Governor Cuomo’s public spat with Mayor Bloomberg over the “last in, first out” rule to fire teachers may make it easier for him to negotiate with public employee unions. Despite the fact that Cuomo has threatened to fire 10,000 state workers, union leaders are privately saying they’re prepared to make concessions when it comes up for debate next month. An anonymous union boss told the New York Post:
“There’s been a sea change in recent days in attitudes toward the governor by people in the labor movement. The public-employee union leaders now think they’ll be able to work something out with the governor. They realize the state has great economic difficulties.”
Cuomo initially tried to derail Bloomberg’s proposal to add nine categories, like absenteeism and criminal record, as factors when considering firing a teacher. But then offered a much more modest, and politically viable, proposal allowing for fewer, and vaguer, standards for dismissal, like whether a teacher is “effective” or “ineffective.”
Cuomo’s spokesperson, Josh Vlasto, emphasized that our state senators will not be camping out in a Holiday Inn.
But the LIFO battle is still waging. Bloomberg, who called Cuomo’s proposal a “scam” and a gift to the union, is back to being chummy with the governor. Public-school reformers — not so much. In a letter signed by Michelle Rhee and Joel Klein, who took up the cause toward the end of his nine-year tenure as New York City Schools Chancellor, they wrote:
Does this mean the sleepovers and protests are back on? Because we have a better idea for a group sing-along.