2,000 layoffs threatened in Massachusetts by Lise Bang-Jensen | | NY Torch

Governor Deval Patrick says he will eliminate 2,000 jobs unless public employee unions make concessions, including possible unpaid furloughs. Patrick's approach contrasts with that of New York Governor David Paterson, who also on Thursday, proposed a...

Keeping Albany taxpayers in the dark by Lise Bang-Jensen | | NY Torch

Despite a $12 million hole in the city's budget, Albany Mayor Gerald Jennings agreed to a tentative contract giving the police officers an 8 percent raise over two years--while keeping Albany taxpayers in the dark about the deal for three weeks. The ...

Teacher and school employee salaries on SeeThroughNY by Lise Bang-Jensen | | NY Torch

The Empire Center has posted payroll records for 121,961 custodians, bus drivers, aides, secretaries and other non-professional public school employees on their transparency site, www.SeeThroughNY.net. A full release is available here, and a chart ...

Buffalo board plans salary step appeal by Lise Bang-Jensen | | NY Torch

It took a state-appointed financial control board to freeze salaries of Buffalo city employees, but once the 38-month freeze ended, employees argued they should be elevated to higher salary steps they would have achieved if there not been a freeze.

In a case that should be watched by other financially squeezed municipalities, the Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority will ask the state Court of Appeals to overturn lower court decisions granting higher steps to employees (here).

Albany running out of options? by Lise Bang-Jensen | | NY Torch

Unlike other states, New York has avoided massive layoffs and furloughs of public employees to close recurring budget gaps. That could change. Newsday reports: Gov. David A. Paterson and some lawmakers are raising the specter of furloughs - and even...

Municipal salaries on internet by Lise Bang-Jensen | | NY Torch

The Empire Center has posted the annual salaries of 179,000 local government employees in New York, including a retired Town of Clarkstown police officer Thomas Purtill who took home $543,416 during a 12-month period.

Streamlining state government…elsewhere by Lise Bang-Jensen | | NY Torch

Despite the prospect of exploding budget gaps in the future, Albany has taken only modest steps toward streamlining state government, such as closing a few prisons and offering $20,000 buyouts to state employees.

Car 54, where are you? by Lise Bang-Jensen | | NY Torch

New York City will track the whereabouts of its 379 building inspectors with GPS technology installed, not in their city-issued vehicles, but in their cell phones.