The United Federation of Teachers took another step toward a possible strike, but left open the possibility of reaching a deal with the de Blasio administration as the scheduled start of the school year nears.
The educators’ union’s executive committee voted Monday night to continue talks with the administration through Tuesday afternoon. If a deal is reached, it will be presented to union delegates from every city school for consideration on Tuesday. If not, the 3,200 delegates will vote on authorizing the union to strike — a step teachers haven’t taken since 1975.
“We can’t afford to send students and staff back into any buildings until we have done everything possible — including a rigorous virus testing program — to see that they are safe,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew said in a statement. “The members of the UFT know that public employee strikes are illegal, but we are determined to do what is necessary to protect our students and the families of New York City.”
The vote came amid a weeks-long standoff between de Blasio, who has insisted precautions are in place to keep schools safe, and the union, which demanded steps including mandatory coronavirus testing for students and staff.