Mulgrew's Failed Class Size Bill and Our Next Contract

Mulgrew’s class size bill was yet another failure from UFT leadership. Let’s fight for smaller class sizes in the upcoming contract.

To no one’s surprise, the city council bill to reduce class sizes went nowhere. MORE predicted as much way back in August. New York’s city council doesn’t have the authority to reduce class sizes directly, and the proposed bill tried to reduce class sizes through the city’s administrative code. But council speaker Corey Johnson, who the UFT endorsed in his failed run for city comptroller, refused to even bring the bill up for a vote. We’ve seen what backroom deals and playing politics gets us: nothing, not even a vote. 

From the beginning of the pandemic through to the week before the holiday break, we’ve seen that the mayor, the DOE, and UFT leadership aren’t willing to do what it takes to keep us safe without continuous pressure forcing their hands. With the Omicron variant leading to a massive covid spike in NYC’s already unsafe schools, MORE has been taking action to increase testing and keep our school communities. Join MORE today and help build the campaign for safe and healthy schools.

Let’s be clear, trying to mandate smaller class sizes through the administrative code is a gimmick; if we want to lower class sizes there’s only one surefire way to do it: Put it in the contract.

The pandemic has shown us how important it is to lower class sizes across the city’s schools. That’s why MORE and the United For Change coalition wrote and motivated an amendment to a resolution at November’s Delegate Assembly to mandate that the union prioritize class size reductions in the upcoming contract negotiations. That resolution passed, but we’re already hearing that Mulgrew’s cronies in the Unity caucus don’t plan on listening to the delegate assembly. Instead, they want to handpick members to serve on an appointed “bargaining committee” that will be free to ignore the decisions of the elected Delegate Assembly. 

Earlier this month, MORE members organized multiple days of action to fight for smaller class sizes and to help try to pass Mulgrew’s doomed bill. But unlike Mulgrew, we won’t stop at endorsing and lobbying politicians like Corey Johnson and Eric Adams. We’ll organize and fight to get smaller class sizes written into the contract. Vote for United For Change in the upcoming UFT elections and we can win smaller class sizes. We’ll reject any contract proposals that don’t significantly lower class sizes. And if the city says no, a United For Change leadership won’t just talk tough and give up early. We’ll fight for smaller contracts and be ready to strike if we need to.