Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Civil Service Employee Association reached a deal late last night that would stave off massive layoffs among the state’s largest public sector union.
“This is a big, big win– a win for the union and a win for the people of the state,” Cuomo said. “The union avoided layoffs and the state is financially stronger. I’m pleased that our approach of labor and management working together is vindicated. Mutual respect and honest negotiations work. I applaud [CSEA president ] Danny Donohue for his leadership and vision in this negotiation. This vote demonstrates their commitment to seeing this state get back on the right track. In these difficult financial times, shared sacrifice is needed, and CSEA members have shown willingness to do their part.”
The contract freezes base wages for the first three years, and then allows for retention payments – totaling $1,000 – as well as salary increases in each of the last two years. It also calls for a redesign of the employee health care contribution and benefit system.
“These are not ordinary times and CSEA worked hard to reach an agreement that we believed would be in everyone’s best interest,” said Donohue. “CSEA members agree that this contract is reasonable and responsible for the long term and shows that CSEA members will do what is right for the good of all New Yorkers.”
The CSEA was facing up to 4,500 layoffs. The state’s second largest public sector union, the Public Employee Federation, has yet to reach an agreement with the state.