*Good morning and welcome to Wake-Up Call, your guidebook to and roundup of the latest in city, state, and national political news... From our Daily News team:*
Members of the teachers union ratified their new $9 billion contract Tuesday, with 77% in favor. Roughly 90,000 eligible members of the United Federation of Teachers cast ballots on the nine-year contract that includes 18% raises through 2018. The lowest margin of approval for a recent contract was in 2003, when 63% voted in favor of a deal.“The new agreement gives teachers and parents a larger voice in how their schools are run, and how they can better serve their students,” said union president Michael Mulgrew.
If the City Council speaker has her way, the city’s minimum wage might not be so minimal. Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan) said Tuesday she would like to see the minimum bumped to as much as $15 an hour in the city, nearly double the current statewide minimum of $8. She is ready to convene hearings on the matter, she said.
Calling it “unacceptable bureaucracy,” Mayor de Blasio ripped NYCHA on Tuesday for dragging its feet on installing security cameras in the housing project where two kids were attacked by a knife-wielding monster. The blast came as police were searching for a homeless man they suspect is the Brooklyn butcher who killed a 6-year-old with a steak knife on Sunday and badly wounded his playmate in an elevator. De Blasio said the housing agency has been sitting on $27 million earmarked for the security gear, and expressed outrage that officials didn’t “move more quickly” to install them in the Boulevard Houses.
If only he’d appointed a buildings commissioner. Mayor de Blasio was twice denied a Buildings Department certificate verifying that one of the two houses he owns in Brooklyn is a legit two-family dwelling - because he hadn’t filed all the right paperwork, according to city documents and officials.
The city's libraries made a plea Tuesday for $65 million to keep all branches open six days a week. With the extra cash, officials could open all 207 branches for six days, increase the hours they are open from 43 to an average of 50 and add 600 jobs, New York Public Library President Tony Marx told the City Council.
Former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles (Joe) Hynes was in hiding Tuesday after a scathing report accused him of possibly committing larceny by misusing public funds for a failed reelection campaign. The embattled ex-lawman may have used money seized from criminals to pay more than $200,000 to political consultant Mortimer Matz, a stunning probe by the city’s Department of Investigations revealed Monday. “He’s underground,” said a close confidant of Hynes. “He’s not talking to anybody.”The DOI's 27-page report cited emails allegedly showing that 89-year-old Matz, a former DA employee who began working for Hynes in 2003, focused on his boss’ reelection bid last year.
A Bloomberg-era plan to centralize training of taxi drivers is more than 18 months behind schedule —and would cost cabbies hundreds of dollars while putting private hack schools out of business. The new schools — to be operated by CUNY — are planning to charge applicants $500 for a 40-hour driver training course, plus a $35 English proficiency test, a Taxi & Limousine Commission spokesman said. That's a steep hike from the $150 students currently pay for a 24-hour course at Master Cabbie Taxi Academy in Long Island City.
Republican Rob Astorino hasn’t put his money where his mouth is when it comes to beefing up mental health services. Astorino said better mental health systems — not tougher gun control laws — were needed to combat mass shootings, but he’s slashed funding and staffing for such services since taking office as Westchester county executive in 2010, budget figures show. Under Astorino’s helm, the county closed four mental health clinics and passed the care of their clients on to nonprofit organizations.
Our Bill Hammond's column: "You’d think that after watching the Tea Party divide and weaken Republicans, Gov. Cuomo would know to steer clear of hard-line ideologues on his end of the spectrum. But there he was Saturday, bowing and scraping for approval from the Working Families Party. He finally won the endorsement he coveted — but at the cost of tarnishing his brand as a fiscally sensible Democrat."