In the News-New York State
TWU Local 100 Wins Three Year Contract with Combined Annual Raises Totaling Almost 10%
The Transport Workers Union Local 100 President Richard Davis announced that the union has secured a contract for its almost 40,000 members that includes “solid” annual raises of 9.8% compounded over three years and a $4,000 COVID-19 worker bonus. The contract has been approved by both the Union membership and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Board.
I want to thank the members for their support throughout this process,” Local 100 President Davis said. “The solidarity that you showed in the field helped us greatly at the negotiating table.”
The contract with the MTA runs from May 2023 – May 2026 (36 Months) and includes the following pay rates and allowances:
- 2023: 3% raise + $3,000 cash bonus.
- 2024: 3% raise + $1,000 cash bonus.
- 2025: 3.5% raise.
In an update to his members, President Davis detailed the negotiations and the resulting benefits of the contract.
“These victories … were not easily obtained,” he explained. “The MTA took a hardline stance, not wanting to give an inch of ground on wages or benefits. In fact, the MTA wanted us to pay for our own raises and contract improvements through significant concessions and givebacks, including doubling our paycheck deductions for healthcare from 2% to 4%, and expanding OPTO with the removal of Conductors from trains. Those demands were defeated.”
President Davis thanked the union officers their help in the negotiations and TWU International President John Samuelsen, “who was a powerful voice and ally in our struggle.”
In addition, he acknowledged members of the U.S. Congress, the New York State Legislature, and the City Council for their support, as well as the backing of many leading labor organizations, including the NYC Central Labor Council; ATU Locals 726, 1056, 1181 and 1189; the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association, and the International Transport Workers Federation.
Included in the contract benefits are:
- No Increase in Healthcare Payroll Deductions.
- 12 Weeks Paid Maternity Leave (up from 2 weeks).
- 4 Weeks Paid Paternity Leave (up from 2 weeks).
- $4 Articulated Bus Rate (up from $2).
- $2 Million More A Year to Improve Dental and Vision Coverage.
- $1,000 Maintainers’ Bonus – an Increase of $350 from the Current Bonus.
- New Medical Coverage for Therapy for Autistic Children 3 Medical Coverage for COVID-19 Widows, Widowers, and Children.
- MTA Bus Retirees Get Free MTA Bus passes.
- Enhanced Medical Benefits for Retirees.
- Bereavement Time Now Covers Grandparents, Stepchildren and Grandchildren.
- “Me Too” Clause on Wages with LIRR and Metro-North.
“We gave them hell at the bargaining table – while members demonstrated solidarity with spirited rallies at work locations across the bus and subway system,” President Davis said. “Hundreds of members chanted and marched at these rallies with signs with slogans like, “Respect and Recognition – $$$ – Put it in the Contract. Your voices were definitely heard by all, and that improved our position at the bargaining table.”
Governor Hochul Announces Housing Executive Actions
Governor Kathy Hochul this week announced a series of Executive Actions to promote housing growth across the state. The actions include:
- Programs to advance residential projects halted by the expiration of 421-A that include affordable housing in the Gowanus neighborhood in Brooklyn.
- Executive order establishing preference in certain discretionary funding programs for localities across the state that comply with a new “Pro-Housing Community” certification process.
- Requirement that all State entities identify the potential for their state-owned lands to support housing.
- Regulatory initiatives to identify opportunities for greater efficiencies to promote housing growth.
- Launch of the beta version of a new, interactive portal to collect and share community-level housing and zoning data and information on an ongoing basis.
Under the Gowanus Affordable Housing program, eligible proposals would respond to a request for applications administered by Empire State Development. For eligible proposals, Empire State Development would purchase the privately owned properties for a nominal fee, lease the property back to the original owners for a long-term lease term that would parallel the 421-a(16) benefit period, and deed the property back to the original owner at the conclusion of the benefit period. In exchange, the property owner would make payments equivalent to the reduced taxes the property would have paid if it were to complete construction prior to the expired 421-a (16) program completion deadline.
Proposals would need to comply with affordability, labor, and other requirements similar to those of the 421-a(16) program and meet certain eligibility criteria, including but not limited to projects in the Gowanus rezoning area which are: currently vested in expired 421-a(16) program; have building capacity of at least 50 housing units, contain affordable housing that remains permanently affordable; and are able to comply with Empire State Development’s Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises contracting requirements.
In keeping with the executive order, the Governor announced requests for proposals to redevelop Downstate Correctional Facility in Fishkill and Javits Center Site K in Manhattan, both of which allow for residential uses.
Hochul Administration Appointments
Maria Fernandez has been appointed Deputy Secretary for Education. Most recently, Maria served as an Advisory Consultant for Employment Practices Solutions and is an Adjunct Professor at Fordham Law School in their L.L.M. Compliance Program. Prior to that role, she was Vice President, Head of Ethics and Compliance for Direct Energy. Maria received her Bachelor’s in Psychology from Lehman College, City University of New York, and her Juris Doctor degree from Cornell Law School.
Anthony Hogrebe has been appointed as Communications Director. Since March 2022, Anthony has served as First Deputy Communications Director and Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications for New York City Mayor Eric Adams. He was previously a Senior Vice President at Marathon Strategies, a New York and Washington, DC based public affairs firm; head of Public Affairs at the New York City Economic Development Corporation; and a Senior Advisor to New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. He is a graduate of Cornell University.
Bonnie Lockwood has been appointed Regional Director of Western New York. Bonnie returns to public service from a two-year retirement, after most recently serving as Special Projects Director for Representative Brian Higgins. Prior to joining the Representative’s staff, Bonnie served in multiple capacities with the City of Buffalo including as South District Councilmember, Federal/State Funding Coordinator for Strategic Planning and Housing and Neighborhood Specialist in the Office of Community Development. Bonnie earned a Bachelor’s from Medaille College and an Associate of Applied Science from Trocaire College.
Albert Pulido has been appointed Deputy Secretary for Finance and Technology. Previously, Albert served as the Director of Citywide Operations for the New York City Mayor’s Office. Albert holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Cornell University and a Master’s degree in Fiction Writing from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa.
Elizabeth Rule has been appointed Deputy Secretary for First Nations. Elizabeth is an enrolled citizen of the Chickasaw Nation and an Assistant Professor specializing in Native American Studies at American University. Prior to joining American University, Elizabeth directed George Washington University’s Center for Indigenous Politics and Policy. She received her Bachelor’s from Yale University, and her Master’s and PhD from Brown University.
Angel Vasquez has been appointed Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs. Most recently, Angel served as Deputy Political Director and Senior Policy Advisor at the United Federation of Teachers. Prior to that role, he served as the Chief of Staff to New York State Senator Marisol Alcantara and as an Education Policy Analyst for the New York State Senate Majority Conference. Angel earned his Bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and a Master’s of Public Administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
Comptroller DiNapoli: State’s Fiscal Outlook Declines
Weaker Economic Forecast and Higher Spending Projections Drive Looming Out-Year Budget Gaps
Just a year after the Division of the Budget forecast fiscal stability and no projected budget gaps in the State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2022-23 Enacted Budget Financial Plan, the SFY 2023-24 plan shows looming gaps cumulatively totaling $36.4 billion through SFY 2026-27. Reasons for the deteriorating fiscal outlook include declines in revenue from a weaker economic forecast, stock market volatility, and increases in recurring spending, according to a report by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
“The state’s fiscal outlook has changed considerably over the past year, and significant economic and fiscal risks could further upend the state’s finances,” Comptroller DiNapoli said. “The Governor and the Legislature prudently increased New York’s reserve funds, but that cannot replace fiscal discipline or be relied upon to plug recurring budget gaps. While there is no quick fix, a proactive approach by state leaders to align recurring revenues with recurring spending could help preserve the economic competitiveness of our state and avoid cuts to critical programs New Yorkers rely on.”
Comptroller DiNapoli said large budget gaps underscore the importance of building up rainy day reserves and enhancing criteria for their use. At the end of SFY 2022-23, statutory rainy day reserves totaled $6.3 billion. The Enacted Budget Financial Plan states future deposits will be made at the discretion of the Executive.
Given the size of the estimated gaps and risk of economic downturn, the Comptroller recommends beginning to transfer the $13.2 billion in fund balance designated by DOB for “economic uncertainties” and controlled by the Executive into the statutory rainy day reserves on a monthly basis over the course of the fiscal year. If all the funds were deposited, the statutory reserves would total $19.5 billion, which is 17% of projected General Fund disbursements in SFY 2023-24. Absent such action, the Executive should develop and clearly state criteria for using the funds designated for “economic uncertainties.”
Comptroller DiNapoli’s report identifies several risks and concerns related to DOB’s forecast and projections, including increasing volatility in tax collections, uncertainty regarding Medicaid enrollment numbers, and the end of federal pandemic aid.
In the News-New York City
Mayor Adams Appoints Edward Caban as NYPD Commissioner
Tania Kinsella Appointed First Deputy Commissioner
New York City Mayor Eric Adams this week announced the appointment of Edward A. Caban as the 46th Commissioner of the New York Police Department (NYPD).
A 32-year veteran of the NYPD, Caban has served at several precincts across the five boroughs where he has held nearly every position within the Police Department, including police officer, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, executive officer, commanding officer, deputy inspector, inspector, and first deputy commissioner before being promoted to Commissioner. He was designated as acting police commissioner earlier this month.
Police Commissioner Caban began his career with the NYPD as a police officer in 1991, patrolling the streets of the South Bronx. He began climbing the NYPD ranks in 1994 with a promotion to sergeant. After several supervisory assignments in the Bronx and northern Manhattan, he was promoted to lieutenant in 1999.
Commissioner Caban entered the executive ranks in 2005 with a promotion to captain. He served as the executive officer of the 23rd Precinct in East Harlem before being chosen to lead the 25th Precinct as its commanding officer in 2006. He was promoted to deputy inspector in 2008, and served as the adjutant of Patrol Borough Brooklyn North, where he oversaw many public-safety programs. He was promoted to inspector in 2015.
In 2022, Caban became the NYPD’s first deputy commissioner and was designated acting police commissioner by Mayor Adams on July 1, 2023. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from St. John’s University.
The Mayor also appointed Tania Kinsella as 45th First Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (NYPD).
A 20-year veteran of the NYPD, Kinsella has also served at several precincts across the five boroughs where she has held numerous positions such as captain, commanding officer, deputy inspector, and inspector. She became executive officer at the office of the chief of patrol in 2022, where she was subsequently promoted to deputy chief.
She holds a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies and a Master of Arts in Police Leadership and Criminal from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Mayor Adams and Comptroller Lander Announce Reforms to Make it Easier for Nonprofits to Get Paid on Time
New York City Mayor Eric Adams, New York City Comptroller Brad Lander, the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services, and the Mayor’s Office of Nonprofits this week announced a new reform for discretionary contracts that will eliminate red tape and make it easier for nonprofits that contract with the City to get paid on time.
The reform eliminates a total of nine months of discretionary contracting process time for nonprofits every year, beginning in the out-years for applicable contracts. Instead of requiring nonprofits that receive New York City Council discretionary spending to register a new contract every year, the new reform allows nonprofits to enter into multi-year contracts without needing to complete the entire procurement process annually. An estimated 73 percent of nonprofit discretionary providers that receive city funding will now receive expedited payments.
The multi-year contract will be implemented through the PASSPort system for all providers with discretionary awards and processed by the respective city agencies. It will not provide a guarantee of funding each year, which is determined annually by the City Council.
Last year, New York City procured $37.9 billion in goods and services, with 99 percent of nonprofit discretionary awards registered six months or more after their start date due to the retroactive nature of discretionary award contracts, according to Mayor Adams. These awards are not designated and cleared for contracting until after the intended start of services at the start of the fiscal year, creating a lag between service delivery and payment.
New Jersey Sues Over New York City’s Congestion Pricing Plan, While Stakeholders Seek Exemptions from the Tolls
The State of New Jersey filed a lawsuit in federal court Friday against the United States Department of Transportation, asserting that its approval of New York City’s Central Business District Tolling Program was “misguided.”
New Jersey asserted that the plan violates the National Environmental Policy Act, diverting extra traffic to New Jersey and harming the state’s environment. In addition, it raises costs for the 400,000 New Jersey residents who commute into Manhattan every day.
“New Jersey will bear much of the burden of this congestion pricing scheme—in terms of environmental, financial, and human impacts—but receive none of its benefits,” the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit asks the court to stay the program until studies assessing its impact on traffic and air quality are completed.
Earlier this week, the Traffic Mobility Review Board held its first meeting on the plan’s tolling structure, receiving an overview of the plan, particularly regarding exemptions and reductions.
There are some exemptions laid out in the law — emergency vehicles and vehicles transporting people with disabilities; charging passenger cars and cabs once a day; and a 25% discount for low-income drivers after the first 10 trips in a month.
The MTA has received requests from 122 groups seeking exemptions to the tolls, including artists, civil servants, retirees, for hire vehicle drivers, health care workers, drivers from Staten Island, and drivers from New Jersey.
The Review Board will continue to meet as it develops the tolling plan with the goal of Spring 2024 implementation.
Governor Hochul Announces $150 Million New York Forward Loan Fund 2 for New York State Small Businesses
Governor Kathy Hochul announced the New York Forward Loan Fund 2 program for qualifying small businesses and nonprofits. Qualified recipients with fewer than 100 employees and less than $5 million in gross annual revenue can apply for loans up to $150,000 with fixed-rate interest rates.
Part of New York’s broader State Small Business Credit Initiative efforts led by Empire State Development, the fund will be in place for the next eight years and will focus on helping small businesses and nonprofits, particularly those in low-income and historically underbanked communities and rural areas access flexible working capital to cover a wide range of expenses, from payroll and marketing to facility renovations. Additionally, free support services from experts will work with businesses throughout the life of the loan.
Interested Businesses Can Pre-Apply Here.
City Updates Asylum Seeker Policies
New York City Mayor Eric Adams this week announced additional policies to help asylum seekers in the City’s care move out of shelter and create space for arriving families with children seeking asylum. In the coming days, the City will begin providing 60 days’ notice to adult asylum seekers to find alternative housing paired with casework services to help adult asylum seekers explore other housing options.
Each asylum seeker given notice will have 60 days to meet with City representatives to discuss their options and plan their next steps. The City also announced new flyers to combat misinformation at the border and inform asylum seekers that the City cannot continue to support the level of service it has been providing.
This effort will begin in the coming weeks, starting with asylum seekers who have been in the City’s care for a significant amount of time. Asylum seekers will receive their notice of 60 days and intensified casework services on a rolling basis. Adult asylum seekers who do not find alternative housing by the time their 60 days are complete will be required to reapply for a new placement at the arrival center.
New York State
Thursday, July 27th
NYS Board of Elections
Public Campaign Finance Board Meeting followed by Commissioners Meeting
40 North Pearl Street, 5th Floor, Albany NY Noon
New York City
No Scheduled Hearings
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