For Immediate Release Contact: Andrew Moesel
November 10, 2009 212-725-2378(w); 347-852-3140(m)
Union President Gregory Floyd blames NYCLU for misrepresenting hard working union members, pushing bill that would cause unfounded complaints
City Hall, NY – Local 237 Teamsters President Gregory Floyd, who represents 5,000 School Safety Agents (SSAs) in New York City’s public schools, on Tuesday criticized the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) for pushing City Council legislation that would, “vilify the very people who protect our school children every day.”
“These people sit up in their Ivory Tower and try to get attention by throwing accusations at the hard working people below,” Floyd said. “Controversy is good for the business of the NYCLU, but it’s bad for our New York City public school students.”
Intro. 816-A requires the City to compile and publicly report an extensive list of statistics about crimes and discipline in public schools. A substantial portion of the requirements, however, deal with complaints against SSAs while excluding other school staff (teachers, principals, etc.). The bill also stipulates that schools must prominently advertise how to make complaints against SSAs on their websites and in classrooms.
At a City Council Public Safety Committee hearing, Floyd voiced his union’s opposition to the bill, which they believe unfairly singles out SSAs and encourages students to make unfounded complaints against them. Floyd said the legislation was the result of the NYCLU and other groups circulating exaggerated and misleading information in leaflets and in the press denigrating the behavior of most SSAs. Floyd countered that a recent Department of Education Survey found that 74 percent of students believe SSAs create a safe and respectful environment and 88 percent of parents felt that discipline was fairly imposed.
“There are 5,000 SSAs in our schools who keep the millions of New York City School children safe every day without incident. The NYCLU is wrong to paint all SSAs with the same broad brush,” Floyd said. “Our schools have never been safer, and a large part of that success is due to our SSAs’ hard work.”
Hercules Cornish went to work for the Housing Authority as a caretaker J in 1952 and retired 24 years later as a stores worker. He died the year following this interview, which was conducted in June 1999.
Originally I was from Harlem, but when I came out of the service in 1945 my wife had moved to the Bronx, so I moved there, too. I went to work for the New York City Housing Authority in 1952.