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.

Teaching without contracts by Lise Bang-Jensen | | NY Torch

As schools open, the number of school districts at impasse with teacher unions has increased by 12 percent since a year ago, according to the Public Employment Relations Board. Also noteworthy--although not emphasized by PERB--nearly one out of three school districts has yet to negotiate a new contract with its teachers.

Examining MDs by Lise Bang-Jensen | | NY Torch

Should physicians, who are licensed by the state of New York, be required to take a civil service exam in order to work for the state of New York? A state judge thinks so, but that's unlikely to be the last word on the controversy.

Persuading co-workers to retire by Lise Bang-Jensen | | NY Torch

Oneida County employees participating in a proposed cash buyout program would have a strong incentive to get their co-workers to join them: their payments will increase if more employees participate.