WXXI Local Stories
Wed October 12, 2011
Cuomo Says Up to Union to Avert Lay Offs
By Karen DeWitt
Albany, New York –
Governor Andrew Cuomo says he's still trying to work out his disagreements with the state worker union, the Public Employees Federation, so that there are no lay offs. 3500 pink slips have already gone out after the union rejected an initial contract offer. Meanwhile, the union has scheduled an executive board meeting for Monday October 17th, two days before the lay offs are scheduled to occur.
Cuomo says talks are "on going" with the union, and he's "doing everything" he can do to avert the scheduled job cut backs.
"On the human level, I don't want to see 3500 people or so laid off," said Cuomo "I don't want to see 3500 families go through that."
But the governor says it's up to the leadership of the Public Employees Federation to convince its members to hold a re-vote.
On Tuesday, PEF President Ken Brynien complained that Cuomo's negotiators weren't providing enough details of a new offer, and accused the administration of dragging it's feet. Cuomo refused to say whether he would temporarily suspend the lay offs , which are now scheduled to begin October 19th, if the union membership agrees to vote on a modified new contract.
On Wednesday afternoon, PEF posted a notice on it's website, saying "the lines of communication between PEF and the state remain open", and that the union is trying to reach agreement with the governor. The notice says if "we make the progress we need to make", the executive board will meet on Monday, October 17th, for a vote on any new agreement.