NYC teachers threaten strike as classes near

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday toured a Brooklyn elementary school, showcasing sanitation and other cleaning supplies…

While at the same time, the city’s teachers threatened to strike - or take other job or legal action - unless their school district implements a more rigorous COVID-19 testing plan. And soon.

The United Federation of Teachers wants more safety measures in place, before the system’s scheduled reopening next month with a mix of in-classroom and online learning.

REPORTER ASKING: "What would you say to those who are now hearing that there now could be either a sick-out or a strike?"

BILL DE BLASIO: "Look, any union leader who talks about doing something illegal should really think twice about what he's saying. We've been working in good faith with the unions for months. We're going to keep working with them regardless of what they say, because we care more about kids and parents than these games.”

De Blasio said his reopening plan has stringent standards - including a recommendation that staff and students get tested for COVID-19 at least once a month.

The city - once the U.S. epicenter of the pandemic - now has an infection rate below 1%.

But schools and universities in other parts of the country got off to a faltering start in welcoming students back to campus this week.

In several cases - like at the University of Notre Dame - spikes in positive test results forced schools to delay or cancel plans for in-person classes...

while others are finding alternative solutions.

Green Schoolyards America - a non-profit organization based in Berkeley, California, has launched an initiative to help schools teach classes outside.

Video Transcript

- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday toured a Brooklyn elementary school, showcasing sanitation and other cleaning supplies.

While at the same time, the city's teachers threatened to strike-- or take other job or legal action-- unless their school district implements a more rigorous COVID-19 testing plan, and soon.

The United Federation of Teachers wants more safety measures in place before the system's scheduled reopening next month with a mix of in-classroom and online learning.

REPORTER: What would you say to those who are now fearing that there could be either a sick-out or a strike?

BILL DE BLASIO: Look, any union leader who talks about doing something illegal should really think twice about what he's saying. We've been working in good faith with the unions for months. We're going to keep working with them regardless of what they say, because we care more about kids and parents than these games.

- De Blasio said his reopening plan has stringent standards, including a recommendation that staff and students get tested for COVID-19 at least once a month.

The city, once the US epicenter of the pandemic, now has an infection rate below 1%.

But schools and universities in other parts of the country got off to a faltering start in welcoming students back to campus this week.

In several cases, like at the University of Notre Dame, spikes in positive test results forced schools to delay or cancel plans for in-person classes, while others are finding alternative solutions.

Green Schoolyards America, a nonprofit organization based in Berkeley, California, has launched an initiative to help schools teach classes outside.