As this year draws to a close, city public schools teachers will start 2013 without a new contract.
There is no reason why the United Federation of Teachers, city Department of Education and the mayor cannot sit at the negotiating table and come to an agreement on a fair and livable contract for the more than 80,000 pedagogues and other school staff who deserve one.
The city schools chancellor and the mayor have been dragging their feet on this issue, and the UFT needs to be more proactive in getting everybody to the bargaining table.
Teachers work hard under a myriad of unfavorable conditions, including overcrowded classes, unruly students, lack of necessary support from administrators and lack of classroom materials for instruction.
It is time our teachers and school support staff be treated as professionals and given the respect they deserve, as well as a decent contract that provides raises that will coincide with annual cost-of-living increases.
Teachers deserve to be paid livable salaries.