, is among the elected officials set to appear at a rally against the layoffs proposal an hour before the hearing's 10 a.m. start. He'll be joined by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who has been lobbying against the proposed layoffs on his own; Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who advocates cutting contract spending to boost the staff budget; and other officials. But most council members haven't stated where they stand so clearly. Tomorrow's hearing is a chance for them to signal their intentions, offer suggestions for alternative cuts, and construct a roadmap for a month of political jockeying over the city's spending plans.
New York

What to expect when you're expecting layoffs (again…)

New York

Mayor: layoff threat "more realistic" this year than ever before

New York

Teachers group mirrors city recommendations for layoff reforms

New York

In State of the City, mayor calls for an end to seniority layoffs

New York

Teacher layoffs still a possibility, Klein tells City Council

President Obama might have spoken too soon when he said the federal stimulus could prevent teacher layoffs in New York City. Depending on how state legislators choose to disburse the stimulus funds, the city could still be looking at a loss of 2,000 teachers, Schools Chancellor Joel Klein told members of the City Council's education committee this morning. The city Department of Education believes it is entitled to 41 percent of the state's $2.4 billion in education stimulus funds because it receives 41 percent of state funds overall, Klein said today at the council's hearing on the DOE's preliminary budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1. This formula would give the DOE more than $500 million in stabilization funds, allowing it to avoid teacher layoffs. But he said some lawmakers "are taking a different view," instead suggesting that the city should receive a third of the state's stimulus money for schools because it serves a third of the state's public school students. Under this scenario, the DOE would receive just $360 million in stabilization funds, and about 2,000 teachers would have to be laid off. Klein, who was in Albany yesterday to lobby for the city schools, declined to identify the lawmakers to reporters after his testimony, saying that the negotiations are internal and ongoing. Either way, cuts to schools' non-teaching staff would be severe, Klein said, with a minimum of about 2,500 positions being lost in the first scenario and as many as 25 percent of school-based non-teaching staff positions being eliminated in the second. These positions include school aides, family workers, and other school personnel.