According to the New York Times, the state sought the concessions to help balance a budget that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says includes pain for everyone: record tax increases, substantial program cuts and worker givebacks in health care, pension benefits and wages.
The agreement also reportedly includes a provision that no employees will be laid off in the next four years. Malloy, a Democrat, had issued layoff notices for nearly 4,800 of the states 45,000 state employees, but rescinded the notices after the deal was announced.
The deal has been submitted to 15 unions and 34 bargaining units. If approved it will go to the state legislature.
I hate to say if its good or bad but we stand behind it and think its the right thing to do in these difficult times, said union spokesman Larry Dorman.
The union leaderships strategy of making concessions to avoid legislative restrictions on union rights backfired in Massachusetts. On April 14 municipal unions in Boston agreed to a deal with Mayor Thomas Menino that raised health insurance premiums and co-payments for both care and medicine.
We really wanted to demonstrate that unions are not the problem, that we can be part of the solution, Jennifer Springer, lead negotiator for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees told the Boston Globe. I would hope that the folks at the State House will look at this and see that we dont have to take away collective bargaining.
The Massachusetts legislators took a look at it and passed a bill in the Democratic-led House of Representatives April 26 that would limit collective bargaining and allow municipalities to set health insurance co-payments and deductibles. It must still pass the state senate and be signed by Gov. Deval Patrick to become law.
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Pennsylvania: Health workers fight union busting
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