Paterson continues to threaten CSEA and PEF
with lay-offs and a pay freeze
(photo by Ove Overmyer)
Albany, N.Y.-- In a Buffalo News report dated March 30, Governor David Paterson reiterated his old tired song and dance one more time, blaming public employee unions for his budget woes. The real issue here is his lack of vision and leadership-- there are alot of smart people in Albany-- too bad he can't find any public policy wonks to help him add to the revenue side of the budget. And, simply stated, to say that unions are not sacrificing in these tough economic times is a complete fabrication. The truth is Governor Paterson has proven that he is not up to the challenge of doing the people's business.
Paterson last year agreed to a no-layoff deal with CSEA and PEF in return for their support of a bill creating a new pension plan — with higher employee costs — for future government hires. But that deal ends Dec. 31, an aide to the governor said, and CSEA and PEF members could face layoff notices and stricter limits on things like overtime pay.
"This seems to be another measure of this administration's incompetence and learning disability," said CSEA spokesperson Steve Madarasz. "They don't even seem to know what negotiations are." He also added that Paterson has been talking up the same ideas for nearly two years, and won't budge on ideas suggested by our union.
"I don't think they know what they're doing at this point," added Darcy Wells, a PEF spokeswoman. "Management 101 is you don't threaten your employees, the people working hard every day trying to make the administration look good, as if such a thing at this point were possible."
Unions aren't the only ones criticizing Paterson's plans for the work force. A week ago, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver criticized both the governor's $250 million plan and $450 million by the Senate Democrats for "work force savings;" neither Paterson nor the Senate, Silver said, provide any explanation for how those savings will be realized.
A Paterson adminstration official said reducing the work force through attrition is an option, but said nearly three-quarters of the payroll is at agencies running prisons and mental health and mental retardation facilities — departments that need to fill jobs to continue critical services.
"Considering last year he made an agreement not to do layoffs this is not really resonating well with the state employees that he's threatening again to do layoffs," said one state worker who did not want to be identified.
"We don't make a lot of money so it's hard for the little people. We just suffer, we suffer," exlaimed another state worker.
To read the full story in the Buffalo News, click here. I must warn you, that the Buffalo News organization has an agenda of its own.