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N.Y.C. Anticipates Teacher Layoffs

New York City appears poised to enter the melee over teacher layoffs that's shaking its sister mega-tropolis Los Angeles right now: N.Y.C. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has submitted a budget proposal calling for cuts of more than 15,000 teachers out of about 77,000.

Not surprisingly, the United Federation of Teachers is preparing to fight tooth and nail to prevent that from happening. This afternoon, it's holding a demonstration in downtown Manhattan to protest the cuts. Yesterday, L.A. teachers did much the same thing, marching from the district headquarters to Pershing Square in downtown L.A.

All of this is practically guaranteed to make contract negotiations a lot more difficult in both cities. New York is headed for contract negotiations this fall, and it's hard to tell at this stage what the pressure points will be there. L.A., on the other hand, is already in the middle of a tough negotiation. Ray Cortines, the superintendent of LAUSD, has promised not to cut positions until the school year is over, but it's likely the district will have to do that at some point, to the union's chagrin. Still, the district can't be thrilled with the union's attempts to keep teachers employed at the same time as they press for raises under a new contract.

The stimulus package being debated on the Hill could help offset some of these cuts, but at some point one suspects something is going to have to give, and the political fallout is going to be messy.

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