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State targets 9,000 layoffs

Paterson says trim work force; unions furious

Gov. David Paterson speaks during a news conference at the Capitol in Albany on Monday as Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith, D-Queens, left, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, listen.
Gov. David Paterson speaks during a news conference at the Capitol in Albany on Monday as Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith, D-Queens, left, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, listen.
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Gov. David Paterson on Tuesday ordered layoffs that could total about 4 percent of state workers after unions refused concessions amid a staggering economic downturn that was projected to push the state’s deficit to $16 billion in the next year. Budget Director Laura Anglin told The Associated Press that the layoffs of nearly 9,000 employees would be the first since the late 1990s after unions refused to even provide counterproposals. It was unclear if the ...

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comments

Aragorn
March 25, 2009
5:27 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Might as well start cutting these positions now - why wait 4 months till July? It's not like there's going to be a huge turnaround in the economy soon, and the tax revenue numbers keep falling monthly.

Welcome to the real world state workers, where layoffs are happening at an increasing rate to good, hard-working people just like you!

bigjohnsr1965
March 25, 2009
5:40 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Well, Patterson wonders why his numbers are down , gee you think?

Ground_Control
March 25, 2009
7:31 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

They should have been laid off or terminated years ago.

resident
March 25, 2009
7:58 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

It's always easy to say that the State Employees should be reduced but there are several items the governor should do first. Like
1. Reduce overtime
2. eliminate the top 5 years based on overtime
3. Have a cap on salary on state employees making over 150,000 per year
4. reduce member items
5. reduce contract employees
6. eliminate neptosim in state jobs
7. work with the unions not threaten jobs
This is a political ploy to bring the unions back to the tables, Why should the Unions give up negotiated conract items????? Even the Assembly Members had no idea of what the Governor was going to propose which brings me to this point on the political process.. The three people in the state who have power, not the elected officials, Its always the Governor, the Senate Leader and the Assembley Leader who are all Democrates and will be held accountable for this economic disaster. There are over 150 people who make more $$$$$ that this one term governor, How about them??????
With this economic status adding more people to unemployment sure doesn't make sense to me....

annarondac
March 25, 2009
9:21 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

The unions won't negotiate. That says it all.

WadeFarrGodot
March 25, 2009
11:02 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

It takes people to guard prisoners, to collect taxes, to plow the roads, and to provide direct services to those who need them.

Above that level, there is room for debate.

resident
March 25, 2009
12:02 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

The unions will certainily negotiate, what they will not do is to surrender a contract that was previousily negotiated in good faith with the State,
what Union do you know that surrenders in the face of threats, No the unions are protecting their membership and the negotiated rights... They will not go to a barganing table under the threat of layoffs, The problem is not with the Unions but rather the big spending that Government over the years has provided to vested interests. Do some research by looking at Member Items and see what examples of waste we as taxpayers spend, Look at the special taxing districts, look at the political salaries provided and you think the Unions are the Problem, Open your eyes to the waste, ineffective
government, lack of consolidation, There are just two many problems with the State Administration, Its not the Unions, It's a government that fails in the responsibility of controling expenses and now must rein in the finances and their solution is to cut critical functions, threaten layoffs, etc. When is enough, enough, Its almost back to the revolutionary war when the expression was "Taxation without Representation" maybe the next Tea revolution will be in New York when the citizens are simply tired of politicians not being able to govern but simply to tax. Don't blame the unions, Respect the Unions, Without them there would be no American Development....

Barrell
March 25, 2009
12:29 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

I applaud Governor Patterson! Finally a government official who is doing what he is supposed to do. When was the last time our elected officials came to the tax payers after negotiations with the state unions and told us they had obtained a good contract for us? Instead our leaders are afraid to anger the unions so they continually give in to their outrageous demands costing the tax payers dearly. What the unions seem to forget is that the government has no money; they are paid with funds taken from the people. So every time they gain more in their contracts it comes out of their neighbor’s pockets. Both our elected officials and the unions keep their contracts secret so the people don’t realize the extent that the unions profit. These contracts are protected by the state constitution so even if an item was deemed to be excessive it can not be changed unless the unions are willing to renegotiate once again affording no protection for us who pay for it all. I think it is time that these contracts are fully disclosed and renegotiated with fairness to the tax payers an equal priority with that of the union worker. Learning bits and pieces of what these contracts include demonstrates how badly they need to be reformed. It is time that our elected officials realize that they are negotiating these contracts on behalf of the tax payers and stop giving into the outrageous demands of the unions. It is time they answer questions like why don’t retired state workers pay NYS income tax on their retirement benefits? How much revenue does this cost the state each year? Why do state employees only have to pay into their retirement for 10 years? Why are state employees pensions guarantied? Mine certainly is not. What are the legacy costs of the state employees? Why does each employee get a raise each year regardless of performance? Why can’t the state get rid of poor performing employees? Why are there so many state workers? Each and every government job should be absolutely necessary; those that are not should be eliminated.
I hope the citizens of New York will stand with Governor Patterson and help him to correct years of poor governing.

wendi0801
March 25, 2009
1:13 p.m.

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I have to agree with many of the previous comments. It's certainly long overdue! Why should private sector jobs suffer alone? The state has too many employees who do absolutely nothing. I'm not being insensitive to this, but come on - we all know people who work for the state, and we all know people who do nothing while at work. I have friends and family that work for the state - and I can tell you that 3 out of 4 do not actually "work". They read books, do crossword puzzles, read the paper just to "make the day go by". If I did that at work - I would be fired as would many other people. I'm not saying that every division of the state does this, but most offices do have those employees. Let's hope those state employees who have jobs now appreciate them, think of all the hard working individuals who have lost jobs. Lets hope change does happen and soon - for all of us.

socalbob
March 25, 2009
1:22 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

that's fine as long as he dumps those with 6 figured salaries who do nothing except collect a paycheck every two weeks. he can also dump all those political appointees and those agencies who have board members that do absolutely nothing.

AbusedTaxpayer
March 25, 2009
11:18 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

I think if Paterson's rating poll was taken today you might find he gained some support from other areas of the state. Now we'll have to see if he holds his ground on this.
Other things that should be considered is to get rid of all state retirees that have been re-employed by the state & agencies. Those positions should be the first to go. They are getting a good pension so move on.

The next place is to cut the budget of every agency in the state by 10%. There are far too many empty suits stashed in the agencies with little accountability. The residents of NYS are taxed to death & it is time to address the crushing tax burden that makes doing business in this state impossible.

Yes, cutting 8,900 positions will be a blow to this area, but other parts of the state have suffered far more as the private sector has been laying off in droves.

The arrogance of the state workforce and their unions is absolutely nauseating. I can't wait to see the CSEA and PEF ads wailing about how unfair it is to the poor downtrodden state worker. Too bad, I work in the public sector - we are absorbing an increase in our health insurance contribution from 5% to 10% as of April 1 & there will be no raises for most of us. If that is what it takes to save some jobs & still deliver the services our public expects then we will do it. My husband is in the private sector & he is getting 3 weeks of furlough (no pay weeks off), no contribution to the 401k & is considering himself lucky to still have a job because his employer has laid off about 30 salaried professionals since the beginning of 2009.

With the size of the state workforce the layoffs could be twice that number & we still not be as competitive as most other states. Good start Governor Paterson, glad you found your backbone.

ignoredissue
March 26, 2009
11:19 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Gov. David Paterson’s approved huge pay raises and promotions for his direct staff who already earned ridiculously huge salaries. The hard working State employees who struggle to support there families he wants to take away 3% negotiated cost of living raise and 5 days pay, these hard working employees also can not get promoted under his State hiring freeze.

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