Public Employee Press
Political Action 2006
Fighting for a fair city budget
DC 37 Leaders weigh in on the city budget. Health care
is a priority for DC 37 members Ralph Palladino, Judith Arroyo
and Peter Leon.
An initial round of budget hearings at City Hall began in
March with testimony from several DC 37 leaders who urged City Council
members to fund the public services New Yorkers desperately need.
Hospitals and health clinics, libraries, crossing guards and after school
programs, safer neighborhoods and parks, and savings in real estate assessment
can be had if City Council members restore service funding cut from 2006-07
fiscal budget. These services, which DC 37 members provide and use, help
working families survive in the Concrete Jungle.
Given the citys $4 billion surplus, it is outrageous that
the preliminary budget calls for $20 million in cuts to public libraries,
said New York Public Library Local 1930 President Lynn Taylor. This
is not acceptable. With 200 positions lost to attrition, conditions
at libraries are worsening, she said.
Five thousand fewer Police Officers actually patrol our city streets,
said Local 1549 2nd Vice President Ralph Palladino. Instead, they
sit at desks doing work civilians can do. He asked the City Council
to follow up on the unions landmark arbitration victory mandating
civilianization by funding training for new clerical employees, which
would save taxpayers money and make streets safer.
Local 1757 President David Moog requested the Council to fund 50 new Assessors
and bring Dept. of Finance staff to pre-9-11 levels. He said
understaffing is losing revenue for the city.
We need more Parks Enforcement Patrol Officers to stop people who
drink alcohol and smoke pot in public parks no parent wants their
children exposed to that, said Local 983 President Mark Rosenthal.
Last year the city hired 50 seasonal PEP Officers, who deal with crowd
control, illegal parking and dumping, lost children and the homeless,
but more officers are needed, 2nd VP Joseph Puleo testified.
The city could save millions of dollars if they used in-house staff
on engineering, architectural and other construction projects, and not
consultants, said Jon Forster, 1st vice president of Civil Service
Technical Guild Local 375.
The City Council will hold additional hearings before the July 1 budget
Diane S. Williams