New York’s government unions could lose up to $110 million a year depending on the outcome of an upcoming Supreme Court case that is fighting automatic union due deductions, according to a study released Tuesday.
New York state and local government workers could save at least $112 million a year if a pending U.S. Supreme Court case puts an end to compulsory fee collections for government unions, according to a new report from the Empire Center for Public Policy.
This report provides an overview of the current landscape of union representation, finances, lobbying and political activity in New York State. It concludes with recommendations designed to strengthen the rights of government workers and the oversight of union nances that are ultimately derived from taxpayer-funded salaries.
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case with potentially major implications for New York’s government employee unions—and, ultimately, taxpayers.
By an overwhelming margin, the state Assembly has approved a bill designed to partially inoculate New York’s government unions against a potential U.S. Supreme Court ruling ending the unions’ ability to extract dues-like “fees” from employees.
Legislation introduced by the politically potent state Senate Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) with Republican support would scrap a decades-old worker protection and make it more difficult for government employees to change their mind about paying dues to a labor union.
E.J. McMahon, president of the fiscally conservative Empire Center, contended that the state's unions have "a huge and very costly impact on public policy."
He said public salaries and benefits are "basically the tail that wags the public-sector dog. The other half are employed largely in either construction or in health care, both of which are heavily dependent on government subsidies."
Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York's second largest union of state government employees just announced a tentative contract deal that, if ultimately extended to all state workers, could add roughly $1.5 billion in salary costs to New York's budget by fiscal 2019.
Cuomo said the state had agreed to raise salaries for Public Employees Federation (PEF) members by 2 percent a year over three years, or a cumulative 6.12 percent, starting in the current fiscal year.