New York will (one presumes) have a new mayor come January 2014. One question for that mayor will be whether he or she chooses the past or the present.

The (future) present: the new mayor likely will face a deficit of $3.7 billion for his or her inaugural budget (fiscal year 2015). That’s a good seven percent of city tax revenues.

The past: unless Mayor Bloomberg and municipal unions do some serious negotiating in the next few months, the new mayor will face more than a dozen expired contracts — and union leaders requesting retroactive settlements.

As NY1’s Courtney Gross reported yesterday:

Some of those unions say it’s time to pay up, and for many that means back pay. ‘The teachers of New York City deserve a raise,’ said United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew.

At last week’s budget presentation, the mayor made his position on this matter clear. “No administration is going to have money to give for pay in the past,” he said.”

Nor can union leaders offer to pay for back raises via productivity enhancements, as one cannot be more productive on work that’s already been done.

Should the next mayor think differently from Bloomberg, he or she could be looking at a nearly doubled deficit on school workers alone, with payouts for teachers and other school employees alone totaling a cumulative $3.5 billion through 2014 (see page 29).

The next mayoral candidates can make their desired next job easier for the eventual winner by simply saying right now: Bloomberg is right. No retroactive raises. Union leadership should deal with the current mayor.

You may also like

Utility board turns into union tool

The idea that the PSC would artificially drive electricity costs higher to benefit a political constituency represents a new low. Read More

New Docs Raise Big Questions About NY’s Megafab Mega-Deal

The Hochul Administration published a pair of documents concerning the Micron Megafab deal that raise more questions than they answer. Read More

On College Readiness, Comptroller Asks Wrong Question, Delivers Flawed Answer 

Graduation rates are rising while standards for graduation are falling. It begs the question: What number of graduating students are college ready? Read More

A Look at Covid Learning Loss in NYC

New York City set an example worthy of approbation and emulation by publishing their grade 3-8 test results in math and English language arts. Read More

City union scandal isn’t NY’s first

One of New York City’s largest public-sector unions has been effectively taken over by its national parent after an audit revealed extensive financial mismanagement. It’s the latest example of misconduct made possible under New York’s public-sector collective bargaining rules that force the government to collect hundreds of millions of dollars annually without any safeguards on how the funds are spent.  Read More

Firefighter-rights bill torches local control

Two of Albany’s most-vetoed concepts are headed toward Governor Hochul’s desk, this time concealed as a “firefighter bill of rights.”  Read More

Judge, Jury and … CFO?

A state court judge at a hearing this morning will consider whether to interfere with New York City authority over its own budget by ordering a preliminary injunction that ices a portion of Gotham’s recently enacted FY 23 city budget. Read More

NY’s jobs recovery now strongest downstate

The Empire State's private-sector employment gains over the past year have been increasingly concentrated in New York City. Read More

Empire Center Logo Enjoying our work? Sign up for email alerts on our latest news and research.
Together, we can make New York a better place to live and work!