"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

New York unions cave to Governor Cuomo

Cuomo made the labor unions an offer they could not refuse:  take the deal or get fired.

Cuomo demanded significant financial concessions from unions and threatened layoffs for leverage

By being tough on unions is New York Governor Cuomo positioning himself as a "moderate" Democrat in the Bill Clinton mold for the 2016 Presidential election?  Time will tell on that.

Let me say, I don't believe for two seconds that any such beast as a "Moderate Democrat" exists.  Every damn Democrat is a wild-eyed Socialist.  The only reason Cuomo would even look moderate is because the state is BROKE from decades of insane spending by Big Government liberals from both parties. 

If Cuomo had the money today he would lavish big pay increases on government workers and expand share-the-wealth Marxist programs to buy votes for the next election.

But the money is not there.  So Cuomo gets to look like a hero for standing firm.

Members of New York’s largest union of state employees, in a begrudging acknowledgment of the increasingly hostile mood toward public workers, have agreed to accept major wage and benefits concessions sought by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D-New York).

The union, the Civil Service Employees Association, announced late Monday night that its members had voted by about 60 percent to 40 percent to approve the contract agreement that the governor and union leaders struck in June, says the New York Times.

The ratification was a critical victory for Cuomo, a Democrat whose plan to close the state’s budget gap relied in large part on a bet that state employees would be willing to stomach a freeze on wages and an increase in the cost of health benefits in return for safeguarding their jobs.

Savings from the five-year contract are expected to total $73 million this fiscal year, part of the $450 million in cuts that Cuomo’s budget counted on extracting from the state work force. And the governor’s office projected that if other unions agreed to the same terms total savings for the state would amount to $1.6 billion over five years.

Is Cuomo positioning himself for President in 2016?
 Beyond the savings, the ratification also goes a long way toward validating Cuomo’s strategy for dealing with public workers, tens of thousands more of whom will vote as early as next month on whether to agree to their own concessions.

In labor negotiations, the governor took a firm stance. He demanded significant financial concessions and was not shy about threatening layoffs to gain leverage.

The contract’s approval could encourage the state’s other major public-employee union, the Public Employees Federation, to approve its own, nearly identical deal with Cuomo when it is put to a vote next month. And it will bolster the governor’s case as he seeks concessions from other, smaller unions in coming months.

The agreement calls for a freeze on base wages for three years, followed by 2 percent annual raises in the contract’s last two years. The union’s last contract offered 3 percent raises for three years and a 4 percent raise in the final year.

Cuomo said he would have to eliminate as many as 9,800 jobs if workers refused to make concessions — appeared to frighten union members into accepting a contract they might in other years have considered unthinkable.

Hundreds of workers were only days away from losing their jobs when the 56,000-member Public Employees Federation agreed to its deal with Cuomo last month, averting the impending layoffs.

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