new white paper
Massive waste at a time of
Executive Director Lillian Roberts, at City Hall on
Feb. 25, discusses the
unions new white paper, which identifies 10 instances in which the city
could save nearly $130 million by replacing contracted workers with civil servants.
From left, City Council member Letitia James, Roberts, and District Council 37s
Treasurer Maf Misbah Uddin, Secretary Cliff Koppelman and Associate Director Oliver
A new DC 37 white paper identifies 10 cases where the city
could save about $130 million by eliminating wasteful outside contracts and highly
paid consultants doing municipal work.
DC 37 Executive Director Lillian
Roberts released the report, Massive Waste at a Time of Need, on the
steps of City Hall on Feb. 25.
The news conference was followed by a City
Council hearing on the reports finding that the city could save $14.5 million
by replacing outside contracts for custodial work with participants from a city
jobs training program (see below). In coming weeks, the Council will hold additional
hearings to explore other findings of the 36-page paper. Our members have
an expertise and a knowledge base no outsider can match, Roberts said at
the news conference, where she was accompanied by DC 37s top officers and
several local union presidents.
Our white paper shows dollar-for-dollar
just how valuable our members are compared with the inefficiency of consultants
and management, Roberts said.
The new report, prepared by DC 37 Assistant
Associate Director Henry Garrido, comes six years after the union initially put
the citys wasteful contracting practices under the spotlight with a white
paper called We Can Do the Work. The report described the citys
use of a shadow government that employs a parallel workforce of 100,000
people hired without the merit and fitness examinations and background checks
required of civil servants.
the 2002 report, the city cut spending on outside contracts by $175 million, largely
by bringing computer work in-house. But, since 2005, city contracting out has
exploded from $6.7 billion to $9.2 billion a 36 percent increase
according to the new study. Contracting for computer work has skyrocketed by 147
percent. Overall, the citys 18,000 contracts account for a sixth of its
The union is calling for cutbacks in contracting to help close
the citys $4 billion budget gap, while Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg seeks
deep cuts in services and $500 million in health-care givebacks.
5, over 50,000 workers and community activists protested proposed state and city
budget cuts and called for a tax hike on the wealthy to help address the fiscal
crisis (see pages 14-15).
No responsible government can in good conscience
cut vital services and lay off hardworking public employees while real savings
are within reach, Roberts said.
The unions new report focuses
on 10 contracts in eight mayoral agencies to show how the city could save nearly
$130 million by shifting work from contractors and consultants to civil servants.
- Saving over $8.8 million by canceling
contracts with temp agencies for clerical workers at the Dept. of Health.
more than $51 million at the Dept. of Homeless Services by referring homeless
families to the Housing Authority rather than to private facilities at hotels
- Saving more than $3.9 million by eliminating
contracts with private school food delivery companies.
$5.4 million by performing bookkeeping and accounting work in-house at the Fire