In the adopted State Budget, the governor identified the need for $450 million in “Labor Management Partnership Savings” or 9,800 employee layoffs. The State also insists that the $450 million in savings were to be recurring from year to year. This amounts to annual give-backs of $2,000-$3,000 for every public employee in the Executive Branch of state government.
With the fiscal need of the state identified in the adopted budget, PEF began formal negotiations on a successor agreement to the 2007-11 contract on March 16th.
Below is the only proposal PEF has received from the state. This proposal goes far beyond what the governor asked for in his budget and could require a PEF member to give up as much as $10,000 in salary and benefits every year of the contract. That’s five times the amount of savings identified in the enacted budget.
Additionally, the state’s negotiators made it clear that accepting these concessions would not ensure that PEF members would not still be laid off.
Formal negotiations began March 16th, less than three months ago, and aside from the state’s initial proposal there has been no counter offer from the state despite two proposals from PEF.
State’s Contract Proposals:
Salary and Wages
- Six Year Contract.
- No Across the Board Raises for the Next Four Years, Raises of 1 and 2 percent payable October 1st in years 5 and 6.
- Elimination of Longevity Payments for All Six Years of the Agreement.
- Elimination of Increments for All Six Years of the Agreement.
- Elimination of the Use of Charged Accruals in Calculation of Eligibility for Overtime.
- Elimination of Sick Leave Offset For Retiree Health Insurance For All Current and Prospective Retirees.
- Cost Shift in Insurance Premium
- From 10 Percent to 20 Percent for Individual Coverage, an increase of $709 based on current rates for the Empire plan.
- From 25 Percent to 35 Percent for Family (dependent) Coverage, an increase of $1,622 based on current rates for the Empire plan.
Empire Plan Changes Include:
Increased Co-pays by the end of the agreement.
New Inpatient Admission Copay - increase in co-pay from -0- to $325.
Outpatient Hospital Radiology/Labs - increase in co-pay from $40 to $260
Outpatient Hospital Physical Therapy - increase in co-pay from $20 to $260.
Outpatient Hospital Surgery - increase in co-pay from $60 to $650.
Primary Care Provider Co-pay - increase from $20 to $40.
New Split Co-Pay for Specialists with an increase from $20 to $60.
Prescription Drugs (30 day supply at retail)
Generic Drug – increase in co-pay from $5 to $10.
Preferred Brand-Name Drug - increase in co-pay from $15 to $25.
Non-Preferred Brand-Name Drug - Increase in co-pay from $40 to $50.
Co-Pays will automatically increase in 2013, 2014 and 2015 as follows:
$2.50 Preferred-Brand Name Drug
$5.00 Non-Preferred Brand Name Drug
New Smoking Surcharge of $25 per month for member, spouse or domestic partner.
PEF’s Contract Proposal Counter Offer
We as PEF members are willing to share the sacrifice and endure some fiscal hardship to preserve the jobs of our working colleagues but cannot accede to the State’s egregious demands.
In the context of a fully negotiated four year agreement, PEF has offered the state’s negotiators a proposal that includes 2011-12 gap closing concessions that would meet the demands for our portion of the $450 million in “Labor/Management Partnership Savings” included in the 2011-12 Budget and provide the cash savings necessary for the state to avoid the need for layoffs.
These concessions include the following:
- No Base Wage increase in 2011-12;
- Four Days of Furlough in 2011-12; and
- Four Days of Deferred Pay in 2011-12.
- Consideration of possible changes to co-pay levels for medical services and prescription drugs.
- Increase the vesting period for current employees to establish eligibility for retiree health insurance from 10 to 15 years.
- Accept portion of state’s proposal to exclude charged sick leave from calculation of eligibility for overtime.
These concessions provide cash savings to the state which cover PEF’s share of the $450 million in Labor Management Partnership Savings budgeted for 2011-12. In addition, we identified administrative changes to the Health Insurance Plan that would save the State hundreds of millions of dollars without reducing benefits, which meets the governor’s need for the recurring savings assumed in the State Financial Plan.
In exchange for these concessions, PEF also proposed the following enhancements during the remainder of the proposed 4 year agreement:
- Salary increases in an amount equal to the change in CPI-U or other agreed upon measure of inflation for previous 12 months for the second, third and fourth years of the agreement
- Expansion of overtime eligibility
- Standardization of benefits for employees injured at work
- Expanded access to telecommuting and alternate work schedules
- Strengthen contractual seniority rights to bid schedule, work location, overtime, etc.
- Require Cost Benefit Analysis for any proposed contacting out of PS&T Unit services
- Limit time that employees spend on unpaid suspension prior to decision on disciplinary charges
PEF has tried to be reasonable and do our part to address the state’s fiscal needs while protecting our members from lasting financial harm. We understand that this proposal is a real hardship for our members. This proposal satisfies the budgetary needs of the governor identified in the adopted budget for 2011-12.
Over the next few days PEF will be contacting our members to participate in activities including a tele-town hall meeting this Sunday June 12th as well as possible rallies and membership activities over the next several weeks.
Your involvement as a PEF member will ultimately determine our success as a union and our ability to protect our jobs and negotiate a fair contract.
Please continue to check the website for the most recent information as well as sign up with your most recent contact information on the opening web page.