LOWER MANHATTAN — Angry and scared New York City teachers rallied outside of their union headquarters in Lower Manhattan Monday night.
The teachers are all members of the United Federation of Teachers. The group said it feels abandoned by their union, claiming the UFT has joined forces with Mayor Eric Adams and ignored their requests to lobby for a remote option while COVID-19 surges.
Annie Tan is a special education teacher in Sunset Park Brooklyn.
“I have more than half my class out, multiple cases in our class,” she said.
The elementary school teacher said she is worried about her students.
“Most of my kids are at home and getting no education, no support from me, live in person,” Tan said.
One upset teacher told PIX11 News they’ve tried to reach out.
“We’ve written statements. We’ve written letters. We’ve tired calling,” the teacher said.
According to this group, many schools are understaffed, and teachers are constantly worried they will get COVID.
In a tweet Monday night, a Department of Education spokesperson wrote, “Attendance at @NYCSchools today climbed 9% compared to last Monday. Compared to Friday we jumped by 32%. Think the snow storm and the growing confidence in our schools gave us the highest day-over-day attendance jumps in quite a long time!”
Mayor Adams has continued to pledge that schools will stay open.
In a statement, the United Federation of Teachers said, “Safety is a prime concern as more than 78,000 students were given PCR tests last week and more than 2 million rapid Covid test kits have been distributed for staff and students in the first two weeks of this year. The tens of thousands of educators and staff working with our students are the heroes of this city.”