Municipal Government

Liu: Bloomberg Abdicated Responsibility with Labor Contracts

May 3, 2013
By Marc Bussanich

Brooklyn, NY—Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned yesterday at City Hall that the City faces long-term challenges because of rising employee costs such as pensions and health care, and wants City employees to start paying more for their health premiums. But Comptroller John Liu said the Mayor should have resolved labor contracts long ago. Watch Video

Just before the start of a mayoral candidates forum on education at P.S. 29 in Brooklyn Heights, Mr. Liu told Labor Press that Bloomberg is leaving the next mayor with a big hole in the budget.

“The reality of the budget situation is that the Mayor is leaving the taxpayers of New York City deep in the red with personnel costs that should have been addressed a long time ago. But we now have a situation with hundreds of thousands of city employees working without current contracts. That should have never been allowed to happen,” said Liu.

Many public sector union members in the City are laboring under expired contracts. They do not get raises unless there’s a new agreement. But the Mayor said yesterday, as Deputy Mayor Cass Holloway said to the Citizens Budget Commission last month, the City can’t afford retroactive pay.

Liu noted that the next mayor would have to work closely with the unions to figure out solutions regarding retroactive pay, but there’s still time for Mr. Bloomberg to come up with a solution.

“This administration is not out of office. They still have eight months to come up with a plan. The Mayor should not think he’s out of office,” Liu said.

Follow Marc Bussanich on Twitter marc@laborpress.org

May 3, 2013

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