Comptroller Scott Stringer released a report on the city's finances. Guess what: the financial situation is not as dire as the mayor's budget was forecasting just a few short months back.
For those who say the city could not afford to pay UFTers the $900 million they owed us on October 1 for work we did from 2009-2011 that Michael Mulgrew inexplicably agreed to postpone in part to the end of July, please consider this from the Comptroller:
The City’s central treasury balance (funds available for expenditure) stood at $7.90 billion as of Wednesday, October 7. At the same time last year, the City had $6.73 billion (Chart 7).
I'm no accountant but it looks to me like the city could have paid us in full and still had more money available than last year at this time.
There were substantial declines in city tax revenues in certain sectors but there was "A 3.9% increase in the city’s property tax – the City’s largest single tax source..."
Then, there is the conclusion from Stringer that while there has been a decline in tax revenue:
Overall, however, the loss in revenue has been more contained than initially expected. For the fiscal year just ended in June, tax revenues exceeded both our Office’s and the City’s projections by about $1 billion.
Before we get 20 comments about how you opted out of paying union dues, I would like to remind readers that we can choose a different union to represent us as the Carriage Horse Drivers recently did.
Since 2008, the close-to 100 carriage drivers had been affiliated with Teamsters Local 533, but they recently opted to join Local 100, which represents most Metropolitan Transportation Authority workers and a growing number of employees in the tourism industry at Big Bus Tours and New York Waterway.
"It just seemed a better fit, and the consensus was the TWU was the way to go," said Colm McKeever, a spokesman for the group who has been driving for 31 years. "We were the pioneers in transit. It was the horses that paved the roads here in New York City, and we will pave the return of this great city."
During a phone interview, Mr. McKeever said the carriage operators and drivers were actually "68 mom-and-pop businesses" that needed to coalesce into a union that gives them "the power with one direction and one voice."
"You know how it is with politicians—they listen to unions," Mr. McKeever said. "If you are not unionized, you are on your own. You are chaff to the wind."
I know, I know you are going to say teachers in NYC are in a union that is a thousand times bigger than this tiny union for the drivers. All that means is we need to take all of the anger we are feeling over being completely abandoned by the UFT and use it to organize to repair or replace the UFT. We need a real union and not the Michael Mulgrew version.