Public Worker Contracts Are Not A Done Deal

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For the last week, Fred Gerloff from Local 015 of the Civil Service Employees Association says members have been meeting with the union's negotiators.

"We had five members of the negotiating team come and explain the contract changes," said Gerloff.

CSEA leaders are trying to convince their members that it's better to take the newly negotiated deal than risk losing thousands of jobs as the state cuts costs.

The contract will call for workers to take:

- 9 furlough days within the next 2 years
- a three-year pay freeze
- an increase in health insurance costs

The Public Employees Federation agreed to an almost identical deal just this weekend.

In a news release, PEF President Kenneth Brynien campaigned for its approval stating, "We are confident this is the best agreement that could be negotiated in the current environment."

State workers who spoke with 7 News also expressed a similar sentiment.

They declined to go on camera, but one man said he's just happy to have a job.

"I think, generally, people understand the economic conditions we're in and they like to keep their job and do their job," said Gerloff.

Gerloff says that's the attitude in upstate New York, but there's no telling how members elsewhere will vote.

CSEA workers have until August 12 to decide, but if contracts are shot down, that means the state will then be forced to make layoffs.

Friday, November 28, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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