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NY State Employees Union Accepts Wage Cuts

ALBANY, N.Y., Aug. 16 (UPI) — Members of New York’s largest state employees union agreed to accept wage and benefits concessions sought by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the union announced.

The Civil Service Employees Association announced Monday its members voted to approve the contract agreement reached by Cuomo and union leaders in June, The New York Times reported. About 60 percent of the membership voted to accept the deal and 40 percent voted against it.

Ratification was key for Cuomo, whose plan to close the state’s budget gap relied on state employees’ willingness to accept a wage freeze and an increase in the cost of health benefits to safeguard their jobs.

“These are not ordinary times, and CSEA worked hard to reach an agreement that we believed would be in everyone’s best interest,” union President Danny Donohue said in a statement. “CSEA members agree that this contract is reasonable and responsible for the long term and shows that CSEA members will do what is right for the good of all New Yorkers.”

Cuomo called the ratification “a win for the union and a win for the people of the state. The union avoided layoffs, and the state is financially stronger. I’m pleased that our approach of labor and management working together is vindicated.”

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