As the $121 billion state budget was heading toward passage late last week, some observers jumped to the conclusion that Gov. Spitzer had conceded too much, too soon in his first negotiations with the Legislature.
The recent enactment of sweeping changes in federal laws governing private pension plans, the issuance of a scathing auditors' report on the collapse of San Diego's pension fund, and the disclosure of potential shortfalls in New York City's pension funds all point to what should be the nation's next big target for financial reform.
Among many other things, this transit strike has been a learning experience for a whole new generation of Yorkers too young to remember issues raised by municipal labor unrest of the 1960s and the fiscal crisis of the 1970s.
A proposal by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to restructure employee pensions reportedly was the issue that this week's illegal strike by Local 100 of the Transport Workers Union.
Disputes over wages, health insurance and work rules, are nothing new in transit negotiations. But one of the most contentious issues in the latest contract talks between the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Local 100 of the Transport Workers Union has implications that go far beyond the cost of a MetroCard.
On October 4, Governor Paterson signed S.7451/A.10764, a bill that allows home-based child care providers to unionize -- adding more than 65,000 child care providers to the already powerful Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) and the United Federation of Teachers (UFT).
Paterson's signature codifies...
Adding to the pressure created by rising Medicaid and other costs, local governments and school districts all over New York are being hammered by massive increases in pension costs for public employees.
When independent "dollar van" operators began to proliferate in Queens and Brooklyn in the wake of the 1980 transit strike, local politicians moved quickly to protect New York's inefficient public (and union) transit monopoly.