Teachers' union wants power to deal with failing teachers in BX and city

Members of the teachers' union met with school officials Wednesday on contract issues.

Bronx and city teachers have been working without a contract for months. Randi Weingarten, president of the United Federation of Teachers, presented a proposal to the school officials about the teachers' contract. As part of the contract, UFT wants the power to deal with teachers who are struggling in the classroom. Weingarten says having newer, talented teachers leave and older qualified teachers retire is a formula for disaster.

Last year, nearly 6,000 teachers retired. Weingarten proposes giving teachers a competitive salary and more freedom in their classrooms. She also says the UFT has been falsely blamed in the past for protecting failing teachers. But Weingarten says the UFT wants teachers who don't belong in the classroom removed from their jobs.

Eva Moskowitz, chair of the City Council's Education Committee, questions the proposal. Moskowitz says she is not sure if the power to deal with struggling teachers should be taken out of the hands of the principal and given to the union.

Meanwhile, Weingarten is asking the Department of Education and the union to create a task force to handle the more than 200 teacher discipline cases. She says what has been proposed by the UFT could save the city more than $14 million.

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