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NYC To Eliminate Teacher Raises

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to rescind layoff notices and save over 4,000 teacher jobs, but it's going to come at a cost: The elimination of planned raises, The New York Times reports.

The head of the city's teachers' union, Michael Mulgrew, put out a statement that says, emphatically, that the United Federation of Teachers has not agreed to this proposal, and intimates that the move might not pass legal muster.

The mayor "does NOT have the power to unilaterally decide on the teachers' contract, and we have reached NO agreement on his proposal to freeze teacher pay," Mulgrew said (emphasis his). "If the Mayor has concrete ideas on the next contract, he and his representatives should bring them to the bargaining table at the Public Employment Relations Board, where our contract is currently in mediation."

Bloomberg has, according to the NYT, steadily increased public employees' salaries over his tenure.

Sounds like Mulgrew would like to see both the layoffs rescinded and such raises preserved. Hard to say whether that's a budgetarily sound idea, but in his statement, Mulgrew suggests freeing up more cash by using an early-retirement option for teachers and dipping into a surplus that's been earmarked to cover a loss of state education revenue.

Despite this snafu, Mulgrew and Bloomberg are scheduled to head to Albany together to lobby for more education spending. You've got to love New York politics.

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