Following a week that saw a public employees union reject a contract, triggering 3,496 layoff notices to its members, the union says it is in “informal negotiations” over how to tweak the agreement to get its members’ support.
“PEF is currently in informal negotiations with the governor over the possibility of reaching a new tentative contract agreement. Our goal is to reach an agreement that will be ratified by the membership and avoid the layoffs scheduled for October 19th. At this point the situation is very fluid. We will have more information in the days ahead.”
The original tentative contract, which was agreed on by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office and PEF’s leadership but rejected by the rank-and-file, would have froze employee pay for three years, increased health care contributions, and imposed nine furlough days.
PEF leadership has called for Cuomo to return to the bargaining table. Originally, the governor’s office had signaled that it was “moving on” and urged a re-vote, but Cuomo said later in the week that he was open to “tweaks,” so long as they are revenue-neutral.
The state’s largest public employees union, the Civil Service Employees Association, approved the same contract in August.