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NYC Labor Unions For Teachers, Principals Sue City Over School Closings

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Labor unions representing New York City teachers and principals are suing the city to try to stop 24 schools from closing.

The United Federal of Teachers and the Council of School Supervisors & Administrators filed the lawsuit on Monday. The unions say they want to force the city into arbitration.

Last month, hundreds of parents, students and community leaders filled a Brooklyn auditorium where the Panel for Education Policy voted to close the 24 city schools.

This summer, 10 schools will close in the Bronx, seven in Queens, five in Brooklyn and two in Manhattan.

The schools designated for closing will reopen in the fall under new names and all the teachers working at those schools will have to reapply for their jobs and those who don't make the cut will be fired.

"These 'sham closings' are an attempt by the Department of Education to evade its duty to help these struggling schools succeed," UFT President Michael Mulgrew and CSA President Ernest Logan said in a statement on the UTF's website. "We are asking the court to ensure that no final decisions are made on the staffing of these schools, pending an independent review by an arbitrator on the issue of whether the DOE is trying to get around its labor agreements."

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott have denounced the lawsuit. Walcott said it jeopardizes the progress achieved by replacing failing schools.

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