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Latest News - December 2010

November 10, 2010
New York Sends Formal Notice of 900 State Layoffs
Source: The Wallstreet Journal
By: Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. — About 900 New York state workers received formal layoff notices on Friday, effective Dec. 31.

Gov. David Paterson, whose last day in office is Dec. 31, says he was forced to resort to layoffs because union leaders refused to give any concessions that would save the state $250 million toward multibillion deficits.

"Gov. David Paterson should be ashamed that the final act of his administration will be to punish union members and their families because he wanted to score cheap political points," said Kenneth Brynien, president of the Public Employees Federation union.

Brynien referred to Paterson's statements that he wants to take difficult action to cement his legacy of acting in a fiscal crisis and to turn over the governor's office to Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo on Jan. 1 with fewer problems.

Brynier called Friday a dark day in New York.

"This is an especially sad day because it is compounded by the knowledge that the layoffs of hundreds of state workers were 100 percent preventable," said Paterson spokeswoman Jessica Bassett. "Instead of offering workable solutions, the public employee unions chose to reject every proposed method of achieving work force savings this year, leaving the governor with no other options. Governor Paterson did not want to resort to layoffs."

Paterson budget spokesman Erik Kriss said more than 891 layoff notices likely went out, but fewer than 891 layoffs may result. He said that's because some jobs are expected to be vacated by retirement or other attrition.

"The fewer actual layoffs the better," he said, because retirements and quitting a job will mean fewer people receiving unemployment benefits.

Union leaders say the layoffs are an unnecessary hardship on families during the holidays that will further slow the state's economic recovery.

Paterson wanted to delay union workers' 4 percent pay raises or lag one paycheck to avoid layoffs.

Union leaders say they have recommended the state stop hiring private contractors and consultants.

Cuomo hasn't said if he will enforce the layoffs.

The layoffs would represent about 1 percent of the jobs controlled by the governor. The state has a deficit of up to $1 billion in its $135 billion budget and faces a deficit of more than $9 billion in the fiscal year beginning April 1.

 

 


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