In Council it's jeers and cheers from school employees

Cheers turned to boos and back to cheers again in City Council today.

Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez sponsored a resolution calling for the School Reform Commission to find a way to prevent the layoffs of 2,700 school district employees and establish a fair contract with blue-collar union SEIU local 32BJ. The resloution also calls for the state to restore critical funding.

The resolution was set to be approved by City Council today, but Quinones-Sanchez wanted to hold the resolution for another week to allow school employees to continue to speak about the issue, but they demanded it be approved.

And after the jeering began, the resolution was amended and approved by Council today.

Six school district workers spoke about their fears of being laid off.

Steve Siebert has worked for the school district in the department of electronic maintenance for 12 years. He has two children that attend Greenfield Elementary including a 10-year-old son that has transverse myelitis –a neurological disorder that causes paralysis from the neck down.

“If I am laid off, I will lose my medical benefits which are essential to care for my physically disabled son,” Siebert said. “Without a job I will not be able to afford my mortgage which has just increased.”