02/08/2012 05:30 pm ET

Bloomberg Less Trusted Than Teachers Union In New York

It's another round for Bloomberg versus the teachers union and it's looking like the latter has won the approval of New York City voters.

A new poll conducted by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute finds that voters in general trust the teachers union more than the mayor 56 to 31 percent in order to protect and serve in the best interest of public school children.

An even greater 69 percent of parents of public school children support the union over Bloomberg.

The findings were released on Wednesday and follows Bloomberg's annual State of the City address where he announced his push for a merit-pay system that would result in highly performing teachers receiving $20,000-a-year salary increases. The system would also fire as many as half of teachers currently staffed.

Wednesday's poll, however, reveals that voters actually back several of Bloomberg's initiatives, including the merit-pay system:

  • 71 - 24 percent support merit pay for public school teachers
  • 54 - 38 percent say firing public school teachers should be easier
  • 84 - 12 percent support paying student loans up to25,000 to attract good teachers
  • 54 - 39 percent support paying20,000 annual raises to teachers ranked "highly effective" two years in a row

Polling Institute Director Maurice Carroll explains the conflicting results, "Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed a bonus for new teachers to help pay off their student loans and $20,000 extra pay for those doing a good job and voters agree with both ideas. They endorse the overall idea of merit pay for good teachers and making it easier to lay off bad ones...Voters like the message; they just don't like the messenger."

During a visit to MIT in December, the mayor controversially stated, "If I had the ability to just design the system and say 'ex cathedra this is what we're going to do,' you would cut the number of teachers in half and weed out all the bad ones. And double the class size with a better teacher is a good deal for the students."

Below is an ad attacking the mayor from the United Federation of Teachers: