While negotiating to renew expired union contracts, Mayor de Blasio is pushing for health-care savings in exchange for pay raises. De Blasio, who was elected with labor support, intends to ask the unions to reduce health-care costs in exchange for some portion of the retroactive raises they are requiring.
The Mayor’s goal is to reduce health-care costs to achieve savings and help pay the cost of raises for the city’s 300,000 workers. Dean Fuleihan, the Mayor’s budget director, told the City Council that saving money on the rising costs of health benefits would have to be part of any deal with the unions. Mr. Fuleihan said “New York would collect at least $1.5 billion more revenue over the next 18 months than budget officials predicted in November.”
When de Blasio came into office he was faced with the unknown situation of the 152 union contracts that are expired and he guaranteed that he would resolve the longstanding contract disputes. He anticipated settling the 152 unresolved municipal labor contracts this year, as well as the deficit for future budgets, which forces mayors to raise taxes.