Here is the full press release from CSEA, dated June 22:
ALBANY - New York's leading union - CSEA - has reached a tentative contract agreement with New York state on a five-year deal to avert impending layoffs of CSEA-represented state employees and keep people working.
The agreement was reached after challenging negotiations with the Cuomo administration that will provide long term benefits to both to the 66,000 CSEA-represented state Executive Branch employees and New York taxpayers.
"I applaud CSEA's leadership for their hard work to reach this deal which is a win-win for CSEA members and the State of New York," said Governor Andrew Cuomo. "I commend the union and its leadership for making a significant contribution to help get the state's fiscal house in order and making the shared sacrifices these difficult times require. Working together, we will turn this state around and get our economy moving once again."
"These are not ordinary times and CSEA and the Cuomo administration have worked very hard at the bargaining table to produce an agreement that balances shared sacrifice with fairness and respect," said CSEA President Danny Donohue.
"CSEA stepped up to help produce the labor savings that Governor Cuomo sought while the governor responded to CSEA's concerns about job security along with a wage and benefit package that recognizes the pressures on working people," Donohue said.
"CSEA believes our members and all fair-minded New Yorkers will see this agreement as a responsible labor-management approach to facing the challenges in front of our state," Donohue said.
The agreement includes provisions to keep CSEA-represented state employees on-the job delivering essential services to New Yorkers. It will rescind imminent plans to issue layoff notices to CSEA-represented employees included in the 9,800 reductions previously announced by the Cuomo administration. It also provides other job security assurances for the life of the contract.
Some of the key provisions:
• No across the board salary increase in FY 2011 and 2012; • $1,000 (not added to base pay) starting April 1, 2013; ($775 lump sum payable April 1, 2013 / $225 lump sum payable April 1, 2014) • 2 percent across the board increase payable April 1, 2014; • 2 percent across the board increase payable April 1, 2015; • No changes in payments of step increments; • No changes in Longevity payments.
• Five unpaid days off in FY 2011; (The value of the five days will be spread over the remaining pay periods equally.)
• Four unpaid days off in FY 2012. (The value of the four days will be spread equally over pay periods in the fiscal year - employees will be reimbursed for the value of these days starting in year five of the contract.)
• Grade 9 employees and below - 2 percent increase in premium; (Individuals - 10 percent increasing to 12 percent and family coverage - 25 percent increasing to 27 percent of premium cost.)
• Grade 10 employees and above - 6 percent increase in premium; (Individuals - 10 percent increasing to 16 percent and family coverage - 25 percent increasing to 31 percent of premium cost.)
• Various incremental changes in coverage provisions, co-payments and prescription drug benefits; • Maintains funding for dental, prescription eyeglass and other benefits provided through the CSEA
Employee Benefit Fund; • No change in ability to use sick leave credits to help defray the cost of health insurance premiums in retirement.
The agreement would also maintain all side letter labor-management agreements currently in place between CSEA and New York state and establishes a committee to address the state's use of temporary employees, consultants and contractors to determine how state employees can be better utilized to fill this role.
The tentative agreement must be acted upon by the state legislature and ratified by CSEA rank and file members. CSEA will be conducting informational meetings and providing full details of the agreement to all members prior to the ratification vote which will be conducted by mail in the coming weeks.
CSEA negotiating team is comprised of 23 CSEA state employees selected to represent their co- workers. They were led at the table by CSEA Director of Contract Administration Ross Hanna and the union's professional negotiating staff.