The New York City’s largest public-sector union, DC 37, has initiated legal action against Mayor Eric Adams and his administration, citing concerns over proposed budget cuts.
The lawsuit filed by the union indicates that the proposed budget cuts are straining the mayor’s political coalition during this challenging phase of his tenure.
DC 37, a key supporter of Adams during the 2021 mayoral primaries, filed the lawsuit in the state Supreme Court in Manhattan on Wednesday, December 13th.
The union accuses the mayor and his administration of inadequate review in their decision to eliminate thousands of union jobs, aiming to address an anticipated $7 billion budget shortfall.
Henry Garrido, the union’s executive director, criticized the strategy, stressing the negative impact of service cuts on public perception and efficiency.
“When you exclusively cut services to deal with a shortfall and you don’t pursue revenue collection options that you have…the public gets more upset at city workers because the garbage takes longer to be picked up, it takes longer to take care of their calls and it takes longer to deal with emergencies,” Garrido stated.
The lawsuit alleges that the city failed to perform necessary cost-benefit analyses before proposing to cut 2,300 positions in departments like parks and sanitation.
Garrido expressed concern that these roles might be outsourced to non-union contractors.
This legal challenge is a first for DC 37 against the Adams administration, reflecting the pressure budget constraints place on the mayor’s allies.
New Yorkers have also expressed dissatisfaction with the mayor’s budget cut proposal, as a Quinnipiac University poll revealed that 83% of city residents are concerned about the potential impact of these budget cuts on their daily lives.
Adams’ job approval rating has also dipped to a low of 28%, as per the survey.
On Monday, Garrido objected to the city’s $110 billion budget-cutting strategies. He criticized the cuts during a City Council hearing, calling them “unfair” and “unjustified.”
However, Garrido clarified that despite these challenges, the union still supports Mayor Adams, especially in his efforts to secure more funding for asylum seekers.
Garrido noted, “We’re still supporting [Adams],” Garrido said. “I don’t think this is directed at him. He has been given a real raw deal with this migrant situation.”