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I was appalled after reading about Gov. George Pataki's threats to fine transportation department workers downstate. People do get sick, and to be threatened with fines or termination during flu season is a little ridiculous. These state employees have worked without a contract for 9 months.

I am a state employee and CSEA member. We have gone to work every holiday, every shift, and the governor is expecting us to agree to a measly 11 percent raise after he has taken away our prescription plan and our insurance rates have gone up. Yet he received a 38 percent raise.

We are the people driving the snowplows alone in the middle of the night, and the ones caring for the mentally ill and mentally retarded patients. He calls us the best employees. We are because we are trained and know our jobs and do them well. May I suggest that the state's blue-collar workers get what they deserve?

Perhaps Pataki should drive a snowplow in the middle of a blizzard or work in a group home for a week and get his hands a little dirty. Then he will know what it is like.


Silver Creek

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