Unions, Cuomo meet on binding arbitration as deadline nears

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Police union representatives from around the state and other labor officials met with the Cuomo administration Wednesday to discuss the state’s binding arbitration law, which is set to expire at the end of June, several sources said.

Back in January, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo proposed capping police and firefighters' pay hikes, that are awarded through arbitration, at 2 percent for some communities. The cap would have applied only to municipalities whose property taxes are among the 25 percent highest in the state.

Some unions opposed the idea and legislators didn’t include the proposal in the state budget that went into effect on April 1.

As it stands now, the binding arbitration provision in what’s called the Taylor Law, which bars public workers from striking, would expire at the end of the month if not addressed.
Earlier this week, the governor said he’s still looking to change the law.

Wednesday's meeting including police unions, the AFL-CIO and other labor groups, said one labor official who added the meeting was "productive."

"It's still going back and forth," the official said.

“There should be reforms to the binding arbitration system that make the system work better for everyone,” Cuomo said Monday on The Capitol Pressroom, a public radio program. “Just extending it without reform is the less desirable option.”


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