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CSEA reaches tentative contract deal with Cuomo

Albany -- The largest union representing state workers has reached a tentative, five-year contract deal with the state that it says will avert its share of layoffs threatened by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

The Civil Service Employees Association announced the deal's terms for its 66,000 members working in the state's executive branch. If ratified, CSEA would be the first union to settle with Cuomo, who has said he will fire up to 9,800 workers if concessions are not made.

A ratification vote is expected over the next several weeks. Here are the terms of the deal, which rescinds layoff notices recently sent by Cuomo to CSEA members, as provided in a release by the union:

Wages

• No across the board salary increase in FY 2011 and 2012;
• $1,000 (not added to base pay) starting April 1, 2013; ($775 lump sum payable April 1, 2013 / $225 lump sum payable April 1, 2014)
• 2 percent across the board increase payable April 1, 2014;
• 2 percent across the board increase payable April 1, 2015;
• No changes in payments of step increments;
• No changes in Longevity payments.

Furloughs

• Five unpaid days off in FY 2011; (The value of the five days will be spread over the remaining pay periods equally.)
• Four unpaid days off in FY 2012. (The value of the four days will be spread equally over pay periods in the fiscal year – employees will be reimbursed for the value of these days starting in year five of the contract.)

Health Benefits

• Grade 9 employees and below – 2 percent increase in premium; (Individuals - 10 percent increasing to 12 percent and family coverage – 25 percent increasing to 27 percent of premium cost.)
• Grade 10 employees and above – 6 percent increase in premium; (Individuals - 10 percent increasing to 16 percent and family coverage – 25 percent increasing to 31 percent of premium cost.)
• Various incremental changes in coverage provisions, co-payments and prescription drug benefits;
• Maintains funding for dental, prescription eyeglass and other benefits provided through the CSEA

Employee Benefit Fund

• No change in ability to use sick leave credits to help defray the cost of health insurance premiums in retirement.

The agreement would also maintain all side letter labor-management agreements currently in place between CSEA and New York state and establishes a committee to address the state’s use of temporary employees, consultants and contractors to determine how state employees can be better utilized to fill this role

-- By Tom Precious

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