As New York City starts to negotiate contracts with municipal unions this year, Bob Linn, the city’s director of labor relations, is hoping to get ahead of the game. He noted there were no labor agreements in place when New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio took office in 2014, and that now nearly the entire workforce has a labor agreement. “It has very much been my desire that we continue the bargaining, and we bargain timely ... perhaps we even bargain before contracts expire,” Linn said. “Bargaining long, retroactive contracts makes for very difficult bargaining because of the issues of how to deal with pay, if a number of years of the contract have already expired; how you budget; how you do the finances. … And having collective bargaining agreements in place is very important to be able to think rationally in terms of how you deal with budget issues.” Contracts for DC 37 and some other unions will expire this year, with more expiring in 2018. But Linn added that “the impact of the Washington decisions on the state and city budgets are important, and will have an impact on our ability to bargain timely.”

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