The Public Employees Federation said today it will not reopen its contract with the state this year as 4 percent raises are expected to take effect in April.
In a statement today, PEF President Kenneth Brynien said the union has repeatedly “demonstrated the state can meet the governor’s target for savings replacing high-cost consultants with lower-cost state employees, as well as through other options the union has provided.”
He continued that, “until the state moves decisively to slash the use of costly consultants, PEF will not accept any demand for give-backs and we will continue to work to protect state jobs.”
Brynien cites a Buffalo News story today in which “anonymous statements from the governor’s office vilifying the state workforce and the unions that represent them does not create an atmosphere conducive to a positive solution.”
The union, Brynien said, will also hold Paterson to his promise last year that no layoffs would be made until his term expires at year’s end. Paterson made the deal in order to get a new, less generous pension tier for new public employees.
Paterson is seeking $250 million in concessions from public-employee unions to help close the state’s $9.2 billion budget deficit.
Earlier today, Paterson told reporters that no decision has been made on whether the raises—which will cost the state about $250 million (the rest comes from federal aid)—will be delayed.