Teacher's union head warns schools open safely or not at all

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NEW YORK (AP) — The president of the city's teachers' union warned that they wouldn't let New York City schools open later this month if the city doesn't do what's needed in terms of issues like getting protective equipment issued properly, testing, and school cleanings.

In a video issued Friday to United Federation of Teachers union members, UFT President Michael Mulgrew was visibly angry about how the week's efforts had gone, and chastised the city for not acting with enough urgency.

The return of students to in-person learning in city schools was delayed from Sept. 10 to Sept. 21 to continue working on coronavirus safety precautions.

“We are responsible for working and taking care of children. We are responsible for wearing a mask in the school, for keeping our social distancing. We understand what we’re responsible for," Mulgrew said. “But we also know what you’re responsible for. And If you can’t make that happen before the children come into schools, then we’re not going to let you open these schools.

Avery Cohen, a spokeswoman for Mayor Bill de Blasio, said the city “will continue to work in lockstep with UFT to ensure we are doing everything in our power to make schools safe. Our students and teachers deserve nothing less.”

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