The deal to save thousands of teachers and other city workers is dead.
“I can tell you that there is a lot of mistrust of City Hall based upon the way we have been treated in the last eight months or so,” said Harry Nespoli, the chair of the Municipal Labor Committee, a coalition of civil service unions.
The Bloomberg administration has threatened to lay off 4,100 teachers and hundreds of city employees in other departments, such as park workers and librarians due to budget constraints.
The unions are steadfastly refusing to tap into their largely unused rainy day health care fund to avert those steep cuts.
“What happens on day 366 after the deal expires?” asked one labor leader who attended the “heated” MLC meeting.
“It was a heated discussion because there’s an overwhelming consensus that people don’t trust the Mayor,” the source added.
City negotiators are pressing the rank and file to hand over at least $30 million a month, or $360 million, from their emergency health care fund over the duration of the agreement, several sources said. The unions contend that the money will just delay the city’s call for further concessions.
Many union officials and government insiders believe that the Mayor really doesn’t need or want to layoff thousands of teachers.
“Ultimately, the question is whether the health deal benefits everyone concerned or merely makes life easier for both the Mayor, who really doesn't want to lay off large numbers of teachers but might do it anyway, and Quinn while forcing the unions to pick up the whole tab,” said Richard Steier, the editor of The Chief-Leader, a civil service weekly.
Good - now they understand.
This isn't about the money.
It's about the power.
The mayor wants to gut the teachers union.
They can give him $30 million a month from the fund, but he is still going to force layoffs next year as a way to push on the LIFO issue.
If the economy turns around, he'll manuafacture a crisis, kinda the way he has with this one.
There is $550 million he plans to spend on tech upgrades next year in the DOE.
$337 million of that can be used to offset layoffs.
In addition, millions of dollars are stolen by all the outside consultants Bloomberg refuses to do oversight on.
Start doing oversight of all those expenditures.
Let's see what that money is REALLY being used for.
There are so many other choices Bloomberg can make besides layoffs.
He has chosen to back himself in a corner here and now he wants the unions to bail him out.
For once, we get good news from the union leadership (at least for now.)
No deal to raid the health care fund.
No bailout for Bloomberg.
You want to do layoffs while you hand out hundreds of millions of dollars in tech contracts to your cronies like Joel Klein, Mr. Mayor?
Go right ahead.
But you have to defend that and you have to pay the price of the consequences from that policy.
Got that, Mr. 38% Approval.