Union Vote Sets Stage for 3,500 Layoffs in New York

 
State workers in New York have followed their counterparts in Connecticut, rejecting a new contract and setting the stage for thousands of layoffs in a standoff with a Democratic governor.

On Tuesday (September 28), New York's second-largest state worker union, the Public Employees Federation, voted 54 percent to 46 percent to reject the tentative deal reached between union leaders and Governor Andrew Cuomo, saying it required them to make too many wage and benefits concessions, according to The New York Times .

The high-profile vote comes after months of talks between the unions and Cuomo, with the governor threatening a sweeping round of layoffs if rank-and-file public workers did not agree to his terms. After the vote, Cuomo vowed to make good on his threat, saying that layoff notices for 3,500 state workers would start arriving today. The layoffs could be the largest round of state worker job cuts since the early 1990s, when Cuomo's father was the governor, The Times notes.

It is unclear what will happen next. Cuomo is demanding that state workers reconsider their position, hoping to avoid the full-blown budget crisis that occurred earlier this year in neighboring Connecticut, where unions rejected a contract offered by Governor Dan Malloy before ultimately revising their own voting rules and agreeing to the deal after weeks of tension.

 
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