Union workers expressed their opposition to potentially devastating budget cuts by camping out overnight in the shadow of City Hall, Jay Dow reports.
They’re trying to save thousands of jobs. District 37 Union members and their supporters called the encampment “Bloombergville.”
“We need more money, we need contracts, we need everything,” said union member Sylvia Williams.
“They might as well put us on welfare with everybody else, because we can’t afford to live off what they pay us now,” said Josie Bennett, president of Local 1505.
District 37 is New York City’s largest public employees union. Members said City Hall’s proposed budget, which calls for laying off 4,100 city workers, cuts too deeply. They cite a union research report that claims the city could soften the blow by tapping more than $800 million in newly-identified potential revenue sources, including uncollected taxes.
Mayor Bloomberg, however, wasn’t as optimistic. “This city does not have the kind of revenues that we had back when we were putting money away,” he said.
In fact, the mayor says next year’s financial outlook isn’t any better.
“We have to start looking right now for ways to start doing more with less in city government, and we’re going to continue to do that. Getting another budget is just another step.”