no New York City employees will receive retroactive pay raises. The newspapers eagerly jumped on the bandwagon and supported the Emperor's decree, However, the Emperor has no clothes when it comes to this decree. You see there is something called the Taylor Law in New York State that requires the Emperor to negotiate a contract with his subjects, oops, I mean City employees.
While the Emperor can say whatever he wants, The fact is that he or most likely his successor, will need to negotiate with the unions and the unions will not agree to eliminate retroactive raises. This is particularly true of the teachers who are waiting for a new contract since October of 2009. The teachers are owed the "City pattern" which includes two retroactive 4% raises, minus 0.58% for Randi Weingarten's final giveaway to the City in 2009. Since the City finances is in much better shape than the State's and the Emperor is fast becoming a "lame duck", no City union will agree to eliminate retroactive raises.
The bottom line the Emperor can decree all he wants but no union will seriously negotiate with him until he gets dethroned in January 2014.