Streams

At Murrow, Missing Mr. Fattorusso, Ms. Totillo, Ms. Leone and Ms. Senia

Friday, November 18, 2011 - 11:52 AM

Jessica Williams and Tiffani Matthews, reporters for The Murrow Network, the student newspaper at Edward R. Murrow High School, wrote about last month's school budget cuts, which led to the loss of four members of the support staff at the Brooklyn high school. This article appeared in a recent issue and was lightly re-edited.

Christian Fattorusso, a school aide at Edward R. Murrow High School, wasn’t too happy when he received his pink slip in late September.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever been laid off,” said Mr. Fattorusso, a Murrow school aide for three and a half years. “This doesn’t feel good, especially for the fact that I personally did nothing wrong.”

Mr. Fattorusso is only one of more than 700 school aides in 374 city schools who have been laid off because of the school budget cuts. The union representing the workers, District Council 37, planned to file a lawsuit on Wednesday.

Three other Murrow school aides were also laid off. They include Julia Totillo, Sandra Leone and Mary Ellen Senia, who each were members of D.C. 37, the city's largest public employee union.

The decision, made by the city's schools chancellor, Dennis M. Walcott, represents the largest single-agency staff reduction during the Bloomberg administration.

According to school officials, there was nothing that could be done.

“It was strictly a city decision,” said Christine Ingordo, the school’s assistant principal of administration. “It stinks! It’s horrible, because these are hard workers and they put in a lot of work and every one of them does a vital job in the school.”

Ms. Totillo, who has been working as a health aide at Murrow since 1997, said she was extremely upset.

“I am very upset and angry, but it is what it is,” she said. “There’s nothing I could really do about it. I don’t think this is fair, especially because of the fact that I’ve been working as a school health aide for 14 years and I love my job.”

Mr. Fattorusso, who was a former student, was very popular at the school and well known for being an artist and working well with the students. Mr. Fattorusso said he would have to survive with just a part-time job as a swimming instructor.

He said the school aide post was "a stable job, and you get a lot of benefits working for the city.:

According to Ms. Totillo, she has been working at Murrow since 1997 and she is going to really miss working here.

“I’m just going to see what happens, give it a little time and hopefully I get rehired,” she said.

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