BARGAINING AND BUDGETING
This chapter addresses issues involving two of the most important aspects of New York City government, municipal budgeting and collective bargaining. The issues are highlighted by the repeated failure of collective bargaining to resolve municipal wage policy in time for adoption of a realistic annual operating budget. The delays in resolving labor settlements mean that city officials must allocate resources and determine related policy issues without having the benefit of knowing what labor costs will be in a given year. This threatens the integrity of the city's budgeting and financial planning processes.
This chapter also presents options for reform of the city's Collective Bargaining Law that would strengthen both the budgeting and bargaining processes. The first section describes the nature of the problem. The second section illustrates the problem by examining the fiscal year 1985 round of collective bargaining when the problems were particularly acute. The third section discusses the policy options.
Municipal budgeting and collective bargaining perform functions of signal importance. The budgeting process determines how much money the city will spend in a given year and for what purpose. The city's fiscal year 1991 expense budget allocated $28 billion of local public expenditure. The collec