President's perspective

October 13, 2011

Why we’re marching

Occupy Wall Street has touched a nerve and has sparked non-stop protests on Wall Street, and across the country. Here in New York, as our mayor continues to refuse to help stop the sunsetting of the millionaire’s tax while once again threatening teacher layoffs, it’s easy to see why the new movement’s signature slogan — “We are the 99 percent” — is so popular.

September 22, 2011

Taking back our profession

We face many challenges this school year, starting with the hard realities of more budget cuts and austerity, exploding class sizes and increasing poverty and homelessness among our students. But in the face of challenges, the members of our union always make our schools work, and I cannot thank you enough for all that you do.

September 8, 2011

Whatever it takes

This week we honor the UFT members whose courage and heroism kept children out of harm’s way on that terrible day ten years ago on 9/11. Everyone played an extraordinary role. Teachers helped students escape Lower Manhattan; nurses sprang into action as first responders. We are, and always have been, educators and caregivers, looking to help others.

June 23, 2011

Our work is never done

It’s been a hell of a year. Despite the many battles and the constant barrage of attacks on teachers, we are standing tall and standing strong as we near the end of it. But it’s not over yet. Layoffs of thousands of teachers, which would do irreparable harm to our children and devastate our own families, are still on the table.

May 26, 2011

Lessons in inequality

Six decades after the landmark Supreme Court ruling on educational equality, Brown v. Board of Education, it is outrageous that thousands of New York City children get a graphic lesson in inequality every day when they walk through the doors of their school buildings.

May 12, 2011

Enough is enough

We became teachers and educators to help children. Whether it’s preparing lesson plans, helping students one on one, talking to concerned parents or working with colleagues on schoolwide programs, everything we do is about helping children. Working hard and going the extra mile for our students is in our DNA. It’s who we are.

April 28, 2011

Students school the DOE

Recently I had the privilege to meet some extraordinary young people who are fighting for their right to an education. They are from the Urban Youth Collaborative and they had invited the UFT and City Council members to join them as they released a report on the city’s closing schools policy.

April 14, 2011


“The floggings will continue until morale improves.” So goes an old joke about the counterproductive and clueless ways that managers sometimes go about running a business. But here in New York City, an equally absurd and outrageous idea has taken hold: Attacking teachers is the way to improve education. And it’s no joke.

March 24, 2011

Learning from history

On March 25, 1911, 146 workers died in the Triangle Shirtwaist fire. They were trapped in the garment factory, where the employer had locked the doors to prevent them from taking unauthorized breaks, and many leapt to their deaths rather than be burned alive. It was a horrific tragedy that seared the conscience of the nation and gave rise to a movement for government regulation of workplace conditions.

March 10, 2011

This is not Wisconsin

The mayor’s assault on schools and teachers reached a new low on March 1 when he convinced the New York State Senate to pass a bill that ended seniority rules that guarantee impartiality in layoffs. As the bill was being rushed through in record time, UFT members responded with thousands of faxes to their state senators.

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