The Uniformed Sanitationmen's Association Nov. 16 agreed to defer half of the retroactive-wage payment its members were to receive last month until next July 31 in return for a no-layoff guarantee through next June 30 that would be extended another year if the city received significant relief from the state or Federal Government.
In addition to the roughly $20 million the de Blasio administration will save in the current fiscal year from that deferral, the union provided another $7 million in short-term savings by delaying four months of city welfare-fund contributions to its retirees until next November, and a lump-sum payment that was due to the USA's annuity fund is on hold until December 2021.
'Get City Through Tough Time'
Union President Harry Nespoli said in a phone interview, "This doesn't give us all the money that we're due, but hopefully this gets the city through a short period that's going to be tough. I realize the city is in tough shape financially. I hope we get the stimulus money and we turn around and get a vaccine."
Labor Commissioner Renee Campion noted that this deal brought the city to $722 million in savings from seven union agreements, a good part of the way toward the $1 billion Mayor de Blasio had said several months ago that the city would need from the unions to avert up to 22,000 layoffs.
"I'm both impressed and grateful," she said, "because the prospect of that number of layoffs was too mind-boggling for words."
Citing the Mayor's hope that a stimulus bill could provide the city with billions of dollars in relief within a month after President-elect Joe Biden takes office Jan. 20, she said, "This is definitely a good bridge to get us to February."
We depend on the support of readers like you to help keep our publication strong and independent. Join us.