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Gotham Gazette

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Citizens Union

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Several candidates who want to succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg have responded lukewarmly to City Hall's plans to offer new contracts to city employees in exchange for foregoing retroactive pay increases.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the Democratic frontrunner, said in a statement to the Gotham Gazette that she supports fair compensation for city workers and a dialog between union leaders and the administration.

"At the same time," she said, "we must always be mindful of the city budget, and honor our obligations to NYC taxpayers, and should strive to reach agreements that are fair to all parties."

Independence party candidate and former Bronx borough president Adolfo Carrión also supported ongoing talks balanced with fiscal restraint, as did Republican candidate and former MTA chief Joe Lhota.

"I applaud the mayor for making contract negotiations a priority," Lhota said. "Getting contracts in place for the city's workers that are fair and fiscally responsible is in the best interest of all New Yorkers."

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Mayor Bloomberg announced this weekend that city agencies must cut a total of $2 billion dollars from their budgets this year and the next. That equals slashing a total of 3 percent of the total budget over the next 18 months. He has also warned of possible layoffs. Meanwhile, he gave raises to some of his staff, but contends those aides are taking on more work as a result of staffing cuts.

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