Capital New York - December 28, 2012by Reid Pillifant
Mayor Michael Bloomberg this morning tried to quash the idea of retroactive raises for city employees.
"I don't know anybody in the private sector who gets retroactive raises," the mayor said during his regular Friday appearance on the John Gambling radio show. "The fact of the matter is there's nothing in the cards, that's not going to happen."
A new report from the Independent Budget Office warned yesterday that the city could be out nearly $4 billion if unions were granted retroactive raises for the two years they've worked without a contract.
Comptroller John Liu has contended that Bloomberg might be putting the next administration in a hole by not dealing with retroactive pay.
Bloomberg said the public "would never be willing to dramatically raise their property taxes" to cover the cost of back-pay, and that he doesn't think Council members would be inclined to support such hikes either.
"I don't think there are very many City Council people who are willing to go back and say to their constituents I want to raise taxes to give people higher raises," he said.
"There are virtually no towns around us, or across the country, where people are getting raises," he added. "The public just says enough is enough, they don't want to spend any more."
Bloomberg also excoriated the United Federation of Teachers for demanding a wage increase in its new contract, before the union will accede to new teacher evaluations. Those evaluations are supposed to be in place next month, or the city risks losing $250 million in state money, under the terms of a new state law.
"The teachers union is going to cost us a lot of money, it looks like," said Bloomberg, who emphasized that most teachers receive raises of about three percent each year. "For them to sit there and sat we're not getting any raises is ridiculous," he said.
Bloomberg predicted Gov. Andrew Cuomo wouldn't be happy either.
"I'm sure the governor is going to stand up there and say this is just unacceptable," he said.