Education

Urban Education

January 23, 2002 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

A Happy Union

It was billed as a press conference, but it doubled as a love fest.

There they were: New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and local teachers’ union President Randi Weingarten, standing side by side, with big smiles, as they announced the union’s upcoming move into offices near the devastated site of the World Trade Center.

Ms. Weingarten, whose union had opposed Mr. Bloomberg in the November election, lavished warm words on the new Republican mayor, saying he has inspired the city to believe in his leadership. Mr. Bloomberg returned the favor, saying the city owes Ms. Weingarten and the United Federation of Teachers “a thank-you” for showing leadership that expresses confidence in the Lower Manhattan neighborhood, which is struggling to rebound some four months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.

The scene on Jan. 10, in the lobby of the UFT’s future offices on lower Broadway, was quite a switch from the days of former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who was not on the warmest, fuzziest terms with the union.

Noting that the teachers’ contract expired 14 months ago, some wondered if relocating so close to City Hall might smooth the way to a contract. The mayor quipped that it “can’t hurt.”

Bruce S. Cooper tracks teacher-union activity from his perch as a professor of educational administration at New York’s Fordham University. He says the move can’t help but benefit the contract talks. “I think Bloomberg likes the unions, and the unions like Bloomberg,” he said. “It’s a relationship made in heaven, and both will benefit.

“The move puts something on the table that both the union and the mayor understand: property,” Mr. Cooper continued. “Because here in New York, we have an edifice complex. So the union is doing its bit to rebuild New York. It puts them in a good light to negotiate.”

Ms. Weingarten said the union needed more space as its membership grew in the past decade to 140,000 and it expanded its roster of training courses for members. The American Federation of Teachers affiliate began looking for new space last year, and found the prices best in Lower Manhattan, even before the economic slump triggered on Sept. 11, said union spokesman Dick Riley. The move is scheduled for next January.

The union will buy one 37-story building and lease an adjacent 19-story one. The union hopes to finance the projected $65 million to $75 million cost of the purchase and first-year lease by selling its Lower Midtown headquarters and two other buildings, union officials said.

—Catherine Gewertz cgewertz@epe.org

A version of this article appeared in the January 23, 2002 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
Strategies for Incorporating SEL into Curriculum
Empower students to thrive. Learn how to integrate powerful social-emotional learning (SEL) strategies into the classroom.
Content provided by Be GLAD
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Leadership in Education: Building Collaborative Teams and Driving Innovation
Learn strategies to build strong teams, foster innovation, & drive student success.
Content provided by Follett Learning
School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum Principals, Lead Stronger in the New School Year
Join this free virtual event for a deep dive on the skills and motivation you need to put your best foot forward in the new year.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: June 12, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: May 29, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: May 8, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: April 17, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read