The fate of two government union-backed bills now awaiting Governor Andrew Cuomo’s signature will give an indication of how the governor will tackle major fiscal issues in his third term.
New York’s statewide teachers union is collecting cash from about 6,000 fewer people than it was before the Supreme Court ruling that ended compulsory union fees for public employees.
The state-city deal to bring one of Amazon’s two new headquarters to Long Island City might at least have provided New York City with another big benefit—a much-needed model of advanced, efficient building practices. After all, Amazon isn’t just a big corporation: It’s widely admired as a global leader in technological innovation.
Instead, it appears the deal will ensure that Amazon is saddled with the same arcane and outmoded construction-union work rules and compensation levels that have saddled New York City with the nation’s highest urban construction costs.
State officials are still working overtime to shield government unions from the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME. This week, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office has issued new guidelines effectively giving the unions the first say on efforts by employees to opt out of union dues payments.
Desperate to minimize a potential loss of dues under a recent Supreme Court ruling, one of New York State’s largest public employee unions is telling public employers to disregard the union’s own previously stated conditions for letting workers stop paying dues.
The tactic employed by the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) in response to the Janus v. AFSCME decision will put local governments in a bind—which is likely to end up generating added legal bills for taxpayers.
This is only the latest instance in which politics seem to be taking precedence over public interest at a consumer-focused regulatory agency.
Ken Girardin, with the fiscal watchdog group The Empire Center, said the new state law is a “favor to the union leaders” and bad public policy. But he said unions in New York still stand to lose significant revenue — and possibly, political clout — from the changes.
Governor Andrew Cuomo hit a new extreme in his bid to prop up government unions, telling public employers to ignore parts of both state law and the Supreme Court ruling in Janus v. AFSCME.