Friday, August 19, 2011

Parks Department Layoffs Avoided For This Year

The city and its largest municipal union DC 37 reached an agreement to spare 465 jobs in the Parks Department. After the three years is up, however the workers will be phased out. This will be in addition to the hundreds of Parks Department jobs that have been lost over the last few years.

Parks Not the City's Responsibility: During his radio address Friday morning, Bloomberg declared that the responsibility of maintaining the city's parks would increasingly have to be turned over to private individuals and organizations, according to DNAinfo.

"We're gonna have to find other ways to lock in the funding because city government is just not gonna have the resources," the mayor said. "Next year and the year after are gonna be very, very tough."


With just days to go before the layoff notices went out, the city and its largest municipal union reached a breakthrough agreement late yesterday to spare 465 jobs in the Parks Department.

The pact allows the city to proceed with a plan to ask a number of full-time parks workers to voluntarily switch to six-month seasonal duties over the next three years, according to the New York Post.

At the end of their stints, the workers would have to leave the payroll entirely.

Officials estimated the reduction in full-time staffers would save $16 million this fiscal year -- enough to avert the long-threatened layoffs.

"As the mayor has said repeatedly from the beginning of the budget process, if a union is willing to sit down and work with us to create savings, we can avoid some layoffs," said mayoral spokesman Marc LaVorgna.

"This requires both sides being realistic about what's possible and making real compromises."

The deal came just a couple of days after Cas Holloway, the former environmental-protection commissioner, assumed the duties of deputy mayor for operations and took over labor relations.

Also looming was the stunning contract ratified this week by members of the Civil Service Employees Association, the state's largest public-employee union, who agreed to a wage freeze, nine furlough days over two years and higher employee health-care contributions to avert 10,000 layoffs threatened by Gov. Cuomo.

DC 37 Executive Director Lillian Roberts issued a statement saying she was "pleased" to save so many parks jobs.

"The union protected the jobs of over 500 of its members when it agreed to allow the city to offer a voluntary attrition program," Roberts said, coming in with a possible job-loss number slightly above the city's.

Read More

New York Post - August 19, 2011 - By David Seifman

DNAinfo - August 19, 2011 - By Olivia Scheck
Parks Department Layoffs Shelved Under New Deal
NY1 News - August 19, 2011

WSJ(8/19) City Reaches Deal To Avert Parks Layoffs

   (From THE WALL STREET JOURNAL)     By Michael Howard Saul 

Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration reached an agreement with New York City's largest municipal union to avert 465 layoffs in the parks department, a resolution both sides touted as a win.

"As the mayor has said repeatedly from the beginning of the budget process, if a union is willing to sit down and work with us to create savings, we can avoid some layoffs," said Marc LaVorgna, a spokesman for Mr. Bloomberg, in a statement. District Council 37, which represents the parks workers, agreed to allow full-time employees the option of taking seasonal jobs to avoid layoffs. This allows employees to work six months a year for the next three years. Lillian Roberts, the union's executive director, said she's "pleased" with the agreement.

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