Thompson Attacks Bloomberg on Raises; Bloomberg Defends

Bill Thompson is trying to capitalize on the newly-announced raises Michael Bloomberg agreed to give to more than 6,000 employees, including his deputy mayors, who make more than $100,000.

Thompson said more than 100 of his top aides will forgo raises “for the foreseeable future” and save the city $1 million. Thompson called on Bloomberg to do the same.

Thompson made his comments this morning, as he announced unemployment rates for African-Americans in New York City “swelled by 167 percent” between the first quarter of 2008 and 2009. That’s compared to a 72 percent rise among all New York City residents, according to Thompson.

Thompson said Bloomberg “wants to hand out these raises after threatening for weeks to freeze the hiring of police officers, fire fighters, school safety officers and EMTs. He wants to hand out these raises at the threat of cuts to our schools, day care centers and senior centers. He’s handing out these raises to his top managers while asking men and women to make enormous sacrifices which severely impacts their futures and their families.”

“The comptroller’s office, for the foreseeable future, freezing raises for 111 managers and non-union employees making over 90,000. This will save taxpayers roughly $1 million,” Thompson said.

He went on to ask the mayor to “reconsider the raises he’s agreed to shower on his top managers and non-union employees.”

When asked at a press conference this morning on Staten Island if he’d like to defend the raises, which were announced late on Friday, Bloomberg said, “I don’t need to defend them.”

“We have roughly 6,000 people not covered by union contracts for generations, or certainly for decades they’ve always gotten the raises that the unions have gotten,” and, he said, “I didn’t give them the raises the last time simply because the economy was so unknown.”

With tax revenues better known now, Bloomberg said, “I feel a little more comfortable about our ability to pay. And remember, most of these people, 6,000, are middle class people, making from 45,000 on up.”

When I asked the mayor about some of the raises going to deputy mayors, who already make six-figure salaries, Bloomberg said, “If you manage a department of 10,000 people, compared to what other city governments pay is one way you have to look at it. Joel Klein makes $250-odd thousand dollars a year. There are something like 150 chancellors on [Long]Island that make more than Joel Klein and some of them have school systems not with one million, one-hundred thousand kids, [but] of 10,000 kids.”

Thompson Attacks Bloomberg on Raises; Bloomberg Defends