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Cuomo wins first union concessions

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo and one of New York State's biggest unions have agreed to labor concessions in the first major union contract of the year. The deal includes a pay freeze for three years and other concessions.

Cuomo praised the Agency Law Enforcement Services unit of Council 82 for sharing in the sacrifice of a state fiscal crisis. A union leader says the deal is in the best interest of members and taxpayers. Karen DeWitt has more on the deal the governor calls "a model."

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Reported by

Karen DeWitt
NYS Capitol Correspondent

Council 82, which represents corrections officers at state prisons, as well as forest rangers, has agreed in its new contract to a wage freeze and the elimination of bonus monies for better job performance. Union members will also pay more for their health care.

Contributions will be increased from 10% to 20% for individuals, and from 25% to 35% for families.

Cuomo is currently negotiating with the legislature over the closure of state prisons to reduce the system by 3700 beds.

The new contract also places restriction on overtime pay.

Cuomo, in a statement, says he hopes the agreement serves as a model for upcoming contracts with the state’s much larger state worker unions. He says if the other unions agree to the concessions, the state would save the targeted $450 million dollars in savings without a need for thousands of lay offs.

The Public Employees Federation says the Council 82 settlement “in no way sets the ground work” for its eventual contract deal. Spokeswoman Darcy Wells says PEF was offered a similar contract by the Cuomo Administration, but rejected it because it would impose an “unfair burden” and “long term hardships” on union members. 

A spokesman for the other major state worker union, the Civil Service Employees Association, was non- committal. CSEA spokesman Steve Madarasz says the agreement with Council 82, which has been without a contract since 2005, represents a "small number of specific state law enforcement officers who haven’t had a contract for six years."

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