(New York NY- Friday, May 6, 2016) New York City managers are suing Mayor Bill de Blasio, Comptroller Scott Stringer, and Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina for their unilateral actions in eliminating a pay raise and two days of annual leave from senior managers in order to pay for the Mayor’s new Paid Parental Leave program (PPL). The pay raise of .47% was previously granted by the city and set to go in effect in 2017.
The Article 78 proceeding was filed today in New York State Supreme Court in the County of New York and alleges that, “The Mayor’s elimination of previously granted pay raises and annual leave is arbitrary and capricious, a breach of contract, and discriminates against older workers in violation of older workers’ rights pursuant to N.Y. Executive Law 296(1)(a) and N.Y. Code §§ 8-107(1)(a) & 8-101, and violates Petitioners-Plaintiffs’ right to Equal Protection under the New York State Constitution.”
The New York City Managerial Employees Association (MEA) is the recognized voluntary advocacy organization established in 1968 for City employees not entitled to collective bargaining. There are 20,000 managerial level employees in NYC government. These include thousands of upper level Administrative Accountants, Administrative Architects, Administrative Engineers, Administrative Managers, Administrative Staff Analysts, and Directors of Social Services as well as all commissioner level positions.
MEA President Stuart Eber said, “This doesn’t seem fair or appropriate to the majority of the MEA membership. We asked the de Blasio Administration to declare a moratorium on this while we work together to explore other methods of payment, but we were rebuffed.”
“We believe the city has enough to fund this – it can absorb the costs in various ways,” he said. “There are others ways to fund it. The Mayor’s Office should be considering options we have presented to them, such as New York Family and Medical Leave, while declaring a moratorium on deducting the two annual leave days.”
The MEA opposes the elimination of leave days for senior employees from 27 to 25, as well as repositioning a .47% wage increase scheduled for July 2017. Veteran city managers with at least 15 years of service, who are often more than 45 years old, qualified for the 27 days of annual leave for over 30 years and are the ones having their leave time shortened to help off-set costs for the PPL. The PPL policy provides six weeks leave at 100 percent salary for maternity, paternity, adoption, or foster care leave or up to 12 weeks fully paid when combined with existing leave.
The MEA is in favor of having a progressive benefit like PPL, however, the majority of its members, as well as many non-member managers, were very displeased with the method of payment as the policy proposal stands now. Moreover, there was no consultation with the MEA before announcing the initiative.
In December 2015, Mayor de Blasio said, “The new benefit will come at no new cost to New York City taxpayers, as the City will be repurposing the existing managerial raise of 0.47 percent scheduled for July 2017 and two days of existing vacation leave policy …”