State Employees’ Union Accepts Wage and Benefits Concessions
By THOMAS KAPLAN
ALBANY — Members of New York’s largest union of state employees, in a begrudging acknowledgment of the increasingly hostile mood toward public workers, have agreed to accept major wage and benefits concessions sought by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
The union, the Civil Service Employees Association, announced late Monday night that its members had voted by about 60 percent to 40 percent to approve the contract agreement that the governor and union leaders struck in June.
The ratification was a critical victory for Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat whose plan to close the state’s budget gap relied in large part on a bet that state employees would be willing to stomach a freeze on wages and an increase in the cost of health benefits in return for safeguarding their jobs.
The union’s president, Danny Donohue, said in a statement: “These are not ordinary times, and C.S.E.A. worked hard to reach an agreement that we believed would be in everyone’s best interest. C.S.E.A. members agree that this contract is reasonable and responsible for the long term and shows that C.S.E.A. members will do what is right for the good of all New Yorkers.”
Savings from the five-year contract are expected to total $73 million this fiscal year, part of the $450 million in cuts that Mr. Cuomo’s budget counted on extracting from the state work force. And the governor’s office projected that if other unions agreed to the same terms total savings for the state would amount to $1.6 billion over five years.
Clipped from www.nytimes.com
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