CWA Petition to Assemblymember Phara Souffrant Forrest
Dear Assemblymember Souffrant Forrest,
The COVID-19 pandemic not only has taken the lives of more than 25,000 New York City residents so far, it also has destroyed the economic vitality of the City. This resulted in Mayor Bill de Blasio last year attempting to balance his enormous budget deficit on the backs of 22,000 of my brothers and sisters in the labor movement whose jobs were on the line.
Thanks to the diligence and creativity of some of New York City’s outstanding labor leaders, the layoffs are averted – for now. Hopefully with a new President in office and Democrats in control in Washington, partisan politics will finally end and federal assistance will make its way to New York to help prevent these layoffs from resurfacing this year.
During the peak of the pandemic, my coworkers and I were praised daily as “essential workers” needed on the job to keep New York City running. As the City’s financial resources rapidly depleted, municipal workers – as usual – were told we were “expendable.” Government leaders cannot have it both ways, especially when there are myriad other options.
That’s why I am asking you to:
• Vote for Early Retirement Incentive (ERI) legislation so certain members of the city’s three pension systems will be allowed to retire early without a financial penalty.
• Grant the City borrowing authority similar to what you gave to the State and the MTA.
• Pass a package of revenue bills, including a millionaires’ and ultra-millionaires’ tax, that will generate enough revenue to prevent deep cuts and future layoffs.
So many of us already have sacrificed our health and compromised the health of our loved ones during this pandemic. Many of my CWA Local 1180 brothers and sisters even made the ultimate sacrifice. Rewarding us with even the talk of layoffs is inexcusable when you have other options.
YOU hold the power to stop this. I hope the 365,000 voting, municipal workers in the New York City labor movement and their families can count on your support.