Thursday, October 23, 2014

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The Call Blog: Mayor De Blasio Unveils Budget Plan; No Specifics On Union Contracts

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Listening to Mayor de Blasio blame Mayor Bloomberg for the state of the budget sounded a lot like listening to President Obama blame President Bush. But as Obama found out the hard way, you can only point fingers for so long. We'll see how understanding New Yorkers are if his tune is the same this time next year.

Mayor de Blasio unveiled his preliminary budget proposal for the 2014-15 fiscal year at City Hall today, saying, “Ours is a progressive administration, our budget will be a progressive budget.” The $73 billion proposal does not contain any spending cuts, but rather increases funding in a variety of areas. It includes extra money for the NYPD to pay for an inspector general and for the Department of Consumer Affairs, which is in charge of implementing the new paid sick leave law.

The Mayor’s budget, however, does not set aside any specific money for union contract negotiations. All of the City’s municipal unions are currently working with expired contracts and are seeking retroactive pay increases. Today, the Mayor once again blamed former Mayor Bloomberg for putting the City in what he calls an “unprecedented situation.”

As for his plan for funding universal pre-Kindergarten, the budget calls for a tax hike on wealthy City residents, which needs Albany’s approval. But the top Republican there has said he will not bring the measure to a vote. A final budget deal between Mayor de Blasio and the City Council is due at the end of June.

What’s your reaction to Mayor de Blasio’s fiscal blueprint for the City? If you are a municipal worker, are you disappointed or encouraged by the agenda? Do you want to see City monies dedicated to union retroactive pay? Which City departments or programs deserve more or less tax dollars?

Send your thoughts using the link above.

The City simply cannot afford retroactive pay for labor contracts for city workers. Many people in the city work hard, and get no retroactive pay, no raises or nominal raises. City workers should be grateful for having: 1) a job; 2) that's stable; 3) with very good health benefits; and 4) retirement benefits. Given the high unemployment rates, a modest raise is all that should be considered.


Don't forget about the folks that move New York City the bus operators and the subway - the rent goes up every year cost of Living is high.


Just remember its the private sector that pays for these services. As a self employed attorney I haven't been able to raise my client fees in 15 years. City workers should be grateful they have a job and benefits. Maybe time for a tax cut for private employees who pay the taxes!


First the retroactive pay is a dream looking at our present economy everywhere reduction Accours get the Unions who paid for de Blassios campaign and pushed for Viveritos position life pre K is a good idea but not the the way he want it get life socialist loose everywhere

Joseph from Sunnyside

City employees are lucky & should be happy that they still have jobs. Barclays, HSBC , citi bank, and tons of employers are laying off employees and the rest of us working in private shouldn't be footing the bills for someone's pensions and back pays. City employees have to know that Nobody is indispensable & that there are millions of people who will love to have their jobs. Employees in the private sector don't have pensions or guaranteed jobs and are just lucky to have a job in this tough economy.

Someone's benefits & raises are someone else's taxes

Zackary from queens

What about raises and retroactivity for all those who make UNDER $80,000? And no retroactivity above $80,000.


Hey John

I'm a NYC Detective living in the Great Kills section of Staten Island. First: With regard to Pay Raises and Retroactive Pay, you can't have Retro Pay without a raise because there's no retro on a 0% raise. Second: Bloomberg created this problem because he failed to settle with the Municipal Unions while he was in office. He stacked the cards against the new mayor, I just hope he does the right thing.


I am a NYC teacher. Not only have we not seen a contract or raise for 5 long years, we also have been given no respect from previous mayors. Our day does not end at the close of the school day and I have given up weekends to grade papers, write lesson plans, etc. we deserve a raise and retroactive - our contract should have been settled a long time ago. People who don't agree are the well to do and haven't had to struggle to pay their bills.


In the private sector, I've had to contribute to my medical coverage since 1987. I's unfair that municipal union members still contribute 0% toward their full family coverage.

Mark, Manhattan

Someone sent an email about how city workers expect raises without doing more work,that person obviously doesnt know how hard most city jobs are. The truth is most of us get paid less than private workers with the same title.I dont care about a fat retro check but do feel we deserve raises ASAP.


Let's first focus in those who educate student to be firemen and police officers. With that said, when will DOE employees get their raise and when will they get a new contract; it's been Seven years.

Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none!


City workers keep services going on for citizens. Pay them at least to COLA.


Do not give the retroactive money back to anyone. If they get a raise then give other people raises also.




As a city teacher we definitely need both raises and retro. The city has foisted on us common core, a new evaluation system that only rates teachers as effective if they work off the clock and citywide instructional expectations rise every year. We teach our children. Shouldn't we be taken care of ??


No fire the police and teachers they really are not that important in relation to low wage workers like cna's and fast food workers and people with no job. Where are the jobs for those of us that have no jobs, come on.

Stephanie From corona

Ah the sweet sound of mayor DiBlasio rather than the harsh petulance of former mayor bloomberg. I'm hoping that DiBlasio has a few tricks up his sleeves that will help him find the money for the raises and retro that city workers deserve, one of them routing out the fraud and waste from the shadow budget, that administrative and bureaucratic morass responsible for the citytime scandal and other boondoggles created by outsourcing city services to private contractors. The mayor and media need to shine a light on that that shadow budget - there's treasure to be found there.

meryl from manhattan

Teachers and nurses should get retroactive pay - 4% annually for two years that other city workers got. Pattern bargaining has been city policy in good times and bad for almost 50 years; a policy that arbitrators have consistently supported.


How do people think they deserve a raise without doing more work? It is an abomination of democracy that unions cozy up to politicians and continuously raise the cost of living for everyone. Let all the unions strike and replace those workers with non-union workers.

Glen Oaks, Queens

Stop blaming the teachers for the lack of parental involvement give them a raise they are under paid.

Staten Island

I am one of 300000 employees working for the city without a contract. I followed good advice. I stayed in school, got an education, and learned a marketable skill. I got a job with a municipal employer that is required by law to pay the prevailing wage. How many employees go seven years without a salary review? I would bet not many. Mr. DeBlassio became a politician, i did not. It is not my problem where the money comes from. I am not being greedy, the city is being greedy by not paying employees their current worth. I earned my salary and retroactive pay.


Dear John,

I would give Mayor de Blasio a grade of C on his Budget Blue Print.

In regards to NYCHA, I think that money is foolishly wasted by repairing apartment buildings that are older then me and you. The City of New York should build new apartment buildings to replace the older ones, have current NYCHA tenants transfered to the newer buildings, and just sell the old buildings to development firms.

Clifton, Staten Island, New York

Pay half the retro, give 4% raise per year for the next three years and call it a day. That's a win-win for both sides- the city saves 4 billion in retro and the workers get the pay they deserve

Chris from Brooklyn

Bill DeBlasio has the audacity to point his finger of blame towards Bloomberg, and says any praise of his predecessor's management of the city, which is in better shape today than just about any point in its history, is "inappropriate". What I think is inappropriate is creating a $170K/yr patronage job for an Al Sharpton lackey to be his wife's "chief of staff". His wife is not a city employee as far as I know, and doesn't even have a staff to have a chief preside over. Why is this not being highlighted by the press?


The firemen and police should be a priority - safety first and always. Next our teachers deserve to get a raise as our medical has become a matter of more out of pocket costs. Programs shouldn't be cut just streamlined. For example ATR's and those in what used to be called "the rubber room" who still collect a full salary to do nothing till their issues are resolved.


The Mayor should close all the city public schools on all the snow storm days instead of school closing for mid winter recess, which I guess all the public schools will be closed for a week starting next week. That way all the kids will be safe as well as they are not missing any classes or syllabus to cover for the year.


Am amused by DeBlasio knocking Bloombergs financial acumen for starters. Billionaire versus lemonade stand manager. Labor contracts open because neither side would negotiate. No one is guaranteed a raise regardless of union affiliation or not. No one lost pay. No one lost benefits. Pension time accrued. Obviously the unions waited for a new Mayor figuring they would do better. One telling phrase by DeBlasio-there are no "planned" tax increases. And will someone get him a teleprompter! Finally,what was DeBlasio thinking when he called the NYPD. Just checking..... right. Implied favor-bet the house on that!

Jack B.
Queens Village NY


Translating, "Ours is a communist administration. Our budget will be a socialist budget stealing from the rich to provide for the poor."

Port Richmond, SI

yes, I would really like the NYC Dept of Education get retro pay and a little increase; after dedicating 17 years of my life to children, I see it fit.

New Rochelle NY

HI john,

All I’m hearing from this DeBlasio administration are demands and when he doesn’t get what he wants he becomes very obnoxious and starts to play the blame game. He must come up with retroactive pay=it’s coming to them=it’s theirs=Plus they are working without a contract. DeBlasio is showing no class at all by inciting a riot to the crowd in that if they don’t get what they want as far as the pre-k goes then they shall make a run up to Albany, this mayor was offered a deal from Cuomo and didn’t take it. Now word seems to be that the method to his madness is that he just wants to be able to tax in order to put through his agendas. Wrong attitude to take. How come we haven’t heard from the union leaders and also why is it that the public advocate and the city council see fit to demonstrate for every demand they propose? All of these wants and not wishes are coming out of someone else’s pocket.

Thank you John,


DeBlasio has no understanding of NYC's budget; he kept referrig to his budgt advisor. Guess he's too busy making phone calls to get his friend out of a collar. If Chief Royser wasn't such good friends with Bratton, she'd be out the door. The Lt.. at the 67 pct. will probably take the fall. Acts like this should be career ending. Notice Deblasio rant out of the room so reporters couldn't ask him about this incident. I don't know who voted for this guy.

midtown east

Six weeks into his administration, Mr. De Blasio is already trying to weave a budget out of wishful thinking, hair-brained ideas, and a discredited left-liberal agenda. Bravo to Senator Skelos, for cutting him off at the knees!

Upper West Side

How dare the New York City municipal unions and their work force demand retroactive pay along with salary increases when all we have are a bunch of "MORONS" working in this town! Take the sanitation workers' . They not only come around to plow our streets with those heavy steel plows when only 2 or three inches of snow fall from the sky. they just plow and plow and plow destroying our streets. Last summer all of the upper manhattan streets and avenues were resurfaced with brand new tar. From around 110th street all the way up to Inwood our community and neighborhoods looked so pretty. Now these Idiots have destroyed all of upper Manhattan.

Rats' , everybody is complaining about these pests, why? Because bags of garbage are left on our streets for 2 and 3 days before being taken away. Our subways constantly breaking down. Electrical out lets and major connections burning out, trains derailing at a cost to us the taxpayer of millions of dollars. Police riding around in brand new cars like Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday stopping and frisking young people like if they were criminals. Let alone the many they have murdered for no reason.

Bus drivers in dirty buses refusing to pick up the handicapped at a bus stop. Tractor trailer busses that only make traffic in New York a nightmare. Drivers standing around wasting time until their equipment shows up. To top it all off, the fire department riding around in filthy fire trucks with our nations flag covered in suit . What ever happened to our salt spreaders, to our sanitation tankers that sprayed our streets with clean water and kept our city sparkling clean? What happened to the maintenance people that cleaned and washed our public transportation buses at their respective depots, our subway cars at the maintenance yards, Our fire trucks at their fire houses like when I was a kid firemen were seen hosing down their fire equipment and cleaning the inside of their trucks. Retroactive pay and increases in salary for people whom are doing quite well monetary wise along with their cadillac medical benefits and an out of sight pension is in my opinion, very good.

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