NYC to Go to Four Day Work Week?


nyc-work-weekThe recession-ravaged New York City should consider imposing a four-day workweek on municipal employees, reducing health and vacation benefits for new workers and adopting pension formulas that don’t count overtime, a study released this week found.

Some of the changes would remedy questionable FDNY pension practices revealed this week by The New York Post.  The nonpartisan Independent Budget Office compiled the list of 78 money-saving options, as it has done every year since 2002, but with a new focus on the cost of the workforce.

Labor is the city’s single largest expense, accounting for $35.2 billion of the $60 billion it’s spending this year.

The largest new money-saver on the IBO list was a reduction in the city’s contribution to retirees’ Medicare Part B payments from 100 to 50 percent.

That would save taxpayers $93.5 million.

Switching 40,000 non-essential employees to a four-day, 36-hour work-week would allow the city to cut 1,100 jobs and save $32.6 million next year and $61.3 million in 2011.

Cops and firefighters can now choose whether to base their pensions on their final year’s salary or a three-year average of their final years.

As The Post first reported, some firefighters are racking up huge amounts of overtime in their final year to boost their pensions, with 72 percent going out on three-quarter-salary, tax-free disability deals.

The IBO option would base those pensions on a three-year average, but if the salary in one year exceeded the average of the preceding two by more than 10 percent, the excess wouldn’t be counted.

The changes would require agreement from the unions, which Mayor Bloomberg indicated wasn’t likely.

“Unless you can find the other side willing to do it . . . it’s just wasting your breath,” he said.

{NY Post/ Newscenter}