Tuesday, May 01, 2018
The City Continues To Play Hardball With Unions On The Next Contract.
The Bill de Blasio administration continues to play hardball with the unions on the next contract. According to the PBA and DC37, the City has only offered 1% raises and any extra wage hikes must be paid by "givebacks". While family leave is a top priority for most of the unions, the City wants the unions to follow the City imposed family leave policy on their non union managers which resulted in a windfall for the City economically. So far, no union has agreed to the City leave policy. A City Council analysis found that an acceptable family leave proposal would cost the City $250 million dollars. A sum the City can well afford with their $3 billion budget surplus.
The present day inflation rate is 2.10% and is expected to rise to close to 3% by the end of the calendar year and probably higher in the 2019 calendar year. Therefore, just to keep up with the expected inflation rate, the unions shouldn't settle for anything less than two 3% raises, without "givebacks"and that should be the floor.
Moreover, the City is, once again. demanding health care "givebacks". Be it either higher co payments by employees or higher deductibles. At this point, no union has or will agree to higher health care costs since they agreed to them on the previous contract.
Finally, the City has a 3 billion dollar surplus and giving unions across the board 3% raises (4% for uniformed employees) will not brake the bank. For every 1% raise, the City pays $586 million dollars. Therefore, for a 3% raise, it will cost the city $1.76 billion dollars the first year. Given the slightly high rate for uniformed employees the total first year City payout is probably closer to $2 billion dollars. That still leaves the City with a $1 billion dollar surplus. While the City payout will increase over the next two or three years, the economic growth of the City will aslo increase. Therefore, the budget surplus should be at or more than the 2018 level.
The bottom line, the City can well afford to give it's hard working public sector employees a wage increase that keeps pace with inflation.and a family leave policy tht's fair to all.