Bloomberg and Unions Spar Over Cuts

Mayor Bloomberg shot back at union leaders who have criticized him for proposing more layoffs. He says he won't have to lay off 7,000 city workers if unions agree to contribute toward health care costs, and to create a new, cheaper pension tier for new hires.

BLOOMBERG: They have come back with something. But it's nowhere near what is adequate. Our health care costs and pension costs are going to bankrupt the city. Plain and simple.

Yesterday, Harry Nespoli, head of the Municipal Labor Committee, an umbrella group of unions, criticized Bloomberg for negotiating in public. He says unions have offered the city ways to save some $200 million. The mayor's budget director says the city faces a $6 billion gap, $5 billion of which will be filled by surplus funds and federal economic stimulus aid.