Friday, December 19, 2014

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De Blasio Will Have To Navigate Needs Of Business And Labor Leaders

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The soon-to-be 109th mayor may seem to have a mandate, but Bill de Blasio has a number of significant challenges ahead, as he will have to navigate the needs of both business and labor leaders. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.

On Wednesday, some of the cheering for the soon-to-be 109th mayor came from corners of the city you might not expect.

"Had a wonderful campaign, so a round of applause for Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio," said Bill Rudin of the Association for a Better New York.

But as election night wears off, there are some questions. What will a de Blasio administration bring?

For one, how will he handle the city's powerful real estate industry?

"I think watchful, concerned, because change is always difficult," said Paul Selver, a real estate attorney. "But I think we don't know enough at this point."

Despite de Blasio's wide margin of victory, some observers say that there is a clear difference between campaigning and governing. The mayor-elect already faces significant challenges.

"We look forward to negotiating and getting back to the bargaining table," said Vincent Alvarez of the New York City Central Labor Council.

Every single city union is without a contract. Police. Firefighters. Teachers.

Some expired five years ago, and now, unions say it's time to cash in.

"Oh yes, we will be asking for retroactive pay," said Harry Nespoli of the Municipal Labor Committee. "We've got it in the past."

During the campaign, de Blasio said that he would not negotiate contracts with 300,000 workers in the press. Budget watchdogs put the price tag for raises in the billions, money that the city does not necessarily have.

"They have a trust relationship with him that they haven't had in the past few years with the current mayor, and he has a tremendous amount of leverage because everyone in the public sector workforce was waiting for the new mayor to negotiate contracts," said Carol Kellermann of the Citizens Budget Commission. "Now, he's there."

"Just by having somebody new there willing to negotiate is a pleasure," Nespoli said.

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