In a taped interview aired yesterday, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that he does not expect to reach a contract settlement with NYC?s teachers until the State Legislature passes its budget and makes a decision on his bid to take direct control of City schools. Bloomberg?s attempts to link a contract for NYC?s teachers to his attempt to take over the school system, has drawn sharp criticism from the United Federation of Teachers (UFT). Although the city and the teachers? union agreed to follow the guidelines of a state fact-finding committee last month (see WIT for April 19, 2002), negotiations have once again stalled and the teachers---who have been working without a contract for over a year and a half---began strike authorization procedures last week (see WIT for May 8, 2002).
See MICHAEL COOPER, The New York Times, May 12, 2002