About 50,000 city workers will see their pay increased to $15 an hour, a change that may be a direct result of the battle between Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
Mayor Bill de Blasio may have been out ahead of Governor Andrew Cuomo in advocating for a higher minimum wage, but the governor beat the mayor when it came to raising wages for public sector workers. Last fall, he agreed to hike pay for state employees to $15 an hour. On Monday, he announced a similar wage boost for state university workers.
The mayor is now following suit.
"I am very proud to say that today, we mark another crucial milestone toward a better city, a fairer city, a city where there really is opportunity for all," de Blasio said.
Fifty thousand city workers are eligible for the pay increase. They will see their wages hit $15 an hour by the end of 2018.
A budget watchdog group says the move is cause for concern. The Citizens Budget Commission says it is worried raises are being given out without service improvements, and officials say they are troubled that existing city union contracts are getting more costly.
"This is sustainable. It is something we have the revenue to achieve," de Blasio said. "We also believe it will make for a better workforce. It will make for a stronger workforce. It will make for more longevity. It will make for more productivity."
The mayor disputed the idea that he was compelled to raise wages for city workers because the governor did so earlier for state employees.
The mayor and governor do see eye to eye on a minimum wage hike for New York State, but they do not seem willing to team up and fight for it together.
They are clashing on a host of issues these days, most notably the city's near-record levels of homelessness and the condition of city shelters.
"A homeless person not willing to go into a shelter is a sign of sanity because they are so dirty and dangerous," Cuomo said. "It is unacceptable."
The mayor says he is working to fix problems in homeless shelters and make them safer and cleaner.