Judges orders preliminary injunction against state worker furloughs

Updated Friday at 3:09

Federal judge Lawrence Kahn today granted a preliminary injunction against the state worker furloughs and the withholding of the four percent pay raises. The Paterson administration was also blocked from including the furloughs and pay freeze in a future emergency budget extenders.

From the decision (the plaintiffs are the state worker unions and the defendants are the Paterson administration):

Plaintiffs have met their burden of showing that the permanent 20% loss in salary and wages that the furlough plan effects constitutes irreparable harm and that irreparable harm flows from Defendants' failure to pay the contracted-for increases in salaries and wages, which were negotiated years prior to the challenged extender bill, and upon wihch the affected employees have surely relied.

The unions had argued the furloughs and withheld raises violated the Contract Clause of the US Constitution. Among the evidence cited by the judge that the unions have a good case on that account is the state Senate's resolution criticizing the furloughs. From the decision:

To uphold self-interested impairments of contractual rights from suit under the Contract Clause, the Court must see that the impairments are reasonable and necessary, as established by real and demonstrable consideration of needs and alternatives. Instead, the Court observes both a complete repudiation by the Senate of such a judgment and an argument by Defendants that fails to show sufficient consideration and analysis of the kind required by the Contract Clause.

(The Senate grudgingly passed the budget extender that included the furloughs because not doing so would have shut down the government. Neil Breslin was one of the senators who proposed the resolution.)

In a statement, David Paterson says he's "disappointed" by the decision:

Today's ruling was determined in part by evidence submitted by the Legislature in opposition to the extraordinary action I took in proposing furloughs and withholding pay increases. However, both houses of the Legislature agree with my assertion that New York's public employee unions must contribute, along with all other New Yorkers, to solving this extraordinary fiscal crisis. This agreement is reflected in each of its individual budget resolutions, which count $250 million or more in workforce savings in the 2010-11 fiscal year.

Said CSEA's president in a statement: "Today's decision is a victory for the rule of law in New York and should make it clear that no governor can run roughshod over people's rights." Said the president of PEF in a statement: "It is in the best interest of state taxpayers the governor accepts the court's ruling and avoids wasting more time and money needlessly appealing this decision."

The judge's decision is embedded after the jump.

State Worker Furlough Injunction


[decision pdf via CSEA]

Comments

Fire up that Layoff Machine!

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.

Search

Recently on All Over Albany

Ghosts on a street that no longer exists

The photo above is looking east along Hudson Ave near Swan Street in Albany in (we're guessing) the 1920s. And it's from the Albany Public... (more)

Albany City Hall on the Road 2018 summer/fall

The city of Albany is starting a new round of "City Hall on the Road" events in the evening at various locations in the evening... (more)

There's a new type of tick in New York State

There's a new type of tick in New York, the state Department of Health announced Tuesday: Haemaphysalis longicornis -- the "longhorned tick." DOH says it... (more)

Repair Cafe Schenectady returns

The Schenectady County Public Library will again be hosting a Repair Café this Saturday. Repair Café? Blurbage: Repair Café is a neighborhood initiative that... (more)

Block party at Franklin Alley Social Club

The Franklin Alley Social Club in Troy will be closing down its namesake alley this Friday, July 20 for luau-themed block party. Blurbage: Come through... (more)

Recent Comments

Wish they open the old McCormick road between Albany and Bethlehem for walkers and bikers so more people would have access to the trail from the Westmere, Albany, and Guilderland side.

Ghosts on a street that no longer exists

...has 3 comments, most recently from Greg

Repair Cafe Schenectady returns

...has 1 comment, most recently from Sam

Maybe all those new apartments are starting to have some effect on rents

...has 10 comments, most recently from Peter

There's a new type of tick in New York State

...has 2 comments, most recently from Peter

A few more bits about the present and future of the Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail

...has 12 comments, most recently from Daleyplanit