Bloomberg News

New York Union Deal Averts Layoffs Until Full Membership Vote

October 17, 2011

Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- The executive board of New York’s second-biggest union approved a revised contract with Governor Andrew Cuomo that may preserve thousands of jobs.

The board voted 91-18 to approve the accord, Darcy Wells, a union spokeswoman, said in an e-mail statement. The board met today in Albany, the state capital.

The membership of the Public Employees Federation will now have a chance to vote on the four-year agreement. Cuomo has promised to delay until Nov. 4 almost 3,500 layoffs that were set to begin Oct. 19, to give workers time to vote. Last month, the rank-and-file rejected a five-year deal that was endorsed by PEF leadership, prompting Cuomo to order the layoffs.

The new agreement calls for no salary increases for three years, with a raise of 2 percent for 2014, the union said in a statement yesterday. It also includes reimbursement for nine furlough days payable at the end of the agreement, the union said.

The PEF represents 55,000 professional, scientific and technical employees. In August, the 66,000-member Civil Service Employees Association, the state’s biggest union, approved a similar contract.

Both accords are part of Cuomo’s effort to win labor acceptance of cost-cutting measures under the threat of dismissals. Cuomo, a 53-year-old Democrat, gave the unions the choice as part of his fiscal 2012 budget, which includes $450 million in labor-cost savings and no new taxes.

--Editors: Mark Schoifet, Pete Young

To contact the reporter on this story: Freeman Klopott in Albany, New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Tannenbaum at

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