Cuomo, Bloomberg Take Pissing Match With Teachers Unions Public. Union's Response: "Oh, For Pete's Sake"

Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg just issued a joint publicity stunt press release announcing that they will be donating $72,000 to a Hispanic advocacy group to replace the donation two teacher's unions yanked from the organization in protest of Cuomo's pension reform bill.

Why this needed to be announced in a press release is beyond us. The teachers unions were pretty mystified, too.

When we called New York State United Teachers, one of the two unions Cuomo and Bloomberg call out in their press release, they were shocked to hear the elected officials actually put out a press release to make such an announcement.

"There's actually a press release," Harriet Juron, a spokeswoman for the organization, tells the Voice. "From the governor's office? Oh, for Pete's sake!"

The donation is for the group Somos El Futuro, a non-profit aimed at increasing the role of Hispanics in the public policy making process. The group is having its 25th annual conference this weekend, and, according to Cuomo and Bloomberg, NYSUT and the United Federation of Teachers have pulled their donations in protest of Cuomo's pension bill.

See Cuomo and Bloomberg's press release (which clearly is designed to do little more than bash the teachers unions) below.

In recent days, the United Federation of Teachers, New York State United Teachers, and other unions withdrew their support for this weekend's 25th annual Somos El Futuro conference in Albany because they are angry about the passage of pension reform. We think the unions' actions are unfortunate, and don't want the conference to suffer as a result. We both support the Somos El Futuro Conference and, as such, we will be donating $72,000 to Somos El Futuro and the scholarship to make up for the donations that the unions withdrew. Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, who is Chairman of the New York State Senate/Assembly Puerto Rican & Hispanic Task Force, was instrumental in arranging this contribution.

Juron says the teachers unions are forming a response that's slightly more official than "oh, for Pete's sake!" We'll let you know when they get it to us.

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