CSEA Gives Up Salary,Benefits To Stop Layoffs
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Wednesday that his administration has reached a five-year labor agreement with the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA). CSEA represents 66,000 New York State employees and is one of the largest public employee unions in the state. Upon ratification, this agreement would provide CSEA protection from broad layoffs.
The agreement includes a freeze on base wages for three years and a redesign of the employee health care contribution and benefit system, saving $73 million this fiscal year and $93 million next fiscal year. If adopted by the state’s other collective bargaining units, the agreement will reduce workforce costs by $1.63 billion over the course of the agreement, including $1.27 billion of savings in healthcare costs, and would achieve sufficient savings to avoid the need for broad layoffs arising from the gap in the state operations budget. Overall, the five-year agreement if adopted statewide would be $3.8 billion less expensive to the state than the previous four-year agreement reached in 2007.
“I applaud CSEA’s leadership for their hard work to reach this deal which is a win-win for CSEA members and the State of New York,” Cuomo said. “This tentative contract, if adopted by the other bargaining units, means layoffs needed to achieve needed workforce savings would be avoided. CSEA members are the backbone of state government, responsible for delivering services to 19 million New Yorkers. I commend the union and its leadership for making a significant contribution to help get the state’s fiscal house in order and making the shared sacrifices these difficult times require. Working together, we will turn this state around and get our economy moving once again.”
CSEA President Danny Donohue said “These are not ordinary times and CSEA and the Cuomo Administration have worked very hard at the bargaining table to produce an agreement that balances shared sacrifice with fairness and respect. CSEA stepped up to help produce the Labor savings that Governor Cuomo sought while the Governor responded to CSEA’s concerns about job security along with a wage and benefit package that recognizes the pressures on working people. I have known Governor Cuomo for many years and I know that his commitment to organized labor and working families is deeply held and second to no one.”