Teachers rallied outside of two Upper East Side schools on Monday morning, calling on Mayor Eric Adams and NYC Schools Chancellor David Banks to give them a fair contract that includes a pay raise, more time with students and less ‘pointless’ paperwork.
“The teachers and paraprofessionals, all the people who work inside the schools of New York City deserve a fair contract,” said United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew, “We need to get a raise in order to maintain our ability to try to live inside of the city, which we all serve and love.”
Flanked by educators staged in front of both PS 527/East Side School for Social Action and MS 114/East Side Middle School, located on East 91st Street between First and Second Avenues, Mulgrew demanded that City leaders put teachers in a position to succeed with adequate preparation time, rather than be burdened with unnecessary tasks.
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“At the same time, we are sick and tired of having our time wasted by the Department of Education’s ridiculous policies — that they just keep adding on and on,” Mulgrew explained, “Paperwork, redundancies, and now assessing our assessments.”
It’s all part of a weeklong campaign to raise awareness to the plight of local teachers, who will be sharing the results of a stunning, candid survey which found that educators are spending more than one-third of their day on tasks that do not benefit kids — namely, mandatory assessments and time-consuming paperwork.
“We work very hard and tirelessly,” said Sally Kim, a teacher at PS 527 in Yorkville, “We just want something fair.”
Three-quarters of teachers surveyed reported “not having enough time during the workday to properly plan to meet their students’ needs,” according to the UFT survey released Monday.
UFT, which represents 75,000 New York City public school teachers, says its members have been working under an expired contract since last September and that negotiations with the City are going nowhere.
“We are here to educate our children — the children of this city — and we are a part of our community,” said MS 114 teacher Melissa Nathan, “We would like our community [and] our city to support us.”
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Mulgrew would not detail specific demands, but repeatedly said teachers should be allowed to do the kind of work they know is best for students.
When reached for comment by Upper East Site, the NYC Department of Education referred us to the NYC Department of Labor Relations, which negotiates union contracts on behalf of the Mayor. The Mayor’s Office did not immediately respond to our inquiry.
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