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What you need to know for 01/17/2017

State, labor union reach tentative contract deal

State, labor union reach tentative contract deal

Agreement includes 2 percent raises for each of three years

ALBANY -- The state and the labor union that represents 54,000 state employees have reached a new tentative agreement.

The contract, according to an announcement by the New York State Public Employees Federation, covers the period from April 2016 to April 2019. It calls for three compounded wage increases of 2 percent per year, retroactive to April 2, 2016, according to the union’s announcement.

The contract includes no health care concessions and no negotiated changes in healthcare benefits or costs, according to the union. It provides no increases in member co-pays, deductibles or other out-of-pocket costs for the full three-year term of the contract.

“On behalf of PEF’s 54,000 members, I would like to thank the governor, members of his executive staff and the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations bargaining professionals for their hard work and cooperation in connection with this agreement,” said PEF President Wayne Spence, in a prepared statement.

Spence also thanked the union’s contract team for its work on the tentative labor agreement, which will now be put before the union’s members for ratification.

PEF is one of the largest unions in the United States and is New York’s second-largest state-employee union, representing 54,000 workers, according to a statement by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“Our public workers play a vital role in the function of New York and their outstanding contributions continue to move this state forward,” Cuomo said in the prepared statement. “The new contract strikes a balance of ensuring that our public servants are treated fairly, while reaffirming our commitment to fiscal discipline that taxpayers deserve.

“This is an important step in our efforts to maintain New York’s outstanding workforce, and I look forward to continuing to work together for years to come.”

Under the terms of the tentative labor agreement, both the state and PEF agree to work together on a plan to reduce out-of-control health care costs. Other elements of the contract were expected to be released soon.

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