Monday, December 22, 2014

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The Call Blog: Mayor Bloomberg Budgets For Union Raises After He Leaves Office

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It doesn't have to be the full amount, but it shouldn't be zero. After waiting years for their back pay that they were promised, it isn't fair to not give union workers anything.

Mayor Bloomberg announced today he is presenting Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio with a balanced budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Speaking at City Hall, the Mayor said the projected $2 billion deficit the City faced in June is now gone, thanks to cost-cutting measures, increased tax revenues, and higher investment returns on pension funds.

The Mayor described the balanced budget hand-off as "historic," but City Comptroller John Liu said Bloomberg's "math doesn’t add up." Liu claims de Blasio will inherit a budget with a "fiscal mess of historic proportions" because 300,000 municipal employees are working with expired contracts.

Bloomberg’s budget includes no money for retroactive pay raises, and only enough to fund raises of 1.25 percent going forward. The Mayor said, "If you wanted to pay more than that, you would have to find another revenue source. And if you wanted to do things retroactively, you’d have to find a very big revenue source." What do you say?

Should municipal workers be happy with raises of 1.25 percent and no retroactive pay? What's your reaction to Mayor Bloomberg's announcement that he's leaving the next mayor a balanced budget "for the first time in the City’s history?" How would you grade Bloomberg's handling of the City's finances the last 12 years?

Send your thoughts using the link above.

You can believe this, if you wish. I don't. Think of just one item: back pay to the union workers. That can't be included because they don't even know what the amount is.

I just hope he takes his unbalanced mind with him.

Port Richmond

Yes Bloomberg has left a "historic" balanced budget, but he has done so on the backs of city workers, who have seen their wages frozen, as they struggle to survive in this ever expensive city.

Bay Ridge

Mayor Bloomberg deserves a "D" when it comes to handling the budget, he obviously can't do the math the unions do need their retroactive pay and more than 1.25% going foward, A lot of my buddies work for the MTA they have families to support some of them are just getting by on the salaries they're getting, He's leaving Diblasio with a diasterous budget.

Upper West Side

It is a slap in the face to municipal workers who like federal workers have not gotten raises over the last four years. One can only guess if the many contractors working for the city and Feds would be around if they were treated this shabby. Let the weeds grow and garbage pile up at City Hall and the White House.

Park Hill

Lets get this out of the way immediately. His administration and his alone owe these city workers back pay
because that’s there money and I have written about this topic before. They owe maybe between 10 and
12 years back pay which is the money the employees did loan the city in order to bail them out and have never
gotten it back. This Bloomberg is just ignoring Lui’s findings. He just lists a whole group of things that he
has done since June so as just not to leave a huge deficit of 2 bill for the next Mayor.
So how come we never know just what he is doing with money. Also why is he selling city property to help
lower the deficit and meanwhile he keeps telling us that the bikes the lanes and parks are always from
anonymous donors and can’t believe that at all. So why does he tell us now about all of this. So I guess
he’s either a genius a liar or whatever for putting this amazing budget together.
He has done a terrible job with the finances and we are never informed as to where we stand financially.
At least the DeNapoli office will issue an e-mail if you ask for one and he gives you a complete rundown of the
finances that his office audits for the local and state government offices and he does get his man or women.
They never learn and continue to try taking funds that don’t belong to them. At least shows some results and
that’s a weekly document.
Unless we know someone that works for the city we would never know what they are going through and they
can’t just give them a raise without including the back pay.
This DeBlasio has promised so much and I have to ask out of curiosity did Bloomberg make DeBlasio aware
of the status of the deficit in June. Like magic everything is A Okay!!!!!!!
JOHN: Its only just begun.

Morris Park

It is absolutely disgusting that this egomaniac Bloomberg has the audacity to dictate what the next mayor can or cannot do. Does he really believe that he has the authority to deny the workers of NYC their due monies? Would he accept it if we dictated what profits or dividends his companies could earn? We are city workers, not slaves. We have worked for four years under his Nazi like regime without any raises. I do blame the union leaders for capitulating to the doddering fool. The time has come to pay. We are struggling to make ends meet but we continue to perform our duties. If this city cannot afford to pay its workers then it should shut down and be paved over.

Disgusted by Bloomberg

YES, I do deserve retroactive pay! The UFT hasn't had a contract in over five years, and NO, he doesn't deserve a bit of praise for ANYTHING.

Bloomberg is a clueless public representative. He may know how to run a business - a private business where he calls the shots. He couldn't handle the fact that all his actions as Mayor were public knowledge. City workers have been without pay increases for 4 or 5 years, depending upon which union is involved. Now he is saying we should be happy with a raise of 1.25% and no retroactive pay? He's got to be kidding - our water bills have gone up around 18% over the past few years, years where we had no increase in salary - our electric, heat, phone, car gasoline, food, and everything else has also gone up, way over 1.25% and he thinks we should be happy? He's out of touch with the average person. Our school loans have interest rates well over 9%, many over 13% - education that we needed to get in order to get and/or keep our jobs - and he thinks a 1.25% raise - after no pay increase in almost 5 years, is going to be adequate? He needs to take a" wake up to reality pill". I feel sorry for DiBlasio - Bloomberg has destroyed our City and this new Mayor has to try to bring us back. If he wanted to give us retro from the past 4 years and then 1.25% for next 2 years, that might be workable, but no retro and only 1.25%, he's got to be kidding. With the bridge tolls going up once again, the commute to work is almost double what it was 2 yrs ago, and he only thinks we warrant a 1.25% increase. December 31st can't come quick enough.

Arden Heights

Smoke and Mirrors.

East Village

The unions will violate the Taylor Law if they don't get outrages settlements from the new Mayor. The PBA has told their members not to enforce stop and frisk , and Monday the correction officers stopt Rikers Buses from going to court to protest their members from being arrested for alleged excessive force against inmates.


No doubt Mayor Bloomberg has left incoming Mayor Bill de Blasio in a tough spot regarding municipal workers contracts. But retroactive pay is about more than money. Public employees in New York City give up the right to strike as a quid pro quo for good faith collective bargaining. Under Bloomberg, we have now gone three to four years without a raise. Without retroactive pay, what is to prevent future mayors from going five or even ten years without negotiating in good faith ?


I wish unionized workers could get a taste of what it's like to compete for jobs in the REAL WORLD. They want retroactive raises? Guess what--in 2008 I took a 10% pay CUT as our company was struggling during the recession, and I'll never make that money back.

Upper East Side

Once again Bloomberg excels at his forte of smoke and mirrors. From crime stats to education to the alleged balanced budget, this administration has been most adept at fudging numbers. How can you truly pass on a balanced budget when the city workforce has been without a contract for years? That liability is passed on to his successor.

The Bronx

I think mayor Bloomberg was a good mayor but he did not treat the municipal workers fairly I think mayor DeBlasio must negotiate in good faith and consider more than a 125pct increase and some retroactive pay. It is the fair thing to do.

Staten Island

Bloomberg boasts of a balanced budget ,while more than half of this city is struggling to get by.

Is this not evidence that he is apathetic and indifferent,concerning the average hardworking NYer who only wants a fair shake? Similar to those who have not suffered one bit since this guy took office.


Of municipal workers.

Bloomberg not kidding nobody! He didn't have the nerve to gut the muni workers like Scott walker but the effect is the same. Muni workers cannot make a decent living.


Too many have left NY. My neighbors homes are filled with relatives in order to pay the bills & the unnecessary violations

Richmond Hill

Those retroactive raises are about as fair as the various taxes, summons and fines Bloomberg levied against working people to balance New York City's budget.

It is is no secret that Bloomberg pressured every governmental agency to find ways to improve their revenue stream.

One way the Bloomberg adminstration was able to wrestle funds from small businesses was to use the restaurant grading system. Thanks to an increase in parking tickets, water bill, property taxes, bridge toll fees and just about everything else in this City Bloomberg leaves a balanced budget.

On the hand, I think he's the best U.S. city mayor ever and we were fortunate ti have him. We better pray De Blazio can measure up.

The private sector hasn't given meaningful, if any, raises in years. Raises aren't retroactive in the private sector. Why should the municipal workers be any different?


Bloombergs 1.25% in his world is different from the real worlds 1.25%.. Rents is ridiculous and there is no monitoring or RENT CAPs in NYC. he should be ashamed of himself for even proposing it. His balanced budget is his last attempt to make his party look good.. his budget scale is askew! RENT, MTA, HEALTHY FOOD IN NYC IS Ridiculously HIGH!!


City workers deserve a better raise. The city has downsized its workforce and now a lot of the remaining workers are doing the work of 2 people. We are the backbone of the city and can't afford to live here.

I been working at Mount Sinai Hospital for 6 years and only was given a 3% raise. I support 3 people with my 4 jobs. Also, 60 people got laid off so far.

Jackson Heights

It's tough time for working class to meet ends but in all it's tough for all New Yorkers who are struggling to find a job and provide for their families in rising cost and same pay.

Kew Garden

Mary Ann has got to be kidding me.

To give up on your back pay that easily doesn't say much about your pride in your work. We did "more with less" for the last four years. We deserve some amount of retro for the great job we did.

I'm a teacher and our school got an A rating the last six years. We haven't gotten a raise in five years. That's Bloomberg's way of saying "great job".

We at least deserve partial retro with no give backs going forward.


I take issue with the folks who are opposed to union workers getting their negotiated raises. Four years ago, I had been out of a job for a year and a half and finally found a job with the City. I became a union member for the first time in my life, after working with the private and nonprofit sectors. But I want every one of these people to know I had to take a nearly a $30,000 pay cut when I took this job. I will forever be grateful. We are all in the same situation.

Forest Hills



First of all no one comes to work for the city for the pay,private sector workers doing the same job make more money than we do and they receive bonuses. I came into city employment for the benefits, I was a single mom of three and needed the benefits for myself and my children. City workers deserve raises and retro pay. Bloomberg balanced the budget on the backs of city workers.


Outgoing Mayor B's budget reveals his contempt for the the intelligence of average NYers. Only an arrogant plutocrat who flippantly made excuses for the sociopaths on Wall Street could,with the help of a compliant corporate press corps,leave the future mayor with BILLIONS OF DOLLARS to make up for iresponsible neglect.

To workers in the private sector who think that being a member of a union is an entitlement program, stop asking why union workers should not have to pay for health benefits as most WORKERS in the private sector do. Time to start asking why WORKERS in the private sector are paying for health benefits. Stand up and organize.

Louie Alvarez
Long Island City

I hold no brief for unions, but Bloomberg's union-busting is pretty egregious. Municipal workers should strike: the key loophole phrase is “good faith”.

If I were a city worker, I would be looking for another job, maybe in another city.

East Harlem

It is very hard to believe that despite Bloomberg's abundant properity, from $3 BILLION TO $32 BILLION during his mayoral terms, the city he serves as number one man is in dire needs and the workers that voted him in and keep the business going are being punished without a contract during his terms of office. What a cheapest and most wicked Mayor the City of NY has ever had. What a misery kind of man? You are in luxury and others are in poverty, what a huge difference between 99% and 1%? Bloomberg truly is an uncaring powerhouse who ruled the City for 12 years, contrating City businesses to his friends and allies with kickbacks. Bloomberg just wanted to show that he's working when he said he had balanced the budget; balance which budget when City workers are being owed huge back pays and decent contracts. It is indeed very sad Mr Bloomberg, we can not wait for your term to end shortly. I gave him a F grade for the non-transparency.


Private corporate employees have been living high on the hog; nice apts., vacations, etc.

I Suggest they go downtown to the City's personel office and start taking tests for city jobs. The pay will not be what they expect though.

As for police officers, most of us went into the dept. to perform Commnity Service, not to get rich.

Midtown East

I belong to a not-for-profit club, which was established in the late 1800s on City Island, in the Bronx,. From one year to another, the taxes for our property were tripled to balance the budget.

The predatory approach to give the appearance of balancing the books is destroying city morale. It is a mentality of ‘take no prisoners’ and that the only time we New Yorkers really only matter is when we do what we New Yorkers do and that’s rally behind each other in a crisis which the politicians then laud and commend – as if they accomplished something. What they don’t know is that we are who we are in spite of governmental steamrolling through all of us.


The fair compromise should be a 6 year contract offered.
Four year retro @ 1percent
And two years forward two And two. Totaling 8 percent.


No one is going to leave the city! (Re taxes,) because there is too much money to be made here.


Muni workers have important jobs that New Yorkers like me value, but the problem is that every time union leaders go to the table, they don't take into consideration the future finances of the city against their own salaries. If union leaders weren't coming to the table every time with such a patently unilateral agenda—to paper up their own constituencies—I'd be more willing to side with them. It's hard to sympathize with unions who want pensions when you see things like the Rikers Island bus drivers refusing to transport an inmate testifying against them. That's an abuse of the right to a work stoppage your earlier caller cited as so critical.

That said, Bloomberg's combativeness does nothing to help the situation, either. Here's hoping De Blasio's as good and fair minded a negotiator as he was a campaigner.

First, I take issue with the way that some people talk about NYC teachers. Why are people so comfortable saying that teachers don't deserve their salaries and their benefits? They are every bit as important as police officers and firefighters. They teach our children. Many DOE employees are now doing the jobs of two or three people, for mediocre salaries, while many members of the public call them lazy.

Second, I wonder why NYC employees are not given more choice to get more in salaries, and less in pensions. I am self-employed, and I can choose whatever amount I want to put into my IRA. If I put less into my IRA, I take home more, but I pay more taxes. Why not give the same choice to NYC employees?

Forest Hills

Union ...the cancer of this country... completely anachronistic entities that will put US out of the global market ...I witness them in the construction industry and it is unreal how unproductive union workers are!


We should receive a proper COLA increase for each year that we went without a contract. 1.25% is a slap in the face.

Teacher from Brooklyn

most of us working for the private sector had not had a raise for the past decade...most of the pay had been cut during that period.

Should the municipal workers get a raise? is it fair? if we are all getting the same raises, sure...

However, as the cost of living kept creeping up, our pay did not keep pace.

perhaps we should control the cost instead...had MTA not raise fare the past few years, the sting will not be as painful...had inflation been kept under control, the sting will not be as painful...had the executives of public and private firms not getting their pay raises, perhaps we will not feel the pain...

municipal workers has job security that the rest of us do not enjoy...nor do they get the same kind of pay cuts we have to endure when the economy tanks.

Had they face the same circumstances, they will learn that they have had it pretty good over the years...

Union Square

Mayor has money 4what HE wanted money 4 n that money comes from the same ppl he refuses to world trade building; benches n sitting areas; city bikes; n hello raising tolls; tickets fines; all of which raises cost of living - food gas tolls n we pay surcharges on every bill check ur cell; cable n utility bills! SO DISRESPECTFUL ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP