Items tagged with 'PEF'

Revised PEF contract approved, layoffs averted

Thumbnail image for ESP from libraryPEF announced this afternoon that its members had approved its revised contract with the state. As a result, about 3,500 state employees -- many of them in the Capital Region -- will not be laid off.

The vote was roughly 70-30 in favor of the contract.

The revised contract includes no pay increases for 2011, 2012, and 2013 (with a 2 percent raise in 2014). It increases the share employees will have to pay for healthcare. And there are 9 furlough days that will be paid back at the end of the contract.

The contract is a year shorter than the original five-year contract. The union's leadership argued shorter length would allow the union to negotiate the next deal "in an economic environment that may be significantly better than the current one." The leadership also said the new deal included stronger layoff protections, deferred payments for the furlough days (as opposed to "retention bonuses"), and more flexibility in using vacation time to offset an employee's share of healthcare costs.

The PEF membership had voted down the first offer, which was very similar to the deal taken by CSEA, in late September. Andrew Cuomo had been threatening to go ahead with the layoffs if the revised contract wasn't approved.

PEF is the second largest state employee union, after CSEA.

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Washington Avenue definitely needs more than one lane in each direction, but that doesn't mean it can't be redesigned. They can reduce the size of the lanes, add a median, and add a protected bike lane where the shoulder of the road now lies. I agree, however, that the entire Harriman loop would have to be redesigned and that includes those over-passes, so this would be an extremely expensive undertaking if they want to do it right. But there could be significant development on the land that is now wasted by asphalt that could offset that cost and bulk up the tax base for the city.

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