June 4, 2013
By Marc Bussanich

Bill Thompson talks politics with Brooklynites
Bill Thompson (r.) talks politics with Brooklynites

Brooklyn, NY—Mayoral Bill Thompson said he’d open up the city’s books and review them with union leadership to determine the amount of overdue raises. Watch Video

“Our workers deserve fair raises; we just have to see what we can do,” said Thompson while greeting Brooklynites at the intersection of Nostrand and Flatbush Avenues.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg editorialized on Sunday that the city cannot afford to pay city workers retroactive pay unless the city drastically raises property taxes and/or cuts essential social services.

Council Speaker Christine Quinn said last week when she picked up an endorsement from the United Auto Workers, Region 9A that retroactive pay was possible but only with concessions.

“We all know that municipal workers deserve a pay increase. But the city’s long-term fiscal situation means that in order to help pay for that, the city and unions are going to have to come into a room, revisit health care costs and other benefits.”

Bill de Blasio also said as much last week.

“The fact is to solve [retroactive pay] is going to take very complex, private negotiations to figure out what we can do in the short term and the long term to recognize the limits on what we can do.”

John Liu said he’d partially backdate raises for the city’s union workforce of 300,000.

“There’s going to be negotiation; it’s probably not going to be the entire amount of retroactivity, but it’s not going to be zero either because that wouldn’t be fair to the city workers who under previous eight years of the Bloomberg administration were time and time again given retroactive pay raises.”

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