Bloomberg News

New York, Public Employees Federation Reach Tentative Pact

October 17, 2011

Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- The New York State Public Employees Federation reached a tentative agreement with the state on a revised contract that may preserve thousands of jobs, the union said in an e-mailed statement.

The agreement is a four-year contract, a year shorter than a proposal rejected by the union last month. The deal calls for no salary increases for years 2011, 2012 and 2013, with an increase of 2 percent for 2014, the union said. It also includes reimbursement for nine furlough days payable at the end of the agreement, the union said.

The Public Employees Federation is the state’s second- largest public union, representing 55,000 professional, scientific and technical employees.

“The changes we were able to obtain under this revised agreement address many of the concerns raised by our members,” PEF President Ken Brynien said in yesterday’s statement.

Job cuts of 3,496 PEF members are set to begin Oct. 19. However, Governor Andrew Cuomo will delay the start date to Nov. 4 if the union’s executive board approves the contract at a meeting scheduled for 1 p.m. today, Cuomo said in an e-mailed statement.

That delay will allow time for a membership ratification vote, the union said. If approved and ratified, the jobs of 3,496 PEF members will be preserved, the union said.

As with the rejected proposal, the tentative agreement doesn’t include a guarantee against future job cuts, Cuomo said.

“We hope that the leadership as a whole moves for a revote and the membership is governed by the needs of the collective and ratifies the contract,” Cuomo said.

Brynien has previously said he believed the union’s membership would approve a shorter contract. Cuomo has said he would agree to changes if they were revenue-neutral. The new agreement meets that standard, he said.

--Editors: Joe Sabo, Sylvia Wier.

To contact the reporter on this story: Freeman Klopott in Albany at fklopott@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Tannenbaum at mtannen@bloomberg.net.


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