LAST week's state Senate approval of Gov. Paterson's proposed cap on school property taxes seems to have induced a nervous breakdown in the powerful statewide teachers' union.
Retirees' benefits are the fastest-growing part of overall health-coverage costs for New York state and local government. They're already nearly 40 percent of the state's employee-health budget, and they'll consume more than a third of the roughly $3.5 billion New York City will spend on health benefits this year.
Contracts for Excellence (C4E), the centerpiece of former Governor Eliot Spitzer’s reform agenda for New York state schools in 2007, “could now more accurately stand for Commitments for Expenditures” because of the program’s emphasis on educational inputs over educational outcomes, says a Policy Briefing issued today by the Empire Center for Public Policy.
Soon after the end of the Transit Workers Union's illegal 60-hour walkout in December 2005, Local 100 President Roger Toussaint boasted that his members had made good on a "credible threat" to strike. Later today, a state judge in Brooklyn will decide if they can get away with it.
"New Yorkers have paid a steep price for labor peace" under the 40-year-old Taylor Law authorizing collective bargaining by public employee unions, says a report issued today by the Empire Center for Public Policy.
While strikes and other job actions have become rare events, municipal and school officials say the Taylor Law--in combination with other public labor statutes--now unduly favors unions at taxpayer expense. The Empire Center explored whether Taylor Law reforms are needed at a policy forum.
Eliot Spitzer's first legislative session as governor ended last week with gridlock on some of his top priorities. But while they couldn't agree on campaign-finance and public-construction reform, Assembly Democrats and Senate Republicans were firmly united in their willingness to pander to New York's public-employee unions.
With the stroke of a pen, Gov. Spitzer has cleared the way for 60,000 home-based day-care providers to join New York's growing quasi-public-sector labor cartel. And in the process, on the heels of a first-year budget that increases spending at more than three times the inflation rate, he has further undermined his ability to control the cost of government in the Empire State.