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Cuomo vetoes pay-raise panel

Saturday, September 28, 2013
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— Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoed a bill on Friday that would have created a commission to establish raises for the state’s non-union employees.

Thousands of state employees — including some political appointees, but mostly people promoted to management positions or with access to employee records — fall under the label of management or confidential employees, who saw annual raises end in recent years because of fiscal constraints.

If signed into law, the bill, which passed the state Legislature with only two votes in opposition, would have established a commission on managerial or confidential employee compensation to ensure salary levels were set on a regular basis.

The veto drew a strong rebuke from the group representing the management and confidential employees. “This continuing under-compensation of the M/C Workforce is bad public policy, bad management and counterproductive to maintaining a competent, qualified, dedicated workforce who provide the programs and services needed by the state’s residents,” read a statement from the group.

Cuomo said in his veto message that compensation should be dealt with as part of the budget process. “Unquestionably, managerial and confidential state employees provide valuable services to the state,” read the veto message. “The overall salary structure for employees and public officers warrants a review and analysis to make it more fair to all state workers.”

Some M/C employees have received bonuses and raises.

The bill memorandum highlighted the fact that because of delayed raises, some managerial employees make less money than the employees they supervise. As a result, the memorandum argues that people are turning down promotions to M/C positions.

“In addition, as a result of the administrative withholding of M/C pay raises 2009 and 2010, as well as the non-negotiated pay schedules contained in 2011-2016 PayBill, enacted at the end of the 2011 Legislative Session, M/C employees, if left unaddressed, will not receive a raise for 5 consecutive years,” reads the bill memo.

A salary commission is not used to determine salaries of employees in public unions, such as CSEA or PEF, which had very public negotiations in recent years with Cuomo’s administration. A commission was set up to make recommendations on judicial compensation.

Reach Gazette reporter David Lombardo at 395-3134, dlombardo@dailygazette.net or @poozer87 on Twitter.

 
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