March 11th, 2014
Brooklyn, NY - On Sunday, March 9, union heads representing thousands of workers at SUNY Downstate Medical Center helped kick off a three-day interfaith fast on behalf of the threaten public institution - with one of those labor leaders calling directly upon Governor Andrew Cuomo to come to Brooklyn before the hunger strike ends.
March 11th, 2014
Leaders of the city’s most powerful unions — including many of Mayor de Blasio’s staunchest allies — are balking at his plans to banish horse carriages from city streets. The Central Labor Council, an umbrella group representing more than 1.3 million workers, fired off a letter to de Blasio and the City Council pleading with them not to axe the “iconic and thriving industry.”
March 6th, 2014
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February 26th, 2014
There was a distinct edge to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s voice when he said during his budget presentation, “The previous administration was given an artificially high level of credit for management.”
He was referring to the labor-contract mess he inherited when Michael Bloomberg left office after a third term in which he created a negotiating logjam. Following his 2009 re-election Bloomberg insisted that the city could not afford to honor a bargaining pattern he had set the previous two years, under which more than half the city’s workforce had already received two annual 4 percent pay raises. It seemed out of character for a man accustomed to criticizing other government officials who postponed tough decisions by “kicking the can down the road,” but it’s his successor’s problem now.
February 21st, 2014
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a settlement on Thursday evening that will allow the state to sell the money-losing Long Island College Hospital complex in Brooklyn's Cobble Hill by May.
The agreement appears to settle a long-running battle between officials in the state university system, which owns the hospital, and local political figures including Mr. de Blasio, who opposed LICH's sale because it would likely spell the hospital's closure. For over a year, community groups and the unions that employ hospital staff have bitterly protested such a shutdown.
The settlement may still result in the hospital's closure, but not before SUNY at least tries one more time to find a buyer willing to preserve the existing facility. As part of the agreement, SUNY said it will reopen the bidding to allow a white knight to come forward. Community and local elected officials will then take part in a seven-day evaluation process to select the winning bid. Those parties agreed to review the bidders as part of the settlement. Previously, they had refused to work with SUNY in the auction process.
February 19th, 2014
By Sarah Lyall
(view the original article with video and pictures: ROCKY)
(for tickets to the BALCONY BROADWAY BENEFIT on MARCH 5: TICKETS)
Massive sides of fake beef were being suspended from hooks onstage as workers zigzagged purposefully through the controlled chaos that was the Winter Garden Theater the other day. Somewhere in the middle of it all, taking a minute before a group stretch-and-limber session, was the man whose character’s name was already on the marquee outside and whose left eye was still black and blue from a poorly timed encounter with another actor’s glove a week or two earlier.
This was Andy Karl, who at 39, after years in understudy roles and supporting roles and ensemble roles and replacement roles in long-running shows, is opening on Broadway as a lead in a new musical for the first time in his career. The show is “Rocky” — the Italian Stallion, you may remember, likes to train by pounding beef — and he is playing Rocky.
February 11th, 2014
The Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) wishes to thank the Ford and Charles Stewart Mott Foundations for their support of the state fiscal analysis work that makes this briefing book and the briefings at which it is being presented possible. FPI also wishes to thank the many organizations, including other foundations, labor unions, faith-based organizations, human services providers and advocates, and community and good government groups that support FPI's work and/or disseminate the results of FPI’s analysis.
Click here for the full (PDF) report: FPI
Bold New Statewide Effort Run by EffectiveNY Will Challenge Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Record and Rhetoric as a Progressive Leader
February 5th, 2014
EffectiveNY Today Says: Governor Cuomo Has Failed to Deliver Progressive Reform and Real Solutions, Allowing New York to Fall Further Behind Many Other States Across the Country
*Full State Funding of Medicaid that Corrects Cuomo’s Abdication of Fiscal Responsibility and Property Tax Gimmicks Will be the First Issue Highlighted in EffectiveNY's New Statewide Effort*
New York City and Albany— EffectiveNY, a progressive good-government organization, today announced the launch of a bold new statewide effort to challenge Governor Cuomo’s record and rhetoric, and dispute his narrative of progress and reform that will serve as the basis for his re-election bid this year.
News from BALCONY Archives
February 26th, 2014
Our opinion: Creating a pay commission for the state’s management confidential employees is a matter of simple fairness.
For nearly five years, the state’s non-unionized management-confidential employees have been caught in financial limbo — their pay frozen even as co-workers received raises, with no clear end in sight.
What the Cuomo administration calls a thaw came this week with the announcement of step and longevity increases that were due almost a year ago. These aren’t broad-based raises, and affect only about 3,200 of the 8,900 M
Cs, as they’re known in government shorthand.
Nor does this resolve the underlying unfairness: asking one group of employees to help balance the budget while their co-workers get raises.
February 7th, 2014School pension costs are set to rise 7.8 percent in the coming 2014-2015 school year, according to the state’s Teachers Retirement System, the fifth year in a row that pension costs went up, Gannett Albany writes:
January 28th, 2014Written by Stuart Appelbaum
When the New York City Council passed historic living wage legislation last year, it was an important step on a long road toward creating a fairer and more equitable city.
The premise of the legislation is simple and widely supported: when public money is used to fund private development projects, the public has the right to expect quality jobs will be created as a result, not low-wage jobs that keep workers in poverty.
January 27th, 2014
By Kristen V. Brown
The state's largest and most powerful teachers union issued a declaration of "no confidence" in state Education Commissioner John King on Saturday.
The action called for King's removal from his post by the state Board of Regents.
New York State United Teachers' 80-member board of directors unanimously approved the symbolic but unprecedented resolution, which states the board has "no confidence in the policies of the Commissioner of Education."
NYC COMPTROLLER STRINGER TO AUDIT NCYHA, FOLLOWING CALLS FROM NYC MEMBERS OF CONGRESS, LABOR LEADERS
January 23rd, 2014
~Comptroller Stringer’s office meets with Representative Meeks, offices of Reps. Maloney, Nadler and Jeffries, and labor leaders to hear concerns and issues that a NYCHA audit should address~
New York, NY – New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s office attended a meeting today at Teamsters Headquarters with Rep. Greg Meeks (NY-5), and the offices of several members of Congress and labor leaders to gather input and concerns pertaining to the operational practices of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). Comptroller Stringer’s office has already begun an audit of NYCHA practices – making good on a campaign commitment – but also wanted to hear suggestions from the labor leaders and members of Congress who initially called for the comprehensive audit.
News from our Members Archives
January 28th, 2014
January 27, 2014 - The New York Women's Equality coalition is pleased that our legislature has taken the first step in making the Women's Equality Agenda a reality in New York this year, and we applaud the Assembly Democrats, Speaker Silver, and all those members who voted yes today, for putting women's equality at the top of their 2014 agenda. Today, the New York State Assembly built on its longstanding commitment to New York's women and girls by passing the full Women's Equality Agenda, first introduced by Governor Andrew Cuomo. By moving swiftly to prioritize the package of legislation, which was proposed last year and did not become law, the Assembly has made it crystal clear that women's lives are a priority. Strong majorities of New York voters agree: eighty-nine percent think equal pay for women should be a high priority and 80 percent support updating New York's abortion law. Despite this overwhelming public support, the State Senate failed to vote on the full Women's Equality Agenda last year.
New Building Congress Report Urges Adoption of Dedicated User Fees to Pay for Mass Transit, Roads, and Other Vital City Infrastructure
January 16th, 2014
Report Recommends Uniform Toll Policy, Residential Parking Permits, and Vehicle Miles Fee to Lessen Growing Debt Burden
New York's increasing reliance on borrowing to fund its capital projects is unsustainable over the long-run, and government officials must institute new, dedicated revenue sources to maintain, grow and strengthen the City's vast transportation and infrastructure networks, according to a recently released New York Building Congress report.
In How to Save New York City's Infrastructure: Dedicate Revenues, the Building Congress found that an impressive $18 billion was invested in 2011 by the City of New York, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey and other government agencies to fund the upkeep and expansion of the City's mass transit network, water and sewer system, public schools, parks and other critical public works.
January 10th, 2014
New York Women's Equality Coalition Revitalizes Push for Equality Agenda
Applauds Governor for Renewed Commitment to Advancing Women's Equality
January 8, 2014 - Earlier this week, the New York Women's Equality Coalition (NYWEC) reaffirmed its commitment to passing the full Women's Equality Agenda into law in 2014, including all the provisions that will upgrade New York's laws on abortion, domestic violence, human trafficking, and gender discrimination.
On behalf of the coalition, Christine Sadowski says, "We are thankful the Governor highlighted the Women's Equality Act today, especially his acknowledgment that nothing changed for women in 2013. We are hopeful that working together with him, and all legislators, we can move towards greater equality for women in 2014."
January 10th, 2014
Gov. Andrew Cuomo should raise the age at which juveniles are tried for crimes as adults, New York City Public Advocate Letitia James and state Working Families Party Director Bill Lipton write in The Huffington Post: http://huff.to/1eF7VZf
December 11th, 2013
By Thomas KaplanGov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Tuesday embraced a package of proposals to reduce the effects of property, estate and business taxes, setting the stage for a battle over revenue collection that is expected to dominate the New York State legislative session that begins next month.
BALCONY Issues in the News Archives