A tentative contract agreement was announced last week between Council 82 and the state of New York. The state offered PEF a similar proposal.
PEF President Ken Brynien said PEF has not accepted the state's initial offer because it would impose an unfair burden including long-term hardships on members and their families. The state's proposal would require an average PEF member to give up as much as $10,000 in salary and benefits every year of the contract. Additionally, the state made it clear that accepting these concessions would not ensure PEF members would not be laid off anyway.
PEF has a counter proposal on the table that would achieve the savings the state needs for this fiscal year. Brynien said the union is willing to accept short-term hardships for what may very well be a short-term fiscal crisis.
The Council 82 agreement does not set the groundwork for PEF’s continuing negotiations. It should be noted that the bargaining unit that agreed with the governor represents less than one percent of the state work force and is a very specialized unit that has been working without a contract since 2005.