CSEA ratifies contract with concessions

Vote prevents layoffs among union members

— Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and CSEA President Danny Donohue Aug. 15 announced that members of the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) have ratified the five-year labor contract agreed to in June by CSEA leadership and the Cuomo administration. The agreement marks a milestone accomplishment for collective bargaining and labor-management cooperation in New York state.

The contract includes provisions to keep CSEA-represented state employees on the job delivering essential services to New Yorkers. The new contract freezes base wages for the first three years, and then allows for retention payments — totaling $1,000 — as well as salary increases in each of the last two years. It also calls for a redesign of the employee health care contribution and benefit system.

“This is a big, big win — a win for the union and a win for the people of the state,” Cuomo said. “The union avoided layoffs and the state is financially stronger. I’m pleased that our approach of labor and management working together is vindicated. Mutual respect and honest negotiations work. I applaud Danny Donohue for his leadership and vision in this negotiation. This vote demonstrates their commitment to seeing this state get back on the right track. In these difficult financial times, shared sacrifice is needed, and CSEA members have shown willingness to do their part.”

“These are not ordinary times and CSEA worked hard to reach an agreement that we believed would be in everyone’s best interest,” said Donohue.

The terms of the agreement will take effect immediately as the state legislature already approved the agreement contingent on the CSEA ratification.

Contract details

Base Wages: Under the five year agreement, there will be no general salary increase in Fiscal Year 2011-12; 2012-13; 2013-14. Employees will receive a 2 percent increase in 2014-15 and 2015-16.

Savings: The 2011 wage agreement is $2.5 billion less costly to the state than the 2007 agreement, if adopted through the state workforce.

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