Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Public Employees Federation announced today that they have agreed on a tentative five-year contract that includes a three-year wage freeze, an increase of between 2 percent and six percent in health-care contributions and nine days of unpaid leave this year and next year, four of which will be paid back at the end of the end of the contract.
Based on the tentative contract, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration will rescind the 21-day layoff notices that have been given to union employees.
Members of PEF, the state’s second-largest union, would have to agree to the terms of the contract for it to take effect. The Legislature also would have to approve it.
“This agreement reflects the financial reality of the times. I am pleased that we could avoid these layoffs, protect the workforce and the taxpayer,” Cuomo said in a statement.
PEF President Ken Brynien said the agreement was a difficult one to reach, “but with our members’ jobs in peril and the state’s fiscal hardship we’ve stepped up and made the necessary sacrifices.”
“The agreement will preserve our members jobs and careers while bringing long term fiscal stability to the state. We are confident this is the best agreement that could be negotiated in the current
environment,” he said.
Employees who remain active through 2013 would receive a one-time payment of $775 in 2013 and $225 in 2014.
The agreement mirrors the one Cuomo’s administration reached last month with the Civil Service Employees Association, the largest public-workers union. It was approved by the Legislature and has to be ratified by members this summer.
If adopted by the state’s other collective bargaining units, the agreement would reduce workforce costs by over $1.5 billion over the contract term.