Local 372 rally
Solidarity at City Hall
rally at City Hall on June 17.
Members of Board of Education Employees
Local 372 and their allies came from all five boroughs June 17 to rally at City
Hall and send Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg an angry message: Stop your plan to lay
off 2,600 union members in September.
As the mayors executive budget
proposed, the Dept. of Education is planning 5 percent across-the-board reductions
in the funds for every school.
Depriving these vital workers of their
jobs is not the solution to our economic troubles, said Local 372 and DC
37 President Veronica Montgomery-Costa from the podium, where numerous DC 37 local
presidents and City Council members joined her.
These layoffs are
not necessary, said DC 37 Executive Director Lillian Roberts, as the crowd
blew their whistles and waved their signs. Weve proven that with our
white papers, which examined 10 contracts in eight city agencies and identified
$130 million in savings the city can realize by cutting down on outside contracts
with over-paid consultants and contractors.
Support for the local,
which represents School Crossing Guards, School Aides, Parent Coordinators, School
Lunch Aides and many other titles, also came from DC 37s national union,
the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. We will
rally every day to fight for our future and the childrens future,
said Lee Saunders, executive assistant to the president of AFSCME. Saunders also
promised $150,000 in financial support for the battle against the mayors
Members of Local
372 deliver an urgent message
to Mayor Bloomberg.
Take away the School Aides, the Crossing
Guards, and the Substance Abuse Counselors and youll have chaos in the public
schools like youve never seen, said AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer William
Local 1549 President Eddie Rodriguez was one of many local presidents
expressing his support for the school workers. We are going to win this
battle, said Rodriguez. This is the beginning of the fight, not the
Claude Fort, president of Local 375, also addressed the rally.
You give the parents peace of mind, knowing that you are there to care for
their children, said Fort.
New York City Comptroller and mayoral
candidate William C. Thompson was one of several elected officials who came to
the rally to show their solidarity, along with City Council members Bill de Blasio,
Robert Jackson, Leticia James and David Weprin.
We are not going
to let you stand alone, said Thompson. Our children need you!
said de Blasio.
Jackson had some advice for the mayor on dealing with the
budget crisis. Get rid of some of those outside contracts and you would
have the money, said Jackson, who chairs the City Council Education Committee.
Dont tell me it cant be done.
Clotilde del Valle
retired in May, but she felt she had to be at the demonstration. We are
the ones who feed the kids and cross them at the corners, said del Valle,
who remembers voting for the union back in 1971. They have to be there for