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

Here's a chance to help map out the future of Albany's Lincoln Park

What should be the future of Albany's Lincoln Park? That's the question at the center of a public meeting the city of Albany has lined... (more)

There's a modernist architecture tour of UAlbany's uptown campus coming up

This year's Historic Albany Foundation / Docomomo Tour Day is October 6 at the UAlbany uptown campus. Tour blurbage: Join SUNY Albany architect Edward Durell... (more)

Fulton History, unhacked

Paul Grondahl talked with the founder of Fulton History -- the hugely valuable online collection of old newspapers from around New York -- about being... (more)

If you're not registered to vote, you should do it today. And if you are registered, you should check your registration today.

Today is apparently National Voter Registration Day. Whatever day -- today, tomorrow, sometime soon -- it's a good day to register to vote if you're... (more)

Bobby Brown + Bell Biv Devoe at The Palace

Bobby Brown and Bell Biv Devoe are co-headlining a show at The Palace November 2. Tickets went on sale today (September 25) -- they're $39.50... (more)

Recent Comments

Saturday afternoon walks through Washington Park on the way to the Lionhart pub, to get in those last few enjoyable warmish weather days on the patio while enjoying a seasonal pint of craft brew....yum...

The Vandal in downtown Albany

...has 1 comment, most recently from Eric Scheirer Stott

Drawing: Oktoberfest Block Party VIP tickets

...has 44 comments, most recently from Peter

If you're not registered to vote, you should do it today. And if you are registered, you should check your registration today.

...has 1 comment, most recently from jsc

Anarchists in the townhome

...has 1 comment, most recently from EMB

Troy Letter

...has 1 comment, most recently from Danielle Sanzone