Saturday, January 22, 2011

State Layoffs? PEFFFF

The New York State Public Employees Federation has basically told Gov. Andrew Cuomo to rethink a proposal he floated this week that the state might need to layoff between 10,000 and 15,000 employees.
In a statement on Thursday, PEF President Kenneth Brynien said his organization understood the state's drastic fiscal crisis, but rejected the idea of massive firings.
"It would have a chilling effect on the state's economy and undermine the state's fragile recovery. We should all be working together to create jobs, not more layoffs," said Brynien.
"If the goal is to cut costs, PEF has several suggestions on how to achieve savings without damaging state services and harming the dedicated public employees who provide them. What cannot be lost in this debate is this is not just a spending problem, it is a revenue problem."
This release seems to embody a growing hostility between labor organizations and the Cuomo administration. On Wednesday morning during the Mandate Relief Team's meeting, CSEA's Fran Turner went on the defensive about labor benefits.
Remarks from her and NYSUT representatives were sparked by other teammates who suggested something needs to be done about pension costs. THe threats against union workers included team chairman Larry Schwartz's suggestion that there might be a Tier 6 negotiation.
The response from the labor people was essentially that the state needs to take advantage of low hanging fruit savings in technology advances and health care.

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