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Break for teachers


Tony Best

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A REPRIEVE and a sigh of relief for scores of Bajan teachers in New York who were in danger of losing their classroom jobs.
The Bajans were among Caribbean teachers who were jubilant after the Bloomberg administration and the New York United Federation of Teachers (UFT) reached an agreement that averted the planned layoff of thousands of City educators, some of whom would have been classroom professionals recruited from Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and the other regional countries.
“It is certainly good news and as a result Caribbean teachers are breathing a sigh of relief,” said Bertha Lewis, head of the Black Institute and a highly vocal advocate for the 500-plus teachers who have been working in the city for about a decade.
Although all of the details of the new agreement worked out a few days ago are still to be made public, what’s known is that the threatened layoffs of 4 100 teachers will not take place.
The Caribbean teachers were brought to the five boroughs at the turn of the century but their immigration status remained unresolved, triggering a deep-seated fear that City Hall’s intention to slash the number of classroom professionals would leave them out of work and therefore subject to deportation.
Full story in today’s DAILY NATION.

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