Municipal Government

Mulgrew's Response to the Budget

Michael Mulgrew, President, United Federation of Teachers
February 3, 2011

UFT President Michael Mulgrew said:

The Mayor has threatened to lay off a quarter of the teaching force, but Governor Cuomo made it clear today that there is nothing in the proposed state budget that would require local layoffs.

The Governor’s planned cut to New York City schools amounts to about three percent of the school system’s budget.  We have every confidence that Cathie Black, whose management skills the Mayor has repeatedly cited, will be able to manage a reduction like this without laying off teachers and raising class sizes.

As the UFA Contract Expires City Changes Roster Staffing In Firehouses

By Dan Miller
February 2, 2010

Beginning February 1, the FDNY will reduce staffing in each of its 60 engine companies by one firefighter so that all 194 engines in the city will be staffed with four firefighters and one officer.  The commissioner announced, "No firefighters will be laid off as a result of this change," which will provide savings of approximately $30 million in overtime that is currently needed to staff the fifth firefighter position.  The change comes as the FDNY's 15-year agreement with the Uniformed Firefighters Association (UFA) expires at midnight tonight. 

King’s Legacy, Struggle Alive in Citywide Fight for Living Wages

By Harrison Magee  
January 28, 2011

Labor, clergy honor MLK with call to end working-class poverty; all eyes on City Council for passage of Fair Wages Act

HARLEM, NY— Thousands of New Yorkers packed the sanctuary of Covenant Avenue Baptist Church last Thursday for an interfaith service honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., where union leaders, clergy members and community activists joined with elected officials to demand passage of the Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act, which remains under consideration in the City Council.

Support for the bill, which would standardize a living wage in private sector jobs created through tax dollar-subsidized development projects, has gained substantial momentum in recent months, owing largely to dramatic mobilization by a citywide coalition of faith, labor and community organizations which comprise the Living Wage NYC campaign. On Thursday, leaders from these groups renewed Dr. King’s commitment to economic justice, speaking out on behalf of the millions of New Yorkers struggling to both live and work in poverty.

State of the Union Sans States?

By Bob Hennelly
January 28, 2011

President Obama did a low energy version of President Bush's "Mission Accomplished" when he proclaimed the "worst of the recession is over."

While 44 of the nation's states are looking at a $125 billion dollar shortfall and hundreds of billions of dollars in unfunded pension and health care liabilities, they did not make the president's State of the Union final cut.

In fact, with President Obama's pledge in his speech to freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years, it's not likely struggling states will find even a half-hearted partner in the federal government, whose poor regulation of the financial sector almost collapsed the global economy.

The Zadroga 9/11 Compensation Act of 2010

By Troy G. Rosasco, Esq.
January 27, 2011

On January 2, 2011, President Obama signed the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, providing a total of $4.3 billion in health benefits and financial compensation for victims, responders, and other harmed by the attacks of September 11th.  The majority of those benefitting from the new law will be New York union workers.  

The Zadroga Act accomplished two goals important for individuals who suffered from effects of the attacks of September 11th.  Title I of the Zadroga 9/11Act establishes a comprehensive health plan to monitor and treat injuries suffered by first responders and survivors—including firefighters, police officers, EMT’s, rescue workers, construction workers, cleanup workers, local residents, local area workers, and school children—as the result of the exposure to toxic dust and debris from the September 11th attacks.   Title II of the Zadroga 9/11 Act reopens and expands a number of elements of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001.

Stucknation: Stats You Won't Likely Hear in the State of the Union

By Bob Hennelly
January 26, 2011

In Washington and around the country, chief executives including the president, the governors, and local mayors are all giving their annual takes on reality.

On Tuesday, from President Obama, we are going to hear about a nation that is still hurting but has turned a corner toward recovery.

But how is it really going on America's Main Streets?

The website for the US Conference of Mayors says it represents 1,139 cities distributed in 363 metro areas where 85 percent of America lives.

Bloomberg Targets Unions in State of the City

By Courtney Gross
January 22, 2011
Reprint from Gotham Gazette, 1/20/2011

Labor leaders, duck and cover.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg fired off some of his feistiest rhetoric at the city's unions Wednesday during his annual State of the City speech -- adding one more voice to a growing national cacophony that targets the cost of pensions and perks in municipal labor forces.

Beneath the gold embossed ceiling of Staten Island's St. George Theatre, Bloomberg outlined a state legislative strategy to cut down on the city's escalating pension costs -- which have increased by more than 360 percent under his tenure.

NLRB Says Law Allows 'Card Check' Option; The Board Will Sue Four States for Violations

The Labor EducatorBy Harry Kelber
January 20, 2011
Reprint from The Labor Educator, 1/14/2011

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced on Jan. 14 that it planned to sue Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah in an effort to invalidate recently-approved state constitutional amendments that prohibit private sector workers from choosing a union through a process known as 'card check.'

The state amendments were promoted by various conservative groups to prevent congressional Democrats and President Obama from enacting legislation that would allow unions to use card check, under which an employer must recognize a union as soon as a majority of workers signs pro-union authorization cards. That process makes it possible for workers to unionize without an election.


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