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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Mark Treyger’s UFT Agenda Exposed

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If there is any city more in the hands of a union it is NYC, and the organization that calls the shots there is the United Federation of Teachers (UFT). Composed of over 200,000 classroom teachers, whose batting average for accomplishments is not too high when it comes to improving the city’s failing schools, the UFT controls not only the education of our kids but it wields enormous political influence because of the money it spends on local and national elections.

One of their former members, Mark Treyger, who had taught social Studies at Brooklyn’s New Utrecht High School is preparing to leave his job as a City Council member after being term limited. He is using his remaining power as a councilman to shill for his previous and most certainly, his future benefactors, the UFT.

Mark is now the outspoken advocate for lowering the number of students who can sit in classroom. Smaller class size = more teachers. Shamelessly (what else is new?) the Council is using the viral pandemic billions from Washington, DC as an excuse to load more teachers on the payroll and thereby fill up the coffers of the teachers’ union at the same time. We would like to ask Mark who will pay for all these extra classes when the federal pandemic dries up next year? We think Mark’s loyalty to his former organization over his financial responsibility to the city’s budget as a councilman, will pay off with a big fat in $$$ UFT job when he is no longer serving on the City Council.

The new bill pushed by Mark in the Council would raise to 35 square feet the allocation per student, now set at 20 per. High schools now have the max number of kids in a room at 34. It would drop to about 21. This ruling would reduce the number of kids in classrooms by about 40%. Mark tells us that, ‘Class size is a public-health issue.” Yet, according to most studies, kids are not spreaders of the virus, so there would be no real gain in preventing the virus from contaminating others. Not only that, but weren’t we told, time after time, that getting vaccinated would ward off illness?

Even crazier, this bill would make the size changes permanent, to continue way after this Washington virus funding is old news. But the head of the UFT, Michael Mulgrew, with no medical degree hanging from his walls, states, “There are many reasons to support smaller classes, and health concerns are the most immediate.”

Corroded steps at the McDonald Avenue park

Treyger was interviewed on a local New York cable channel in April and focused on the city providing 30,000 special needs students with seats in the pre-K program. He insisted that the city maintain a pay parity program for teachers of special needs kids and compensate them on the same level as a private institution. He also called for the city to invest loads of the federal money they received into summer programs for kids in order that they can prepare for the fall semester reinvigorated after remote learning at home for most of the previous school year. He also spoke of investing money in to the summer youth employment program for high school kids.

While all of this sounds terrific, it requires that the New York City Department of Education hire even more staff at top tier salaries including perks, an array of benefits, paid vacations and of course a lucrative pension. Treyger is following the UFT line to perfection as he is affording teachers with the ability to inhale loads of money with as little effort as possible on their part.

We believe Mr. Treyger is destroying the city’s future economy to grease the rails of his future employment once he is term limited and out looking for a job. New York taxpayers will be paying for years for his new job. A good pay-off, for his loyalty on the City Council.

On yet another note, it is incumbent upon us to take this opportunity to query Treyger on what exactly he has done for his constituents in the 47th city council district in Brooklyn. The Jewish Voice has sent two e-mails to Treyger’s office as well as making repeated phone calls asking for a list of his accomplishments for the community he has served for the last eight years. Thus far, no response has been forthcoming. Treyger had repeatedly pledged to have the city allocate funds for a vast array of improvements for the public park on McDonald Ave and Ave S, yet nothing has been done to revamp the park. As a matter of fact, nothing has been done to improve that park in 40 years.

Treyger’s district in Brooklyn is composed predominantly of Orthodox Jews, and this community has witnessed innumerable challenges over the last eight years. Tragically, the perennial plague of anti-Semitism has struck this community and others like it across the city in ways that were never thought possible decades ago. Today, the average Orthodox Jew who is quite identifiable because of their garb, stands a greater chance of being viciously ridiculed and assaulted than years ago. Orthodox institutions such as synagogues, yeshivas, mikvahs and Jewish operated businesses are often subjected to grotesque vandalism and vilification. The questions remains, what precisely has Treyger done to provide protection for these constituents. Has he held town hall meetings in which these issues of concern could be addressed? Is he working with local police officials on increasing security?

At this juncture in time, we may never receive a response from Treyger but as concerned citizens and voters we have the right to ask our elected officials that we put into power what kind of results they have yielded for those they represent.

Mr. Treyger owes an explanation on this and much more!

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