NYS Common Retirement Fund Rises

August 22, 2014
By Stephanie West

The New York State Common Retirement Fund’s (Fund) value grew to an estimated $180.7 billion in the first quarter ending June 30, 2014. The Fund had ended the state’s Fiscal Year 2014 on March 31 with a value of $176.8 billion. The net growth in the value of the fund reflects earnings over the quarter, offset by benefit payments.

NYC Economy Shows Fast Growth

August 19, 2014
By Stephanie West

New York, NY – While unemployment remains stuck at 7.9 percent in New York City, the economy has added tens of thousands of jobs in the private sector, pointing to a firmer labor market, stronger tax revenues and a more stable economy.

Disney Workers Ratify Contract

August 13, 2014
By Stephanie West

Members of the Service Trades Council Union ratified a new agreement with the Walt Disney World Resort in a vote on August 1. Workers came to a tentative agreement with the resort late on July 18. The new contract covers 21,000 workers, more than 60% of whom are represented by UNITE HERE Local 737 and UNITE HERE Local 362 in Orlando. Many UNITE HERE custodians, housekeepers, attractions attendants, and food and beverage employees participated in union negotiations for their first time.

Top 10 Tax Breaks You'll Miss in 2014

August 7, 2014
By Salvatore J. Armao, CPA/PFS, CFP, CFE, CGMA
Managing Partner, Armao LLP

Who’s thinking about taxes during the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer? Well, at Armao LLP, we are...and so should you!

You probably didn't notice, but when the clock struck midnight on December 31, 2013, a number of popular tax benefits, commonly included in the list of provisions referred to as "tax extenders" expired.

Union Retirees Urged to "Go on the Offense"

August 5, 2014
By Stephanie West

Los Angeles, California - There has never been a time like this for the labor movement, AFT President Randi Weingarten told the opening session of the AFT Retirees Conference on July 10. "People want a union if they can get it," she said, noting that the fight for collective bargaining and retirement security is one that we can't do alone anymore.

Federal Contractors Must Be Accountable

August 4, 2014
By SEIU President Mary Kay Henry

Washington, DC - Following President Obama's announcement of an executive order relating to monitoring and reforming the performance of government contractors, Mary Kay Henry, President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), issued the following statement:

Companies Join NYS Start-Up Project and Create Jobs

July 30, 2014
By Stephanie West

Albany, NY - Governor Cuomo has announced that five businesses will expand or locate in Binghamton as a result of START-UP NY. The commitment by these companies represents the latest wave of businesses participating in this initiative that creates tax-free areas associated with colleges and universities across the state.

Schneiderman Investigates Manhattan Club Timeshare Scam

July 29, 2014
By Stephanie West

New York, NY – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has announced that he obtained a court order halting sales of timeshare interests at the Manhattan Club, a luxury hotel in Midtown Manhattan. The order requires that the club’s principals, Ian Bruce Eichner, Leslie H. Eichner, and Stuart P. Eichner, testify in court about the club’s practices and produce documents to the Attorney General’s Real Estate Finance Bureau about allegedly fraudulent sales tactics.

NAACP Backs Fast-Food Workers’ Fight for $15

July 23, 2014
By Stephanie West

Las Vegas, Nevada - The NAACP unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday July 15th at its convention in Las Vegas supporting fast-food workers’ historic fight for $15 and a union.

Citigroup Fined for Misrepresenting Public

July 22, 2014
By Stephanie West

Washington DC - Citigroup, has acknowledged it made serious misrepresentations to the public. This included the manner in which Citigroup marketed and sold residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS). The settlement requires Citi to pay $4.5 billion in hard dollars and provide $2.5 billion in consumer relief. New York State will receive $182 million: $92 million in cash and a minimum of $90 million in consumer relief for struggling New Yorkers.

Summertime is the right time to take a vacation – your health depends on it!

July 15, 2014
By Salvatore J. Armao, CPA/PFS, CFP, CFE, CGMA
Managing Partner, Armao LLP

Vacations aren’t just for fun…they are key to providing a variety of health benefits. According toSteve Blake, vice president of Clinical Operations at Managed Health Network, Inc., a subsidiary of Health Net, Inc., “A number of studies have shown that taking time away from the job can have physical and psychological health benefits. Workers who don't take advantage of the vacation time that they're eligible for could be shortchanging themselves in terms of benefits to their health."

Why the Minimum Wage is Important

July 9, 2014
By Oren M. Levin-Waldman

Amidst the debate over whether the minimum wage really helps those at the bottom or whether it causes more unemployment, we often lose sight of why it was needed in the first place. Today the debate over the minimum wage has become a side show between those who argue that it results in disemployment and those who argue that it benefits the poor.

Former Corning Clerk Stealing Public Funds

July 8, 2014
By Stephanie West

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli has announced the arrest of former city of Corning clerk Stephanie Burlew. She was charged with grand larceny in the third degree, a class D felony, for allegedly misappropriating more than $5,000 in public funds by pocketing parking permit fees; code enforcement fees; utility receipts; water and sewer fees; and parking summons fees.

NYS Free Business Support Services

July 7, 2014
By Stephanie West

Albany, NY -  New York State is partnering with the Department of Labor and more than 100 regional chambers of commerce throughout the state as part of a strategic approach to help businesses access capital incentives, grow their workforce and manage their operations. Combined, the chambers of commerce will relay the no-cost business support services to over 50,000 businesses across the state.

Changing Demographics in Manhattan's Office Workforce

July 3, 2014
By Stephanie West

New York, NY -- New York City’s changing population and economy have altered who works in Manhattan’s office buildings, according to a new analysis of workplace demographics, salaries and occupations released by New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer.

Save NJ Showboat

June 30, 2014
By NJS AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech

Trenton, NJ - New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech said that the state labor movement is determined to do whatever is necessary to save the 2,100 jobs jeopardized by Caesars Entertainment’s announcement to close Atlantic City’s Showboat Casino.

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