The Third Term Legacy?
September 21st, 2010
Labor watch out.
If deputy mayors Howard Wolfson and Stephen Goldsmith had their way, you might be in store for cuts to your pension benefits. At a breakfast hosted by the Citizens Budget Commission this morning, Goldsmith and Wolfson (who both joined the Bloomberg adminsitration this year) said curtailing pension costs will be a major goal of a Bloomberg third term.
“New York City runs the risk of becoming General Motors,” said Wolfson of the escalating cost. “We’ll be assuming a debt to retirees that is unsustainable.”
According to the mayor’s executive budget, pension contributions for fiscal year 2011 comprise 12 percent of the entire city budget — now at $63.1 billion. From fiscal year 2010 to 2011, pension costs are projected to increase from nearly $6.8 billion to $7.6 billion.
Unions looking to increase their standard salaries as their contracts expire this year should forget about it, Wolfson said. “There is no money for salary increases,” he warned.
The comments from both Wolfson and Goldsmith indicate the adminsitration will be taking a hard line with labor over the next four years — something some advocates have said is a long time coming. They also come as the adminsitration announces another hiring freeze.
And in a talking point that has become pro forma, Wolfson said: “The mayor is not running for anything.” That makes it all the more likely he will go after controversial policies and proposals, like pension reform, Wolfson said.
Elsewhere, Wolfson also said he wouldn’t “rule out” another attempt at congestion pricing.
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