Bloomberg, Thompson and the Taylor Law

Michael Bloomberg was asked about a report saying Bill Thompson told DC 37 he was supportive of changing the state’s Taylor Law, which bars municipal workers from striking, and requires binding arbitration during contract disputes.

Thompson’s campaign said their candidate favors changing the part of the law about binding arbitration, not the prohibition on strikes.

When asked about the topic, Bloomberg said, “The Taylor law is a very good thing” and “fundamentally, I think it is a very good law that stood the test of time.”

Thompson declined to release the answers he submitted to DC37′s questionnaire. The revelation about his response to their question about the Taylor Law put Thompson on the defensive.

Thompson campaign spokeswoman, Anne Fenton, emailed to say that yes, Thompson “does think the part of the law banning strikes by public employees should be kept intact.”

Fenton also said that “the frequency and protracted nature of many recent disputes is an obvious indicator that the law and its accompanying mechanisms may be in need of some adjustments. There must be a willingness for all parties to engage in the process — which Bill Thompson has indicated he is willing to do. Over the past 8 years, Mayor Bloomberg, despite his statement, has displayed no such willingness to tackle the issue. We can no longer tolerate a system that allows one side to stay away from the bargaining table without consequences. Arbitration is not the answer — the Taylor Law was instituted to promote negotiations — not set up a dysfunctional system whereby so many contracts are forced settlements resulting from binding arbitration.”