Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Donn Rowe, President of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association, Inc. (NYSCOPBA), today announced a contract agreement between the state and the union representing New York State's correction officers. This is the first negotiated agreement between the state and NYSCOPBA since 1999. NYSCOPBA and New York State were unable to agree on a contract for 9 years prior to this agreement.
The agreement resolves outstanding wage and contractual issues dating to 2009 and follows the pattern of recently negotiated contracts. The contract is tentative pending ratification by NYSCOPBA membership.
"By cooperating and collaborating on these negotiations, we have been able to reach an agreement on a contract that takes into account the fiscal realities of our state while maintaining the rights and benefits of these law enforcement members who work each day to protect New Yorkers," Governor Cuomo said. "NYSCOPBA recognized the need for shared sacrifice in this agreement, and I thank President Rowe for his leadership."
Donn Rowe, President, New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association, Inc. (NYSCOPBA), said, "NYSCOPBA members have some of the most dangerous jobs in New York, and they have never asked for more than their fair share. On behalf of the hard-working NYSCOPBA membership, I want to thank Governor Cuomo and his staff for the respectful tone of these negotiations, and I want to credit the Governor for acknowledging the difficult job our correction members have. They perform a valuable service to protect all New Yorkers everyday."
NYSCOPBA's Security Services unit is composed of correction officers and sergeants assigned to prisons in the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. Members of NYSCOPBA have not had a contract since 2008 and opted out of arbitration for the years 2009 through 2011.
The agreed upon contract will save approximately $106 million from employee health benefits over the term of the agreement. In addition, the agreement will save $50 million from the Deficit Reduction Program covering the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 fiscal years.
Highlights of the agreement, which will require ratification by the NYSCOPBA membership, include:
Zero percent wage increases for the three years 2011-2013, and 2% increases in 2014 and 2015.
A $1,000 retention bonus paid out $775 in 2013 and $225 in 2014.
Deficit Reduction Leave of nine days (unpaid leave).
One retroactive payment that is scheduled to be paid before the end of the calendar year, only if possible.
Health insurance premium share increase by 6% for both individual and families, making the share 16% for individuals and 31% for dependent premiums.
Officers will receive layoff protection identical to that provided to other unions in labor agreements negotiated since last year. Workforce reductions due to management decisions to close or restructure facilities authorized by legislation, SAGE recommendations or material or unanticipated changes in the state's fiscal circumstances are not covered by this limitation.