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Mayor should retract statements on funding

An open letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg:

I am writing to you regarding your testimony at the joint state Senate-state Assembly budget hearing in Albany Feb. 7 and subsequent public comments you have made about the Variable Supplement Fund.

In your testimony at the hearing, you called the VSF a “bonus.” You have also referred to the VSF in the media as “Christmas bonuses.”

I find your comments disturbing and incorrect. As you should know, the $12,000 VSF, as currently constituted, was part of collective bargaining agreements between the police, fire and corrections unions and the city. At the time, these agreements allowed the city to adopt a more aggressive pension investment strategy in order to hopefully reduce the amount each year that the city would have to directly contribute to the pension funds — which it did to a reported amount of $4 billion. In return for this change, the city offered the VSF.

It is unconscionable, now years later, to blame the unions for something the city initiated and benefitted from.

Furthermore, your characterization of the VSF as “Christmas bonuses” is disgraceful. Your attacks in this regard on the city’s uniformed personnel, who put their lives on the line every day, is unbecoming for a mayor of New York City.

Such baseless statements must stop. Anything less is unacceptable and further damages your credibility as mayor.

Sen. Tony Avella

D-Bayside

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