In a debate yesterday, Brooklyn City Councilman David Yassky was the only one of four candidates for city comptroller to say that Albany should consider legislating a less generous pension tier for public-sector workers even without union support of such a measure, the Postreports.
“I don’t think you can take it off the table because we have a structural budget gap that we have to close,” Yassky said.
Yassky’s rivals — Melinda Katz, John Liu, and David Weprin — “adopted the unions’ position that any reduction should be negotiated,” David Seifman wrote.
Yassky has the law on his side. The Taylor Law says that establishing or reforming future pension benefits for state and local workers, including MTA workers, is not a matter for labor negotiations, but a matter for lawmakers to decide.
Lawmakers (and the governor) could use this power to protect the public against a powerful special interest, the labor unions.