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Teachers union blasts Bloomberg for NRA comments

January 7, 2013 3:16:55 PM PST
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is under fire for radio remarks in which he compared the teachers union to the National Rifle Association.

"This was disgusting and the mayor was wrong," said Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers.

On the steps of City Hall, the Teachers Union and its supporters blasted Mayor Bloomberg.

"Comparing us to the National Rifle Association, at this point in time, it's just wrong!" said Michael Mulgrew, President of the United Federation of Teachers.

What touched off all this anger was on Friday on his radio show, the mayor was trying to make the point that teachers and their union leaders are very different from each other, just like gun owners are different from the NRA.

"The NRA is another place, where the membership, if you do the polling, doesn't agree with the leadership," Mayor Bloomberg said.

Monday, the mayor tried to explain.

"The point I was trying to make was just like any other special interest group its leadership is more extreme and more obstructionist than its members," Bloomberg said.

Perhaps it was just an unfortunate analogy the mayor was trying to make, but he infuriated the unions by mentioning the NRA and teachers in the same breath, and coming just a few weeks after the tragedy in Connecticut.

"But do not denigrate either the teachers or the tragedy that just happened in Sandy Hook this way. That's why I am asking the mayor, asking the mayor to apologize," Weingarten said.

The mayor's not going to apologize, and that makes it even tougher to negotiate a teacher evaluation system.

It's all supposed to be done in just two weeks, if not we lose $280-million in state money.

The mayor called all the anger and fury a sideshow.

"What they're trying to do is have an issue so they can't face evaluations. That's the real issue here," Bloomberg said.

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