Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cuomo And Layoffs

The Murdoch Post, always a dubious source for news, reports that Little Andy won't do what the mayor wants and address LIFO layoffs in his budget proposal this coming week:

Gov. Cuomo rebuffed Mayor Bloomberg's request to immediately endorse a plan to scrap the "last in, first out" (LIFO) teacher-seniority layoff policy by including a repeal in his state budget plan, The Post has learned.

Cuomo's spending proposal -- to be unveiled Tuesday -- will not include the mayor's proposal.

" 'Last hired, first fired' won't be addressed in the governor's budget because it's not a state budget matter," said a source in the Cuomo administration.

The source stressed that all of the mayor's proposals "will be given serious consideration" in the weeks following the budget's submission.

City Hall wants the proposed elimination of LIFO included in the governor's spending plan to give school officials more flexibility to implement thousands of expected layoffs based on merit rather than seniority.

Bloomberg laid out a doomsday scenario claiming the city may be forced to slash 21,000 teaching positions.


The Cuomo insider said school districts have to be "more efficient and effective" and doubted that budget cuts would trigger layoffs.

But if layoffs are necessary, the source said, Cuomo was willing to sit with all parties -- including the mayor and teachers union -- to come up with a new personnel policy "based on professional performance review and standards that will utilize fair and objective criteria to make such determinations."

In other words, the axing of teachers would no longer be based solely on longevity.

As I wrote last night, the economy is slowly getting better and tax receipts are slowly going up. So this is the last, best chance for the corporatists to use the Shock Doctrine of "Economic Armageddon" to get seniority and tenure rules changed.

They are going all out to do just that.

Next year, the budget will be a little better, employment in the private sector will be a little better and GDP will be a little better.

They won't be able to trumpet "Economic Armageddon" as a reason to gut seniority and tenure.

So the all-out push is on.

Cuomo of course will eventually give Bloomberg and the corporate overlords what they want on this. I have no doubt about that.

But Cuomo cannot change these rules himself, as they are embedded in state law.

And so the key becomes Shelly Silver and the Dems in the Assembly.

Silver has already indicated he thinks it is ridiculous that Cuomo wants to let a millionaire's tax that contributes $1 billion to the state sunset while cutting an additional $10 billion from the budget.

Right now, Cuomo has 70% approval ratings and the NY State legislature is about as popular as a urinary tract infection, but that's BEFORE Cuomo enacts cuts.

In a face-off between governor and legislature, it looks like Cuomo has the upper hand.

But wait until the state forces thousands of layoffs of teachers, cops and fire personnel, closes state parks, libraries, and hospitals, stops paving roads and does all the other budget-cutting measures Cuomo has been bragging about doing.

His approval will plummet and he'll be even LESS popular than a urinary tract infection.

Again, the key is fighting these proposals, educating people that LIFO is the only fair way to do layoffs now that schools have to pay for teachers' salaries themselves (giving them the incentive to ALWAYS lay off more expensive vets), point out that Wall Street is back to 2008 levels and the hedge fund managers are raking in the dough, and the economy is turning around, albeit slowly.

Not exactly the strongest hand to play, of course, especially with the corporate media playing up the unionized workers vs. nonunionized workers class war angle so often.

But it's the hand we've got and I do think it can be played for a win.

The key here is to point out the obscene amount of money the Masters of the Universe are making on Wall Street even as their taxes are being lowered and middle class teachers, cops and fire personnel are being cut.

No comments:

Post a Comment