20% of Those to be Fired are Disabled
By Neal Tepel
December 15, 2010
On November 18, a memo from Department of Finance Commissioner David Frankel announced the layoffs of 129 employees, part of the wave of citywide staff cuts stemming from Mayor Bloomberg’s “November Financial Plan Update.” 105 of these jobs come from two DC 37 Locals – Local 1113 — NYC Finance Administrative Employees and City Investigators – and Local 375, the Civil Service Technical Guild.
The ugly twist on the Christmastime layoffs is that of the 87 employees represented by Local 1113, 22 are physically or mentally disabled, according to Local 1113 President Deborah Pitts. “These people originally came to the Department of Finance in a disability program, where the Department got permission to re-open the Office Machine Aide title, and bring them in,” she says. “They’ve been working here for at least ten years; some have 20 years of service.”
The Aides primarily do data entry work, including tracking fines, tickets, permits, and hearings, as well as copying and filing. Local 375’s layoffs include Tax Map Cartographers, who maintain and update the tax maps of all real property in the City. The Union has managed to save most of the Cartographers from layoff, but only three are being kept on at Finance; the others will likely take pay cuts and perform similar duties at other agencies. Local 375 President Behrouz Fathi says the layoffs and reassignments will waste valuable knowledge which makes the Department more efficient and effective.
Both unions are now planning a joint rally outside of City Hall at 12 Noon on Tuesday, December 21, to make the point that “When We’re Cut, Everyone Bleeds.”