Layoffs of up to 10,000 state employees are “on the radar screen,” according to the New York Post.

Citing an unnamed Paterson administration official, the Post reports Governor Paterson has been told the “no layoffs” memorandum signed by a top state labor negotiator is “not legally binding” (here).

Paterson’s new tack follows a federal court ruling last week that temporarily blocked his $30 million-a-week plan to put 100,000 workers on furlough.

Now, he’s weighing pink slips if the furlough offensive fails in subsequent court hearings.

“Layoffs are on the radar screen,” said a source.

A legislative source told the Post that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is “warming to layoffs” because the unions appear “inflexible toward any other workforce savings.”

In July, John Currier, deputy director for contract negotiation and administration of the Office of Employee Relations, signed a “memorandum of understanding” with the state’s two largest unions, Civil Service Employees Association and Public Employees Federation.

In exchange for the unions not blocking passage of a new pension tier, the agreement said the Paterson administration would not lay off members to the two unions before December 31, 2010 (here) and (here).

According to the Post, legislative leaders told Paterson the pledge is not legally binding since it was not signed by Paterson himself.

Meanwhile, the Buffalo News writes today in an editorial, “Next step, layoffs” (here):

For now, the courts and the unions have left the governor with no good option short of layoffs to cut state payroll costs at a time when the state simply is running out of cash. That, too, is a form of negotiation–but not a good one.

Originally Published: NY Public Payroll Watch

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