As the City of New York continues to enjoy a robust economy, Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration doesn't want to share any of the good times with their hard working employees.
The Chief Leader is reporting on the city's contract offer to the PBA:
The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association appears to be bound for contract arbitration after the de Blasio administration on Oct. 18 presented a wage proposal of just 4.25 percent in raises over a 42-month period and asked the union to fund it by forsakiing key benefits including its annuity fund and the right of future members to a Variable Supplments Fund, while also providing its share of $2.4 billion in health-care givebacks that will be sought from all municipal unions.
Further down is this gem:
PBA President Patrick J. Lynch, in a letter to union members that was obtained by this newspaper, wrote that "the city's own negotiators confirmed that their intention is to provide PBA members with 42 months of net-zero raises, and that any wage increases must be 100% paid for through a list of givebacks."
That means the city is proposing a pattern of 0% for municipal employee raises.This is unbelievable considering the financial state of the city but very believable because of the complete weakness of the labor movement in NYC, including the PBA.
The PBA will almost certainly have their contract settled in binding arbitration. The ICEBLOG predicts they won't get far there. The ICE crystal ball shows arbitration will do the PBA little good because before their case is heard, the city knows they can just bring in a pathetic municipal union such as the UFT or DC 37 who they will offer a few crumbs to and one of these unions will jump at it. It will set a wage pattern so all of the other city unions will be stuck with whatever that pattern is. Pattern bargaining has been upheld by arbitrators for decades. The uniform unions like the PBA may get 1% more than whatever that abysmal civilian pattern is but you get the idea.
While the city economy is outperorming the nation, we all know the financial gloom and doom is coming since labor contracts are due. Ours expires November 30, 2018. The city is projecting budget deficits of $3.4 billion for 2019, $2.8 billion in 2020 and $2.3 billion in 2021. They will close those gaps in part by setting a lousy pattern for contract raises. The city is also forecasting that they will be increasing salary spending by 10.3% over the next four fiscal years but they believe fringe benefit spending will rise by 23.7%. Hence, the city will cry poverty and insist on givebacks that the UFT/DC 37 will buy hook line and sinker and then sell to us. Count on it. They will more than likely blame Donald Trump's federal budget for the situation.
UFT will then claim a huge contract victory because they will say the city wanted to fund 0% raises and we got got them to agree to fund something, however small it is.
Why do the unions continually accept the city's budget propaganda that leads to subpar wage and benefit settlements in every contract for city workers? The answer is simple:
None of the unions have any leverage because the city knows we will never threaten any kind of job action. Workers that cannot or will not stand up for themselves are at the mercy of their employer.
It will only get worse after the Supreme Court allows public sector workers to opt out of union dues next year. We will be even weaker.