I just got through a quick read of New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer's latest budget report which is called Comments on New York City's Fiscal Year 2017 Adopted Budget. I wanted to see what the 2016 end of the year NYC surplus was but it seems to have magically transformed into a "$4 billion prepayment at the end of FY (Fiscal Year) 2016." Is that another term for surplus?
Could the city have spared a billion or two so educators would not have to wait until 2020 to get fully paid for work we did from 2009-2011? I think so.
Here is part of a section called Budget Cushion:
The $3.994 billion prepayment together with the $500 million deposit to the
RHBT and the $1.5 billion in the FY 2017 General and Capital Stabilization Reserve
increases the City’s budget cushion at the start of the FY 2017 to $9.4 billion. The
cushion is $900 million more than at this point last fiscal year. This is the third
consecutive year in which the City has added to the cushion.
The Comptroller then proceeds to say that the cushion is not large enough. Stringer seems to be taking a cautiously pessimistic view of the economy. It is interesting to note that I cannot find anything in the report projecting any worry about huge increases in the city's labor costs through 2020. The thought of unions getting any kind of sizable salary hikes isn't even on the city's radar.
Neither the Mayor or Comptroller ever seem to thank city workers for being so good to them.
It is almost a guarantee that there will be hard times for the city when municipal labor contracts expire, particularly ours in 2018. At that time expect the UFT President to once again declare that the city's cupboard is bare.