Pay the city’s managerial employees what they have earned

MEA Letter to the Editor, Op-ed, in The Chief, January 24. Letter by Darrell L. Sims, MEA President.

Full letter to the editor is included below. The Chief website post, here.

Letter to the Editor:

The New York City Managerial Employees Association (MEA) advocates for New York City managers who are not included in New York State Taylor Law collective bargaining agreements with the City of New York. Recognized by the New York City Administration since our inception in 1968, we are the only organization who represents non-unionized municipal employees.

The municipal managers are responsible for the day-to-day and year-to-year public service operations of city government. They are responsible for achieving individual agency goals as well as satisfying administration mandates. Within given parameters and sometimes with unforeseen limitations and challenges, these tasks are invariably achieved on an ongoing basis by our managers. Managers consistently fulfill the expectations of the administration. 

Managers accumulate knowledge and wisdom from training and everyday experience on the front line managing the activities required to provide unwavering public service to hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers. Their leadership ability and management skills provide the direction for the performance of non-managerial staff. With this said, managers should be identified and acknowledged for the magnitude of their invaluable responsibilities. 

Although many times ignored, managers deserve the same level of respect and attention for their dedication and hard work as other municipal employees, and should be compensated equitably and reasonably for their performance.

During this unprecedented time in modern-day New York City history, it is essential for managers to provide extraordinary leadership to address the adverse effect of budget cuts on municipal government operations. With an abnormally high municipal employee vacancy rate and a hiring freeze, managers are taking on more responsibility with a reduced workforce. They are tasked with accomplishing more with fewer resources.

The salaries of managers are stagnant and significantly inadequate to address the sky-rocketing cost of living with the highest inflation in over 40 years. The lack of timely pay raises has adversely impacted manager morale because they have not received salary increases since October of 2019 to offset high inflation and the cost of living. Managers are financially stressed under these circumstances. 

Based on the work they perform and in consideration of exorbitant cost of living increases, the Managerial Employees Association respectfully requests across-the-board pay raises for all New York City managers. 

It is recommended that manager pay raises be similar to the pattern established by the economic agreements with the unions, in particular, District Council 37 which was ratified on April 1, 2023. The MEA strongly believes there should be no disparity in administering pay raises between managerial and unionized employees. Managers should be assured of timely pay raises that are comparable to those received by the unionized workforce.

We sincerely appreciate your concern regarding this crucial matter as well as your commitment to fair and reasonable compensation for New York City managers.

Darrell L. Sims
MEA President