June 17, 2013
By Marc Bussanich
New York, NY—Thousands of public sector workers who have been working without wage increases for the past several years rallied outside City Hall last week to pressure Mayor Michael Bloomberg to sign new contracts. Watch Video
Sean Petty, a registered nurse with the New York State Nurses Association at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, said he’s had to cut back on purchasing new items because he hasn’t seen a wage increase in over four years.
“My car just broke down and I can’t afford to fix it; I have to commute by bus and train to work every day,” said Petty.
Public sector union leadership said the rally was also intended to send a message to the mayorals contending for City Hall.
Steve Cassidy, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, said while the rally’s main message was that the public sector has been very unhappy with Mayor Bloomberg’s leadership, he noted the firefighters union will be demanding a raise from the next administration if a new contract isn’t signed before Mayor Bloomberg leaves office.
“Whoever is lucky enough to be the next mayor needs to know that firefighters believe they deserve a raise, and we’re going to ask for one,” Cassidy said.
Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, also said the public sector was directing their dissatisfaction to both Mayor Bloomberg and the mayorals.
“It’s a message for both Bloomberg and the incoming administration. The Mayor has been saying that there’s no money and nobody deserves a raise even though he’s given tax breaks to people making money and has a surplus. We’re also here to say that we are willing to work with the city and all we’re asking for is fairness,” said Mulgrew.
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