BALCONY - Business and Labor Coalition of New York
Top Issues
2015-2016 Winter Report Affordable Housing Public Education GATEWAY Video Bruce, Alan, Lou Lou Gordon Alan Lubin Sid Caesar Sid Caesar
News from BALCONY

One NYC: Working for Our Neighborhoods Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 2016 State of #OurCity Address

February 5th, 2016
Image result for

Please click "more" for the full transcript of the Mayor's 2016 State of the City Address

FPI - New York State Economic and Fiscal Outlook FY 2017

February 4th, 2016

In its 26th annual New York State budget briefing book, the Fiscal Policy Institute analyzes and comments on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s FY 2017 Executive Budget.

The Executive Budget advances some bold and progressive proposals that well reflect the values and needs of New Yorkers. In particular, the governor has shown great leadership and vision in forcefully advocating for a first-in-the nation statewide $15 minimum wage. If enacted, the minimum wage increase would lift the incomes of 3.2 million New Yorkers who desperately need a raise. The governor’s proposal to build a system of paid family leave is another important step that would improve the lives of New Yorkers.

Executive Summary

PDF of Complete Briefing Book: New York State Economic and Fiscal Outlook FY 2017

Port of NY & NJ: Dock workers return to work

January 31st, 2016

NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Longshoremen are back on the job in New York and New Jersey after a walkout that temporarily halted work at the country's busiest East Coast port.

New York-Area Ports Shut Down as Longshoremen Walk Off the Job

January 31st, 2016


The East Coast’s busiest port system ground to a halt on Friday as thousands of longshoremen in New York and New Jersey walked off the job, threatening to disrupt the delivery of goods throughout the region

Unions knock New York City Council’s PEG push

January 29th, 2016

by Sarina Trangle

A number of unions and left-leaning groups have penned a letter to 25 New York City Council members saying they were “truly disappointed” that the lawmakers urged Mayor Bill de Blasio to have agencies engage in a once-routine process of identifying savings that could trim their budgets by 5 percent.

The letter, sent Wednesday, contended de Blasio has already been fiscally prudent by settling nearly all outstanding municipal contracts and setting aside “substantial budget reserves” while increasing staffing in “long-neglected areas like corrections, homeless services, tax enforcement, and finally bringing considerable IT work in-house (to save money).”

NYSUT sues to defend collective bargaining rights

January 26th, 2016

A copy of the lawsuit is available Here

ALBANY, N.Y. Jan. 26, 2016 — New York State United Teachers today filed suit saying that the State Education Department’s actions on Teacher Improvement Plans violate the state’s Taylor Law and teachers’ collective bargaining rights.

The suit filed in state Supreme Court in Albany on behalf of four teachers and six local teachers’ unions charges that the State Education Department violated the Taylor Law, which governs public employee contracts and negotiations, by illegally taking Teacher Improvement Plans, which had previously been bargained, into the realm of management prerogative.

Kremer's Corner: Gov. Cuomo’s bold development plan

January 26th, 2016

Image result for jerry kremer
Jerry Kremer

By Jerry Kremer

This past week the ghost of Robert Moses was revived by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in an appearance before the Long Island Association.

If you are too young to remember who Robert Moses is then I suggest you read “The Power Broker” by Robert Caro. If you are too busy to read then I will mention a few of the projects completed by the late Mr. Moses.

Once upon a time, it was possible to build a road or a bridge and get it done over the objection of a small handful of people.

Mayor de Blasio Presents Fiscal Year 2017 Preliminary Budget

January 25th, 2016
Image result for

News from BALCONY Archives
News From and About Our Members


January 26th, 2016

STV Group's Milo Riverso to Serve as Chairman of Search Committee

NEW YORK, January 26, 2016 - The New York Building Congress Board of Directors announced today that Richard T. Anderson will step down at the end of 2016 after 22 years as President of the organization. At that time, Mr. Anderson will assume the title of President Emeritus and will continue to serve the Building Congress as a consultant.

Building Congress Chairman Richard Cavallaro announced that the Board is in the process of forming a committee, led by STV Group President and CEO Milo E. Riverso, to conduct a search for Mr. Anderson's successor.

Message from the GNYCC President Mark Jaffe on the State of the State

January 14th, 2016

At yesterday's State of the State, Governor Cuomo reminded us of how great the State of New York is. We applaud the infrastructure programs which will continue to help generate the building & construction trades, create jobs and speed commerce in the Empire State. We look forward to the use of tax credits that will stimulate the economy and continue to build a budgetary surplus for NY state. Most important, we look forward to the economic stimulus that will result from the increased spending that will surely come with minimum wage increases.

Cuomo embraces a sharply different education agenda this year

January 14th, 2016
uft logo


Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in his State of the State and budget address on Jan. 13, vowed to transform every failing school into a community school, bring universal pre-kindergarten “to 100 percent of our communities” and proposed a $200 tax credit for teachers who spend their own money on school supplies.

“Teachers deserve our support and encouragement,” he said. He called for a $2.1 billion increase in state school aid over a two-year period, including nearly $1 billion for the coming school year.

It was a far cry from last year, when in a more combative tone he tied $1.1 billion in additional state education aid to individual merit pay, more charter schools, punishing struggling schools, and making teacher evaluation hinge on state test scores.

Although Cuomo still voiced support for charter schools, it did not dominate his discussion of education solutions. Many of his proposals, such as community schools and universal pre-K, have been championed by the UFT and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

State of the State Address - New York AREA’s Response

January 14th, 2016

Dear Colleagues,

Yesterday Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered his annual joint State of the State and Budget Address, during which he reiterated his administration’s commitment to assuring that 50% of New York’s energy comes from renewable sources by 2030. He emphasized that “this is no longer a goal; it is a requirement.”

The governor also announced that he will eliminate the use of coal as a fuel by 2020; that all SUNY facilities will be powered by renewables by 2020; and that New York will initiate a $15 million energy research program to lead the nation in innovation in renewable energy.

Notably, the governor did not mention how he plans to achieve these ambitious clean energy goals, especially without protecting the near-zero-carbon baseload power that our nuclear plants, such as Indian Point, provide.

In response, New York AREA Chairman Jerry Kremer issued the following statement:

“Governor Cuomo is to be commended for his vision, leadership and commitment to reduce New York’s carbon emissions so that the state strengthens its clean energy leadership by 2030. There are several initiatives that the Governor has put forward, including promoting cleaner cars and trucks and expanding energy efficiency in affordable apartment buildings that are quite intriguing and seem to merit support.

“However, if the state somehow succeeds in its push to close Indian Point, it will take a big step backwards and go off the tracks on meeting its carbon reduction goals. Closing Indian Point, which provides more than 10 percent of the state’s electricity, will add 8.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually and cost New York $1.6 billion in annual economic activity.

“Keeping Indian Point operating is consistent with the Governor’s recent stated position that nuclear power is clean power and that carbon reduction is essential to address climate change. As such, the state should now withdraw its opposition to the independent, federal license renewal for Indian Point.”

NYSUT encouraged by Heastie’s Assembly agenda

January 6th, 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. Jan. 6, 2016 – New York State United Teachers said today it is encouraged by Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie’s proposed agenda for the upcoming legislative session.

“Speaker Heastie has laid out an ambitious agenda – one with the right set of priorities for New York state,” said NYSUT President Karen E. Magee. “The Assembly’s commitment to making bold investments in public education and supporting struggling schools; expanding universal prekindergarten; and improving access to childcare is greatly appreciated by NYSUT and our more than 600,000 members who live and work in every ZIP code of the state.”

NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta said, “With today’s speech, Speaker Heastie showed he understands the real challenges that students, educators and working families face, and what state government can do to help. We look forward to working collaboratively with both houses of the Legislature as this session gets underway to enact solutions that make our strong public institutions even stronger.”
News from our Members Archives
BALCONY Issues in the News (Related Articles)

Mayor de Blasio to Propose Streetcar Line Linking Brooklyn and Queens

February 5th, 2016
NYT Logo 300px


In a major reimagining of the New York City waterfront, Mayor Bill de Blasio is set to propose a streetcar line that would snake along the East River in Brooklyn and Queens, a 16-mile scenic ride that would be his administration’s most ambitious urban engineering project to date.

The plan, to be unveiled on Thursday in the mayor’s State of the City speech, calls for a line that runs aboveground on rails embedded in public roadways and flows alongside automobile traffic — a sleeker and nimbler version of San Francisco’s trolleys.

By winding along the East River, the streetcars would vastly expand transportation access to a bustling stretch of the city that has undergone rapid development — from the industrial centers of Sunset Park, Brooklyn, to the upper reaches of Astoria, Queens — but remains relatively isolated from the subway.

Time to Step On the Gas

February 5th, 2016

by Tom Allon

Cities -- like the human body -- are machines that need proper maintenance and repair.

New York City, the greatest metropolis in the world, looks great on the outside. There are gleaming luxury high-rise buildings, shiny new neighborhoods and energetic tourists everywhere.

But looks are deceiving.

Mayor, money and mania: Ugly truths drove necessary defeat of de Blasio's carriage horse plot

February 5th, 2016

The dog of a horse-carriage bill that Mayor de Blasio tried to ram through the City Council died as New York power players came to understand truths he tried to hide.

New York investigating NFL over its ticket-selling website

February 3rd, 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. -- New York authorities are investigating whether the NFL is engaging in anti-competitive practices on its ticket-selling website, an official said Thursday

Labor leaders at odds over de Blasio horse carriage proposal

February 3rd, 2016

By Gloria Pazmino, Dana Rubinstein and Sally Goldenberg

In a fight that is fracturing labor groups, the umbrella New York City Central Labor Council has decided to team up with one member union against another in an effort to stymie Mayor Bill de Blasio's plan to limit the operation of pedicabs in Central Park.
BALCONY Issues in the News Archives