New York Daily News

Budget deal is done; librarians await fate

- lcolangelo@nydailynew­

It’s still too soon to know how many jobs were left on the cutting room floor now that the City Council and Bloomberg Administra­tion have hashed out the Fiscal Year 2013 budget this week. But the unions are watching, especially members of DC 37 Local 1321 who have been through some especially trying years.

The union represents workers in the busy, popular and understaff­ed Queen Library system.

Of the three systems, they are the only ones that received pink slips two years in a row.

While most of those pink slips were rescinded some were not.

For the first time in three years, employees did not receive those pink slips. It appears to be a calculated move by library officials to lessen the tension as they worked with union members to lobby both the City Council and the Bloomberg Administra­tion to restore millions of dollars in proposed budget cuts.

"Queens Library staff are the most valuable assets we have,” said Queens Library CEO Thomas Galante. “Every employee enriches lives and serves the community in countless ways.”

The borough library system faced $26.7 million in proposed cuts under the Bloomberg Administra­tion’s fiscal year 2013 budget.

It was not clear by press time how much of that money was restored. A budget deal was announced Monday evening.

“We altered our past practice of issuing 90-day layoff notices to avoid causing an undue amount of stress, but the threat to library jobs and library hours is real,” Galante said. “I am working non-stop with elected officials in City Hall and the City Council. They have kept libraries a priority in past years. I hope they will continue their support in FY 13.”

John Hyslop, president of DC 37 Local 1321, said the union doesn’t want to see any layoffs at all.

“It’s been sort of a frustratin­g position to be in,” Hyslop said of the annual pink slips. “Right now every one of us is in this together.”

Galante has stood with Hyslop, elected officials and library employees at a number of rallies across the borough and at City Hall to hammer home the need for restoratio­ns.

Supporters of the New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library, which also face deep cuts, have engaged in similar protests.

One library worker, who asked to remain anonymous, said the annual budget dance is a “nervewrack­ing” way of life.

“You never know from year to year if you’re safe,” the worker said. “You’re always wondering if it’s coming.”

A bill to increase penalties against people who assault New York City sanitation workers is on its way to Gov. Cuomo’s desk after being approved by both the state Senate and Assembly.

Harry Nespoli, president of the Uniformed Sanitation­men’s Associatio­n, noted that assaults on city sanitation workers doubled in 2011.

“An attack on a sanitation worker doing his or her duties is an assault on civilized society,” Nespoli said. "To put it simply, under this legislatio­n, if people or their dogs attack one of our members, they'll be going to jail."

A benefit for the son of New York State Courts Sgt. Ralph Cannon will be held on June 29 at Belmont Park.

Peter Cannon has been battling leukemia. Tickets are $30 and include admission to the race track, race program, food, beer and soda.

 ?? Photo by Jeanne Noonan ?? Dozens of pre-schoolers and their parents demonstrat­ed at the Long Island City library branch to advocate for funding to save library hours and jobs.
Photo by Jeanne Noonan Dozens of pre-schoolers and their parents demonstrat­ed at the Long Island City library branch to advocate for funding to save library hours and jobs.
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