PEF Pushes Back Against State Cuts

March 31, 2014
By Steven Wishnia

Susan M. Kent, who took office as president of the Public Employees Federation in August 2012, sees her job as two struggles: fighting back against state budget cuts and privatization, and strengthening the union after a divisive 2011 contract battle.

NY Village Official Stole Over $100K

March 26, 2014
By Stephanie West

Albany, NY - A former official of the now-dissolved village of Altmar in Oswego County stole more than $117,000 in public funds. The New York State Police have arrested Margaret Bailey and charged her with felony counts of grand larceny and falsifying business records.

Wall Street Bonuses Went Up In 2013

March 21, 2014
By Stephanie West

Albany, New York - The average bonus paid to securities industry employees in New York City grew by 15 percent to $164,530 in 2013, which is the largest average bonus since the 2008 financial crisis, and the third highest on record.

Mayor's Fund Helps Victims of Harlem Explosion

March 17, 2014
By Stephanie West

New York, NY – First Lady Chirlane McCray, Chair of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, announced the launch of a fundraising drive that will address the ongoing needs of those affected by the East Harlem explosion and building collapse on March 12. The funds will support a strategic relief plan including: a victims’ assistance fund to cover costs associated with rent, funeral arrangements and household expenses; case management and counseling services; and community-based outreach focused on immigrant communities.

Workers and the Economy Benefit from Overtime Pay

March 17, 2014
By Mary Kay Henry, SEIU President

Washington, DC -- After President Obama announced an executive order that would expand overtime pay to more workers, Mary Kay Henry, President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) issued the following statement:

Identity Theft and The IRS

March 13, 2014
By Salvatore J. Armao, CPA/PFS, CFP, CFE, CGMA Managing Partner, Armao LLP

According to a recent release by the Internal Revenue Service entitled Tips for Taxpayers, Victims about Identity Theft and Tax Returns, “Identity theft remains a top priority for the Internal Revenue Service in 2014. Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes nationwide, and refund fraud caused by identity theft is one of the biggest challenges facing the IRS.”

Wall St. Bonuses Up Up and Away

March 13, 2014
By Stephanie West

Albany, NY - The average bonus paid to securities industry employees in New York City grew by 15 percent to $164,530 in 2013, which is the largest average bonus since the 2008 financial crisis, and the third highest on record, according to an estimate released by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. The bonus estimate includes cash bonuses for the current year, supplemented by compensation deferred from prior years.

Contractor Arrested in $87K Theft

March 4, 2014
By. Stephanie West

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have announced the arrest of Department of Health (DOH) contractor George Dunkel for stealing more than $87,000 by padding bills to pay for hotels, education credits and other expenses.

CSEA Says Budget Cuts Crippling Social Services

February 26, 2014
By Steven Wishnia

Moving convicted sexual predators into group homes in residential areas is just one example of how years of state budget cuts are slashing deep into social services, the state’s leading public-employee union says.


Fear of Organizing Holds Down Bank Tellers

February 20, 2014
By Joe Maniscalco

Bank tellers of the world unite!

New York, NY - Low-wage bank tellers and associated support staffers forced onto public assistance and unable to afford even a box of diapers for their children - are still too frightened to organize for better working conditions, according to a worldwide coalition now seeking to unite the downtrodden U.S. workforce.

Unions, Norma Rae, & the Victory of Ethics!

February 4, 2014
By Steven Weiner

As Friends of Labor has described before on this blog, the unrelenting efforts by corporations (backed by some state governments) to decimate collective bargaining agreements and destroy unions have arisen because the successes of the American labor movement have cut into companies’ profits.  

Governor Cuomo's Executive Budget Proposal Summary

January 28, 2014
By Assemblymember Patricia A. Fahy

Last week Governor Cuomo unveiled his proposed Executive Budget for this fiscal year. The state legislature has until March 31 to pass a budget, and assuming it will be passed on time, it will be the first time since 1973 that the State of New York passed four consecutive budgets in a row.

Extended Unemployment Benefits Expire This Weekend

December 27, 2013
By Steven Wishnia

This weekend, 1.3 million Americans who have been out of work for more than six months will file for their last unemployment checks. The bipartisan federal budget deal worked out earlier this month did not continue the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which has provided those benefits since June 2008.

New York City Jobs Report November 2013

December 26, 2013
By Stephanie West

New York City's unemployment rate in November 2013 is higher than the state's (7.4%) and the nation's (7.0%). New York City's unemployment rate has been higher than the nation's for 26 months. New York City gained 113,700 private sector jobs since November 2012.

Liu Statement on Tax-Payer-Funded Subsidies

December 11, 2013

New York, N.Y. – City Comptroller John C. Liu made the following statement in response to questions about his vote against $42 million in tax breaks and other benefits for the planned hotel and retail development at Willets Point: “The EDC’s projected benefits of new jobs and tax benefits from the Willets Point retail development seem to ignore the negative impact on jobs and tax revenue from the surrounding retail areas in downtown Flushing and Corona, and the 20th Avenue retail complex in College Point. 

Watch Out For The Party Poopers

December 6, 2013
By Salvatore J. Armao, CPA/PFS, CFP, CFE
Managing Partner, Armao LLP

The Department of Labor recently completed a round of audits of collectively bargained apprenticeship and other training programs and scholarship funds. The DOL focused on these particular plans due to abuses found in some routine audits, causing the department to expand its investigation. If you are involved in some capacity with a Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) or other types of industry training and scholarship programs, chances are that you experienced one of these audits.

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