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The City Workers Adams Is Cutting Are Now Suing Him

And more news for your Thursday.

9:15 AM EST on December 14, 2023

(Hell Gate)

The city's largest union of public sector workers and Eric Adams have been pretty friendly with each other. DC 37, which represents about 150,000 workers, endorsed Adams in his run for mayor, and earlier this year, the union was able to negotiate a new contract, one that allowed many of its members to switch to a hybrid work schedule. Adams and the union have also been on the same side of a controversial push to move retired City employees to a cost-saving healthcare plan, much to the dismay of those retirees. 

They've been friendly, that is, until now. On Wednesday, DC 37 sued Adams and his administration over the mayor's budget cuts. The lawsuit specifically focuses on Adams's proposed cuts of a jobs training program meant to place people in (union) jobs in the Parks and Sanitation Departments, arguing that his administration neglected to perform a required cost-benefit analysis. "Replacing these JTP workers with contracts is not only costly and short-sighted, it's an illegal disservice to the working-class people who occupy those jobs," DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said in a statement. "This is not a 5 percent or 15 percent decrease as announced by the mayor—it is a 100 percent cut of mostly women and people of color who serve our city. Now they are being deprived of their health care benefits and a pathway to a good-paying union job while the City replaces them with temporary contract staff."

But it's pretty clear that union leadership is upset about more than just this one program. 

While DC 37's Garrido said that the union is "still supporting" Adams and that he believes Adams "has been given a real raw deal with this migrant situation,” he's also none too pleased with all of the cuts. "The approach to deal with this budget deficit has been short-sighted," Garrido told Politico. "When you exclusively cut services to deal with a shortfall and you don't pursue revenue collection options that you have…the public gets more upset at City workers because the garbage takes longer to be picked up, it takes longer to take care of their calls, and it takes longer to deal with emergencies."

A recent Quinnipiac poll, which found that Mayor Adams had an abysmal 28 percent approval rating, also found that a majority of New York City residents—65 percent—agree with Garrido, and want Adams and Governor Kathy Hochul to fill the budget hole by taxing the wealthy. On Tuesday, the mayor said he was "open" to ideas on how to avoid some cuts. "I must have an answer to a $7 billion deficit. And if people got suggestions on how we can do it without having to do these cuts, trust me, I'm open to that," Adams said.

Will the eroding support of one of Adams's most powerful allies make the mayor blink? We'll see!

And some links that will surely convince our mayor to "pursue revenue collection options":

  • Adams's budget cuts are preventing the DOE from meeting court-ordered deadlines to improve its services to children with disabilities. Also, anonymous donors is a totally functional way to run a city. 
  • "How the Israel-Hamas War Tore Apart Public Defenders in the Bronx"
  • Via Gothamist: "NYPD officials say they will turn over evidence in police misconduct cases to an oversight agency within 90 days—a stark shift in policy that, if followed, will make it easier to punish officers who break the rules. But the executive director of the oversight agency, the Civilian Complaint Review Board, conceded that there are no penalties in place if police fail to meet that deadline."
  • Meanwhile, the CCRB "said Wednesday it is suspending several categories of investigations into police misconduct—including allegations of officers making false statements—due to mandated budget cuts from Mayor Eric Adams."
  • Sure, Jan:
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