District 37 Members Protest Layoffs of DOE Support Staff

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Members of District 37 packed the sidewalks outside City Hall today, many of them blowing whistles, to protest the layoff of 2,600 Department of Education support personnel. Workers with several job titles are at risk including classroom assistants, drug counselors, and lunchroom aides. Chanting 'Bloomberg must go!', the animated crowd demanded the restoration of hundreds of millions of dollars in education cuts slated for next year. District 37, represents more than a third of the city's 300,000 member workforce. It endorsed Mayor Bloomberg's re-election in 2005. But by the sentiments the crowd expressed this afternoon, there's little love left for the mayor. The crowd cheered loudly for a steady procession of politicians, including Comptroller - and mayoral candidate - Bill Thompson, who took turns blasting Bloomberg for being out of touch with the lives of low and middle income workers like those at today's rally.