ALBANY, NY- This is a dark day for the state of New York as more than 900 hard-working and committed state employees are formally notified they are being laid off. It is an action that is unnecessary and unconscionable. Not only are these individuals facing incredible hardships, their families are suffering, taxpayers will be impacted through the loss of services and the local economy will suffer as well.
Gov. David Paterson should be ashamed that the final act of his administration will be to punish union members and their families because he wanted to score cheap political points. Paterson will no doubt try and place blame on the unions. He will claim these layoffs could have been avoided and on that point, we agree. Time and again, the governor was presented with many options for cost reductions but instead he chose to cut the jobs of 900 workers.
We have tried to reason with Gov. Paterson on numerous occasions to point out several other options to achieve needed savings. Continued news reports that PEF refused to negotiate with the governor on how to help close the budget deficit are just plain inaccurate. There were no meetings, no discussions and a refusal on the governors part to even consider our ideas.
The loss of nearly 900 state employees will take $363,080,054 out of the state's economy at a time when we can least afford it. That staggering amount of money equates to more than 9,600 jobs lost in the private sector over the next three years. (The number is based on the standard economic multiplier for job loss as provided by the Capital District Planning Association).
PEF has pointed out repeatedly that there are 11,500 fewer state employees today than in 2008. That is 11,500 fewer people to provide the vital services on which taxpayers rely.
There are no words to ease the pain for our members who have been targeted for layoffs. This historic action taking place today has been caused by Gov. Paterson and can be stopped by Gov. Paterson.