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Union, Mayor Continue To Spar Over Teacher Evaluations

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TWC News: Union, Mayor Continue To Spar Over Teacher Evaluations
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The United Federation of Teachers released an ad that was critical of Mayor Michael Bloomberg Friday with less than two weeks left for the two sides to negotiate a deal on teacher evaluations. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.

ALBANY - An recent ad from the United Federation of Teachers that attacks Mayor Michael Bloomberg is a reminder that with less than two weeks to go, there is still no deal on teacher evaluations.

"It just doesn't seem like the teachers' union wants to come to a teacher evaluation deal," Bloomberg said on his radio show Friday. "I am told they are starting running ads against me today. If you want a contract, that's not the kind of body language you'd think that would get you one."

Using his budget last year to force an agreement on meaningful evaluations, Governor Andrew Cuomo vowed to withhold state aid to cities that failed to come to terms with their teacher's unions.

The vast majority of the state's municipalities have reached deals. New York City has not. The two sides have until January 17 to make a deal, a deadline that the governor says is non-negotiable.

"A deadline is a deadline," Cuomo said Wednesday. "And you start extending deadlines, then there is no such thing as a deadline, right?"

During his weekly radio show, Mayor Bloomberg was also critical of the UFT's leadership.

"Teachers want to work with the best, and most of them are not in sympathy with the union," he said. "The NRA is another place where the membership, if you do the polling, doesn't agree with the leadership."

"The mayor comparing us to the National Rifle Association is clearly inappropriate, especially considering all that's happened in Connecticut," said UFT President Michael Mulgrew. "It also, it shows you how difficult he is to deal with at times."

For New York City, a failure to reach an agreement would result in a 4 percent loss of state aid, or roughly $250 million. Mayor Bloomberg has said previously that he would not necessarily let the schools bear the brunt of lost state aid. He has said he would spread the loss over multiple departments instead.

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