PEF blasts Paterson’s grant giveaways during fiscal crisis
Albany - The New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF) points out once again the work force reductions as ordered by Gov. David Paterson have never been about saving money and they should stop.
“How can this governor think that authorizing $16.7 million in grants from the governors member item account to pay for things like promoting a New Jersey Super Bowl in the future is the best use of taxpayer dollars during this financial crisis?” asked PEF President Kenneth Brynien.
“Right now, hundreds of our members are trying to figure out how they are going to continue to support their families as we enter the holiday season while Paterson is directing millions to pet projects.
“If this was really about saving money, the governor would have offered the early retirement incentive (ERI) much earlier to allow for more savings. He would have broadened the incentive, and he would now extend the offer to allow more state employees to leave state service. If this was really about saving money, the governor would support the cost-benefit analysis bill to require a cost-benefit analysis before state agencies contract out work to higher-priced consultants,” Brynien added.
PEF notes Assemblyman John McEneny recently spoke out against Gov. Paterson’s plan to lay off hundreds of state workers at the close of the calendar year. In an interview which aired Thursday, December 2 on WTEN, Channel 10 Albany, McEneny said there was no need to go forward with the layoffs at this time as a result of a recent report that tax revenues are up by almost $600 million this past quarter.
“PEF has been warning that further cuts to the state work force would have a serious impact on the ability of state employees to provide state services,” said Brynien. “We’ve also been offering savings solutions but this governor will hear none of it.”
On Tuesday, December 7, PEF leaders will be testifying at an Assembly hearing on the state Department of Transportation two-year capital plan providing examples of ways the state can save an estimated $55.6 million to $84.3 million a year. The savings can be achieved by having state employees do between 50 percent and 90 percent of the work currently done by more expensive private consultants at the state Department of Transportation (DOT).