Teachers at a Manhattan high school were threatened with docked pay if they didn’t return to their classrooms Tuesday, sources told the Post.
Citing coronavirus concerns, dozens of teachers at the High School for Economics and Finance declined to enter their building and instead sat in chairs in front of the facility while manning laptops.
Administrators ultimately lost their patience with the refusal and told teachers that Department of Education attorneys had given the green light to dock their pay if they didn’t suspend the protest.
“We are not asking teachers to work in buildings that aren’t safe, and the High School of Economics and Finance is ready and was approved by professional engineers during walkthroughs and inspections last week,” said DOE spokesperson Danielle Filson. “Staff who are not approved to work remotely and don’t report inside their buildings will be marked as absent and we will determine next steps.”
Union sources confirmed the escalation Tuesday and United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew fired back at the DOE.
“The educators from the High School Economics and Finance are working on the sidewalk,” he said in a statement. “Their building is not ready, but they are.”
Staffers told the Post Tuesday morning that they were dissatisfied with COVID-19 precautions in the building and feared for their health and safety.
“It’s not about a paycheck,” said one teacher about the administrative threat. “It’s about being safe – us, our families and our students. You’ve got to stand for something.”
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