Mayor Bill DeBlasio has unveiled his plan targeted at solving an ongoing fight in New York City over pension payouts to firefighters, policemen, corrections officers and sanitation workers. The Observer explains just what happened:
Up until six years ago, governors routinely signed legislation shielding NYPD, FDNY, Department of Corrections and Department of Sanitation workers from cuts made to disability payouts for civil servant in less hazardous fields—allowing them to receive 75 percent of their former salary.
But in response to the 2008 financial collapse, former Gov. David Paterson refused to sign off on the bill, leaving the workers getting just one-half of a three or five year average of their pay, deeply infuriating unions.
Mr. de Blasio had previously resisted calls from labor, and even from allies of like Public Advocate Letitia James, to push Albany to pay injured uniformed employees more. His new plan, however, would let the municipal workers receive either half the average salary or half the maximum salary for their position—minus overtime—depending on which figure is larger.
It would also revert to the older, more generous COLA calculation and stop counting Social Security income against workers’ disability benefits.
The unions, however, are none too pleased. A joint statement from the firefighter and police unions didn’t mince words:
“Based upon that brief, last-minute phone conversation, the plan is unacceptable and continues to create a second-class citizen status for FDNY firefighters and NYPD police officers, who risk their lives every day to keep New Yorkers safe,” the statement said. “Their plan leaves in place a two-tiered disability structure with some police officers and firefighters having adequate disability protections and others with inferior benefits.”
Woof. If not even Bill DeBlasio is blue enough for the public unions, then the blue civil war between public sector workers and everybody else is going to keep heating up.