Rejecting almost every cost-sharing proposal suggested by the management side, a state arbitration panel has awarded a two-year, 6.6 percent increase in base salaries to members of the police officers union in the Village of Rockville Centre in Nassau County. (See correction and clarification at end of item.)
The combination of an above-inflation salary hike and protection of existing perks for Rockville Centre cops is the latest example of a syndrome that has driven up and locked in unsustainable compensation costs for police and firefighters across New York State. Unfortunately, Governor Cuomo seems on the verge of blowing a golden opportunity to force meaningful arbitration reform.
“Mandate relief remains elusive,” is one of the state-related headlines in today’s Albany Times Union — and that much, at least, is true. Unfortunately, the article beneath the headline repeats a familiar canard about the origins of the Triborough Amendment.
Rick Karlin of the paper’s Capitol Bureau writes:
The Triborough Amendment is one of the most-cited mandates.
Under the rule, which came as part of an agreement by public unions not to go on strike, the terms and conditions of an existing contract stay in place even if it is expired and workers and management haven’t settled on a new deal. [Emphasis added.]
Unions have long claimed that there was a link between Triborugh and the strike prohibition. But this is simply not true.
Governor Cuomo’s 2012-13 budget, to be presented later today, will command media attention for the rest of the week. Advance reports on his modified pension reform proposal are especially promising. Meanwhile, there’s a (fiscally) cost-free approach to helping local governments and school districts alleviate their budget problems: repealing the Triborough Amendment.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute has just released a new index that takes a comprehensive approach to measuring just how powerful government unions are in each of the 50 states.
Which state had the lowest ranking, denoting the most powerful unions?
Need you ask? Chalk up another #50 for the Empire State.