The state's largest public employees union has agreed to a tentative contract deal that will prevent thousands of layoffs. The Public Employee Federation says it has ratified a revised contract deal that will preserve more than 3,400 jobs.
"More than 75 percent of our membership voted on the agreement," said PEF President Ken Brynien.
The union says the deal also preserves the pay-scale, employment and careers of its members. It calls for no salary increases for this year and the next two years, but would provide a pay increase of two percent in 2014.
"Although this was a difficult decision for our members, it demonstrates they are willing to do their part to put New York state on a stable financial footing, as all New Yorkers should, and are helping to resolve a fiscal crisis for which they were not responsible. This agreement preserves our members' jobs and the services they provide. During this economic downturn, the state's citizens are more dependent on these vital services than ever, in the wake of the flooding earlier this year. We are certain the governor understands the sacrifice our members have agreed to accept, and recognizes the value PEF members and other public employees provide to the citizens of the state. We now call on the governor as part of his efforts to increase the efficiency of state government, to direct his attention to areas where PEF has highlighted cost savings. These areas include the elimination of wasteful contracting out and reducing the state's excessive authorities, commissions and public benefit corporations that make up the state's shadow government," said Byrnien.
Acceptance of the four year deal cancels the scheduled layoff of PEF workers scheduled by the Cuomo administration. 200 of those dismissals would have been in Western New York.