Good Tuesday morning. Here’s a digest of today’s opinion content:
PEF contract: Editorial
We comment on news that the Public Employees Federation, the second-largest union for state workers, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have reached tentative accord on a new contract. The union voted to rejected an earlier contract last month and faced approximately 3,500 layoffs; the new deal would avert that blood-letting. We write:
… Now it appears there’s hope of averting the mass layoffs — thanks to fruitful negotiations between union leaders and the Cuomo administration. A tentative accord on a new contract still must be approved by the 56,000-member PEF. Members rejected the earlier agreement 54 percent to 46 percent; the state’s largest public employee union, the 66,000-member Civil Service Employees Association, already OK’d a similar agreement.
The union said the new contract “better meets the needs of our members”; Gov. Cuomo said the agreement would remain “revenue neutral” and come at no additional cost to taxpayers. The new contact would be for four years instead of five, and includes reimbursements for nine furlough days instead of four; a $1,000 cash payment over two years was removed.
The concession-laden agreement reflects the kind of shared sacrifice that many public employee unions have made during this period of great economic upheaval, usually in exchange for protection against job cuts. …
Tappan Zee Bridge: Baird
Bob Baird assesses the latest plans to replace the aging Tappan Zee Bridge in today’s column.
Davids Island: Reisman
In today’s offering, Phil Reisman attempts to unravel the riddle of Davids Island in New Rochelle.
Here’s what our colleagues are saying today:
PEF makes a smart move: Editorial, Albany Times Union
Drilling impact would be heavy: Editorial, Poughkeepsie Journal
Drug-law reforms working: Editorial, Newsday