NY Post - June 25, 2011by JOSH MARGOLIN and DAVID SEIFMAN
The 4,100 teacher layoffs Mayor Bloomberg has been threatening for months were scrapped last night in a budget deal with the City Council that also saved 20 fire companies.
But more than 1,000 other less fortunate city workers still faced pink slips as the $66 billion budget battle ended in a handshake deal before the July 1 deadline.
"This is a budget that keeps our city strong," Bloomberg said. "This is also a budget that faces fiscal realities."
But he also added: "Make no mistake about it -- this is not a good-news budget."
The teachers union and the mayor were able to avert the disastrous consequences that would have resulted from massive layoffs by squeezing out $60 million from a deal to suspend sabbaticals for a year and by allowing teachers in a reserve pool who don't have full-time assignments to work as substitutes.
Additional savings were found in what the mayor described as "deeper cuts to non-classroom spending" and higher attrition rates. Bloomberg said $170 million in extra tax revenues will help offset costs.
Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, joined a press conference with the mayor and council Speaker Christine Quinn to announce the agreement at the Tweed Courthouse shortly after 10 p.m.
"The UFT, in all fairness, came through," the mayor said, praising a union chief with whom he has clashed in the past.
Noticeably absent was Lillian Roberts, head of District Council 37, whose members face the brunt of the layoffs. Without mentioning Roberts or the union by name, the mayor indicated that other labor leaders left their members exposed to pink slips by refusing to follow Mulgrew's lead.
"Other unions had the opportunity to do that and chose not to," he said.
DC 37 figured in another tense showdown between the administration and the unions. Sources said it was a key holdout when other unions agreed to turn over $262 million from an unused health-benefits-stabilization fund to "buy back" jobs on the chopping block.
"They have asked for some things we could not possibly agree to," the mayor said on his weekly WOR radio show yesterday.
In addition to finding funds for teachers and fire companies, Quinn said restorations would be made to child-care services, libraries, senior centers and social services.
Highlights of budget deal reached by Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council
* 4,100 teacher layoffs averted
* More than 1,000 layoffs due among other city workers
* 20 fire-company closures averted
* Teacher sabbaticals suspended for a year
* Restrictions eased on using full-time teachers as subs
* Some funding that was cut from day-care services and libraries could be restored