Lawmakers on the Move Nov. 19, 2019

News Site Brooklyn

De Blasio and Speaker Johnson Announce Plan to Pay Parity for Early Childhood Teachers

Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, Greenwich Village, West SoHo, Hudson Square, Times Square, Garment District, Flatiron, Upper West Side) announced yesterday that the city is honoring the promise to achieve a pathway to pay parity between certified early childhood education teachers and entry-rate Department of Education salaries by October 2021.

“Early childhood education opens up a world of possibilities for our youngest New Yorkers and their families,” said de Blasio. “In June, we committed to creating a pathway to pay parity for community-based childhood education providers, and in less than six months we have delivered.”

Achieving a pathway to pay parity for early childhood educators completes the promise made by the Mayor and City Council to the provider community in June. The agreements reached earlier in the year between District Council 37/1707 Locals 205 and 95 and their employers served as a model to achieve pay parity for non-union providers in order to address issues of recruitment and retention. Certified teachers will see phased-in wage increases beginning in October 2019 with parity achieved in October 2021. Non-certified teachers and support staff will also see increases in compensation.

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson

“This City Council believes strongly in tackling pay inequities among city workers, and as part of that commitment, we promised to address the gap between community-based early childhood educators and their Education Department counterparts,” said Council Speaker Johnson. “I am thrilled to announce the final of several deals, promised as part of this year’s budget agreement, to put these community-based educators on the path to pay parity. The Council will continue to fight for the rights of working people throughout the five boroughs.”

The City will be adding $57 million to the budget in FY2023, which will be reflected in the November financial plan update. The total cost in FY2023 will be $84 million, with $27 million reflected in the labor reserve.

“The success of our 3K and UPK programs is dependent on early childhood educators and staff. For far too long, early childhood educators working at community-based organizations have not received equal pay for equal work,” said Council Member Mark Treyger (D-Bensonhurst, Coney Island, Gravesend, Sea Gate), Chair of the Committee on Education. “In June, the Council promised we would not pass a budget without an agreement to achieve pay parity for our early childhood educators. With today’s announcement, we are now one step closer to achieving pay parity for non-DOE staff, who guide and teach our youngest learners every day.”

Sen. Gounardes, CM Maisel and BP Eric Adams Announce $11.1 Million Marine Park Investment

Sen. Andrew Gounardes (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend, Gerritsen Beach, Manhattan Beach, Marine Park), Councilmember Alan Maisel (D-Bergen Beach, Canarsie, Flatlands, Georgetown, Gerritsen Beach, Marine Park, Mill Basin, Mill Island, Sheepshead Bay) and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams today announced a combined $11.1 million in City and State funding for Marine Park.

State Senator Andrew Gounardes
State Senator Andrew Gounardes

“I am proud to announce a major investment in Marine Park. With this infusion of funds for capital improvements, we are working together to ensure that Marine Park remains the crown jewel of Brooklyn that we know it to be,” said Sen. Gounardes. “These efforts will improve not just the park but the quality of life for the people and families living around it. Brooklyn’s largest park deserves nothing less.”

Gounardes announced that he has secured $5.6 million in funding for the park, which will go towards a complete renovation of Playground 278 as well as other improvements. Maisel has secured $4.5 million in City funds for the restoration of the inner oval. Construction for both projects is anticipated to begin in 2020. Additionally, Adams committed to allocating $1 million in funding in next year’s budget to continue the park’s progress.

Alan Maisel
City Council Member Alan Maisel

“I am pleased to partner with Senator Gounardes and Borough President Adams in our continuous investment in Marine Park. Over the past years, a huge amount of money has been allocated to revitalizing facilities, including the tennis, basketball, handball and bocce courts as well as building the community center in Brooklyn’s largest park,” said Councilmember Alan Maisel. “We are especially pleased that thousands of visitors enjoy these wonderful activities and we are happy to support funds that will keep up with the wear and tear of the park. On behalf of myself and the New York City Council Speaker, who has been very supportive of the project, we are happy to do our share.”

“I’m proud to partner with State Senator Gounardes and Council Member Maisel on funding for improvements to Marine Park,” said Adams. “As large as our borough’s largest park is, it remains a hidden gem with acres of wild waterfront beauty and incredible spaces for recreation and relaxation. Parks are our great equalizer, bringing children and families together from all backgrounds. This capital allocation will help preserve and enhance the promise of all Marine Park offers to the communities of southeastern Brooklyn.”

Cuomo Announces $4 Million to Support Green and Clean Energy Solutions in NY Schools

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo yesterday announced $4 million is available under the P-12 Schools: Green and Clean Energy Solutions program to reduce energy use and assist with the conversion to carbon-free energy solutions for schools serving Pre-kindergarten through Grade 12 students. The program supports the state’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85 percent by 2050 and the Governor’s Green New Deal, the most aggressive climate and clean energy program in the nation.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

“New York is a leader in the fight against climate change, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions is crucial to achieving our ambitious goals,” Cuomo said. “With initiatives like P-12 Schools, we are empowering schools across the state to take action in creating solutions to protect our environment.”

The program is part of NYSERDA’s P-12 Schools Initiative that encourages schools to lower energy use and utility bills while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the leading contributor to climate change. The P-12 Schools Initiative helps schools pursue carbon savings and clean energy projects – creating a healthier environment for children to learn and thrive. The P-12 Benchmarking Program launched in April 2019 has already served over 250 schools.

Schools participating in the program will receive complimentary services including free benchmarking and free clean heating and cooling screenings. Benchmarking serves as a tool to measure and track the impact of financial investments against energy use and greenhouse gas emissions to better understand and improve their energy efficiency and performance.

Cumbo Announces Bus Redesign Meeting, Turkey Giveaway

City Council Member Laurie Cumbo

City Council Member and Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights) is letting constituents know there is a Brooklyn Bus Redesign meeting coming up.

Residents can learn more about service changes to their neighborhood and get their questions answered.

The MTA Project KIckoff Open House is slated for 6-8 p.m., tomorrow, Nov. 20 at the Walt Whitman Branch Library, 93 St. Edwards Place in Fort Greene. Subway: B/Q/R to DeKalb Ave or 2/3/4/5 to Nevins Street. Bus: B54, B62.

Additionally, Cumbo is holding her annual Turkey Giveaway from 12 noon – 3 p.m., this Saturday, Nov. 23 at HSGC Prospect Heights High School (883 Classon Avenue in Crown Heights. Simply join the line to receive your package one meal with turkey and fixings. One meal per household, address ID required. For more information, call 1-718-260-9191.