The largest public school system in the United States, the New York City schools, with more than 1,000,000 students) opened for the fall term Monday, (11 Sept) but a majority of the more than 14,000 teachers failed to appear because of a strike.
School, teachers picketing outside, some students going through picket line and into school.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The largest public school system in the United States, the New York City schools, with more than 1,000,000 students) opened for the fall term Monday, (11 Sept) but a majority of the more than 14,000 teachers failed to appear because of a strike. At an evening rally, held Sunday on the site of the 1964 World's Fair, the teachers voted 112,333 to 2,523 to reject of a 125,000 million dollar two-year contract offer by the City's Board of Education.
Teachers are forbidden by law to strike in New York. The teachers called their action a mass resignation. At the request of the United Federation of Teachers, the group's union, many of the instructors had resigned last spring. The President of the Union, Albert Shanker, claims to hold the resignations of many thousands more. He has used the resignations as a weapon in collective bargaining with the Board of Education in his attempts to gain more money and improved working conditions for the teachers.
The Board of Education was attempting to keep the schools open, using supervisory personnel, auxiliary teachers, regular teachers who did chose to report for work, and some parents who had volunteered for service.
Some of the issues being disputed aside from a salary increase are: the removal of much clerical work now required of teachers, and a better system of protecting teachers who work in areas where the students are unruly and sometimes attack them in the halls and classrooms.
The strike, or mass resignations, follows a summer of fruitless negotiations between the Union and the Board of Education.
Sunday, the city obtained a court injunction against the teachers from striking, or resigning en masse, or picketing in front of the schools, but the walk-out occurred anyway.
The resumption of talks aimed at settling the dispute is anticipated sometime Monday.