Time to take care of city's union workers
Feb 18, 2014 | 12491 views | 0 0 comments | 807 807 recommendations | email to a friend | print
At the start of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s first term, budget surplus from the prior administration has paved the way for a seemingly peaceful start to 2014.

However, firefighters, police, sanitation workers and teachers have continued to work for several years under expired contracts following a rocky the relationship left behind with municipal employees and the Bloomberg Administration.

According to a November 2013 report by the Independent Budget Office (IBO), the city has more than a $1.9 billion projected surplus in the bank for FY 2015 from a culmination of property, business and income tax revenue.

It was reported that the Bloomberg Administration left a little more than $800 million from its final spending plan, and that amount is estimated to be enough to provide a 1.5 percent raise for nearly 290,000 of the city’s current unionized workforce for fiscal years 2013 though 2015.

And although the March sequester put a drag on the federal economy for 2013, it is expected to come to a halt this year, paving the way for what the IBO also predicts an economic growth of 2.8 percent in real gross domestic product in 2014 and 3.4 percent in 2015 and lead to an all-time high in employment growth.

That means an additional 67,300 jobs in 2014 and an average growth of 68,400 new jobs each year following for the next three years, according to the report.

That being said, the Bloomberg Administration predicted as it cam to a close that it “assumes the unions will settle for no pay for the years without contract raises,” an unlikely outcome that the de Blasio administration cannot get away with without covering the costs.

Mayor de Blasio must consider the unprecedented state of the city’s growing workforce, and secure these contracts before moving forward with other ambitious proposals.

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