In Fiery Speech, Senator Diane Savino Defends Pensions, Unions

In the above video, posted on website Politics On The Hudson, State Senator Diane Savino speaks at a rally for the New York State Professional Firefighters Association outside the State Capitol in Albany.

Savino, a former labor leader, defends public pensions and comments on the state of the American labor movement in what blogger Joseph Spector describes as a fiery speech.

While ceasing to mention Governor Andrew Cuomo and the tough stances he’s taken against public unions during his time in office, Savino does battle with the Governor’s policies by going after “mayors, county executives and other local officials who have formed the group New York Leaders For Pension Reform—to back Cuomo’s plans for a less generous pension tier for new public workers.”

“We have mayors and county executives and town supervisors running around right now, all over the place, trying to rile up the taxpayers against you –- say that we can’t afford it, say that if we have to continue to provide pensions and benefits for you that we won’t be able to provide services to the taxpayer,” Savino said. “Well who the hell do they think is providing the service? It’s you.”

She continued, “These same mayors, county executives, town supervisors and other politicians are the first ones to show up at the hospital with a news camera when one of you gets hurt, right? And they demand a front-row seat at your funeral. You need to demand from them where they stand on these issues.”

State Senator Diane Savino represents District 23, which includes much of the North Shore of Staten Island. In Brooklyn, District 23 includes Coney Island, as well as parts of Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, Borough Park and Bensonhurst. Senator Savino also chairs the Senate Standing Committee on Children and Families.