Yesterday, the Public Employees Federation (PEF) voted down — by a wide margin – the contract their leadership negotiated with Gov. Cuomo. The Governor’s staff was quick to place the blame on the union.

But as E.J. points out in today’s New York Post, PEF – like all public-sector unions – had little to lose from voting the contract down, thanks to the Triborough Amendment. We’ve been writing about Triborough more and more in recent months. The decades old law:

ensures that provisions of a public-sector union contract remain in effect even after the contract expires. As local government officials have been pointing out for years, this puts management — meaning, ultimately, taxpayers — at a distinct disadvantage when trying to bargain for lower costs.

Even though 3,500 PEF members will likely be laid off now:

… more than 90 percent of the union membership will keep their jobs while avoiding payless furloughs and higher insurance premiums. What’s more, thanks to Triborough, many workers will also continue pocketing the annual longevity “step” increments mandated by the civil-service-salary schedule — just as they would have done if the squishy “freeze” in base salaries had been ratified.

Finally, E.J. sums it up nicely:

After all, the main reason the Triborough Amendment hasn’t been challenged in Albany — even though it tops most municipal and school-district mandate-relief agendas — is because Cuomo has been unwilling to go near it.

They can’t say they weren’t warned.

About the Author

Tim Hoefer

Tim Hoefer is president & CEO of the Empire Center for Public Policy.

Read more by Tim Hoefer

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