Under Budget, Union Workers Won't Get Retroactive Raises Like They'd Sought

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — For the first time in decades, an incoming New York City mayor will not face a budget deficit.

After 12 years in office, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he is presenting mayor-elect Bill de Blasio with a balanced budget.

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As CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported, Bloomberg did not write a $2 billion check to erase the city’s budget deficit but he did make the announcement with great fanfare.

“And the result is that for the first time in modern memory and perhaps for the first time in New York City history, the budget for an incoming fiscal year has been balanced for an incoming mayor well before he or she stepped into office,” Bloomberg said.

Bloomberg says he was able to close a $2 billion gap in the $74.5 billion budget for fiscal year 2015, which begins July 1.

Budget gaps have plagued every mayor at least as far back as Abe Beame and Ed Koch, Kramer reported.

As WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported, the exiting mayor credits his administration’s overall prudent fiscal management, the one-time sale of a couple of buildings and anticipated lower health care costs for closing the gap.

The announcement may turn out to be bad news for de Blasio who was elected with heavy support form organized labor.

The budget offers small raises for city employees; however, it does not allow retroactive raises, which is what municipal unions have called for.

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The budget calls for increases for union workers of 1.25 percent in each of the next two years and a requirement that workers pay part of their health care costs for the first time.

The unions have been without new contracts since 2010, Kramer reported.

Bloomberg has said the only way to give unions more would be for de Blasio to cut services or raise taxes.

De Blasio’s team said that the mayor’s numbers don’t add up, arguing the mayor ignored the increased costs of repairs from superstorm Sandy, reduction in Medicaid funds of because of the Affordable Care Act and other aid reductions, Kramer reported. The mayor’s office stood by its numbers.

When 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks asked if the mayor thought de Blasio was up to the challenge, Bloomberg responded, “He’s got to learn. He’s never run a big organization before and now he’s got to get out and do it.”

De Blasio’s spokeswoman said the mayor-elect is reviewing the budget.  He is set to take office on Jan. 1.

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