By Brooklyn Reader

March 21, 2015, 10:08 am

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crossing guard

Shaun D. Francois I, President of DC 37 Local 372, New York City Board of Education (DOE) Employees, yesterday, lashed out against the city for not doing enough to help out the 2,120 School Crossing Guards (SCG).

Francois said there are currently 325 SCG vacancies and one of the reasons for so many openings is that a lot of the crossing guards are making $9.88 an hour – far below the de Blasio Administration’s cry to raise the city’s minimum wage to $13 or Gov. Cuomo’s call to raise the minimum to 11.50.

Additionally, de Blasio in September signed an executive order mandating that commercial tenants at projects that receive more than $1 million in City subsidy will be covered by Living Wage provisions, and the Living Wage itself will be raised from $11.90 to $13.13 per hour.

“We are asking the City of New York to fill these vacancies immediately by removing the obstacles which serve as a deterrent to the hiring process. We are asking the City of New York to pay our SCGs a living wage of at least $15.00 per hour,” said Francois. “Additionally, many SCGs apply for unemployment benefits during the summer months.  We’re asking the City of New York to annualize their employment and also create employment opportunities during the summer months.  With these recommended changes, I’m certain that the vacancies will be filled at a more rapid pace, thus creating a safer environment for both our children and hardworking SCGs.

Francois comments came after SCG Marie Cox who works at PS.112 in Queens was recently injured in a car accident while at work. Cox is expected to recover.

“I want to thank the Mayor’s office as well as the NYPD for their prompt response to this incident. This unfortunate accident, however, highlights the dangers that our school crossing guards face on a daily basis while protecting our 1.2 million children,” said Francois.

“Although Vision Zero (de Blasio’s traffic initiative to reduce vehicular accidents) seeks to reduce pedestrian knockdowns and fatalities, we must factor in the SCG’s critical role in this equation. These vacancies make it less safe for our school children in their travel to and from school and create hazardous work conditions for many of our SCGs who work on the busiest streets in this country.

“Vision Zero should also mean zero knockdowns and fatalities for our school crossing guards who risk life and limb for the protection of our children and community.”

NOTE: The DOE was called for a response and this post will be updated when one is sent back.

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