NY City to fire teachers, cut capital spending

By Reuters
Thursday, February 17, 2011 16:03 EDT
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NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Thursday unveiled a $65.6 billion budget plan for fiscal year 2012 that calls for firing 4,666 teachers and reducing capital spending 10 percent over the next decade.

Bloomberg blamed reductions in aid from the state of New York and the U.S. government for painful cuts that have already provoked a clash with school teachers and are certain to draw opposition from other public sector unions.

“We need help from Albany (the state capital). We need to have the federal government stop cutting us back. The future does have some clouds,” Bloomberg, a political independent, told a news conference.

New York City has withstood the recession better than many cities in the country, in part because Wall Street rebounded quickly from the 2008 financial crisis. The new budget plan represents a $300 million reduction from the 2011 budget.

Bloomberg said the city was creating jobs at a faster rate than the rest of the country, had benefited from a record 48.7 million visitors in 2010, and that the commercial real estate market remained the strongest in the country.

That should help lead to an additional $2 billion in revenue over the next year half than had been previously forecast.

Even so, the city plans to lay off 4,666 of its 75,000 public school teachers and reduce a further 1,500 teaching jobs by attrition.

Bloomberg said his plan, which requires City Council approval, closes a $4.58 billion budget deficit without tax increases. Cuts will also affect child care, fire stations, senior centers and other popular programs.

Capital spending, which is separate from the operating budget and financed largely by borrowing, would be cut 10 percent over the next decade, realizing savings of about $6 billion. Bloomberg said he had considered 20 percent but was talked out if it by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

The budget battle is a prelude to a separate conflict over which teachers to fire. Bloomberg wants those decisions to be made on merit rather than seniority but state legislature would have to agree.

“His complete insistence on teacher layoffs seems bizarre to us at this point. We think it’s more of a political game and scaring people,” Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, told NY1 television.

Bloomberg suggested he was free to take on public-sector unions now that he no longer will seek re-election.

“I can afford to look at these issues that are politically difficult and take them on. These are always the issues that nobody wants to face. … I have nothing to lose, I suppose is a nice way to phrase it,” Bloomberg said.

“These are problems that never get solved because there is no short-term benefit to solving them. But that’s why I ran for a third term,” he said.

The mayor also pleaded with state legislators in Albany to allow him to negotiate pension benefits with city employees to slow growth in the city’s contribution to the pension funds, which he said would otherwise increase from $7 billion this year to $8.4 billion next year.

City workers negotiate those benefits with the state.

New York City is one of the country’s biggest issuers of municipal bonds and its budget tops that of a number of states, yet it pays lower interest rates on its debt than fiscally distressed states such as Illinois, California and New Jersey.

(Reporting by Joan Gralla; Writing by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

Mochila insert follows.

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  • http://harry-canary.myopenid.com/ Harry Canary

    When are bloomberg’s fat salary and benefits going to be cut?

  • Anonymous

    Okay so, Wisconsin first, then New York, where’s next, Rhode Island? Connecticut? Florida?

  • Anonymous

    He could easily come up with a method of raising revenue though taxes on Wall Street. But he won’t of course.

  • Johnny Warbucks

    If ever there is a place where you can cut the pork by the net ton that would be New York. However, I suggest that Bloomberg start in Wall Street. That alone could balance the budget of, not only the state, but the entire country.

  • Anonymous

    Try running your household without revenue. What makes people think cities and states can be run that way?

  • Anonymous

    Who needs parasitic teachers, anyway? Kids can teach themselves to read and think critically. No reslugliCON ever learnt anything from a parasitic teacher. They were born knowing how to lie and steal other people’s money.

  • Anonymous

    We all know NYC can find money other places. They could literally find it under a carpet in Wall St.

  • dula

    If the Financial Industry paid its taxes, NYC could easily close the holes in its budget. This is simply about Union busting…like what’s happening in Wisconsin.

  • Guest

    Here we go…

    Take from the children to pay for the bankers.

    Teachers RAISE our children. They spend more time with them than biological parents do. It is a function of our society evolving, organizing – organelles… Teachers function as the “parent organelle” of our social body.

    They ARE the parents, whether we care to be comfortable with that truth or not.

    Now, the States are going to gut our kids infrastructure? They take the houses, they take the jobs – NOW THEY TAKE FROM OUR KIDS? For what?

    What BONUS?!?


    What am I saying, “Now”.

    This has been going on forever. In the age of golden coins adorned with figureheads, and horseless buggies eating oil instead of hay. Nothing, NOTHING HAS CHANGED.

    Well do something about it Joey.


    Like John Lennon, and George Carlin.

    We ALL need to do something about it.

    Quit calling each other “Settler” and “Colonized” and start realizing we are ALL slaves, they just mix the old ones with the new ones and set us at each other’s throats EVERY TIME THEY MOVE.

    Who are “they”. What a ridiculous question.

    It isn’t me who is going to do something about it.

    WE ARE.

  • Anonymous

    Michigan is next.

    Tell me again how not voting last November will hurt the Dems.

  • Anonymous

    What makes you think by throwing thousands out of work, it will help? FDR knew what to do and it wasn’t getting rid of jobs in a depression. Think about it.

  • Anonymous

    Please stop embarrassing yourself here.

  • Anonymous

    Repubs have been so propagandized for decades that they have no thinking skills. This all started with Reagan.

    We have turned into a very mean country. I am totally embarrassed by the view we show the world.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    With all the billionaires created on Wall Street from their illegal activities and bail outs.. I say, RAISE FUCKING TAXES. 50% of all incomes over $1,000,000 should provide some revenue and keep the teachers molding our future.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    The good news might be that after a year and a 1/2 of the right-wing gutting everything of the public’s interest while helping their rich friends keep getting richer, the general public might think to themselves “ok.. raising taxes on millionaires might not be such a bad idea after all..”.

    Things have gotten so distorted and distracted in this country that we’ve had no consensus on a general direction for the nation for decades. Perhaps watching the carnage will snap the vast majority out of their stupor.

  • Anonymous

    “Not only are we going to Egypt… we’re going to Wisconsin, New York……….. Yeeeeeaaaaaargh!”

    Contact the AFL-CIO in New York


  • Anonymous

    Do you know that you get $9 back for every $1 spent from Head Start? Then you have tories that fuck the state teachers over. The tories basically want to kill you and your family. Bottom line.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    They want to turn us into a nation of mindless rabble.. then they can foist their religion on us to “give us direction”, and use that to abuse us.. as has been done all through history with religion.

    One thing said by religious leaders that is the most effective brainwashing they can say, is “your suffering here on earth in this life is ok.. suck it up.. just wait.. it’s what god wants. Once you die, you’ll be happy forever in heaven, sitting with god. No, really.. after you die things will be awesome, but only if you continue to suffer now.”.

  • Anonymous

    In defference to you I did not make myself clear. Tax the rich. There’s a limit to what you can cut from any budget. A t some point the revenue side has to be adressed. Hope that was better.