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Cuomo, union leaders come to tentative deal to save state jobs

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Layoffs of nearly 3,500 state employees could be avoided under a contract agreement with Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday.

The deadline for the layoffs remains Wednesday, but if the executive board of the New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF) approves the contract Monday, they’d have until Nov. 4 to arrange a membership vote on the tentative deal.

Union leaders and Cuomo are confident the rank-and-file will approve this new four-year contract, although a previous agreement was voted down in September over wage freezes and language for layoff protections.

“The ratification of this agreement will demonstrate that our members are willing to sacrifice to save the jobs of … their coworkers and preserve the level of service to taxpayers,” PEF President Ken Brynien said in a statement.

As part of the deal, the contract would provide no salary increases from 2011-2013, but then a 2% raise in 2014.

Layoff language, meanwhile, remains unchanged.

Cuomo said in a statement Sunday that his administration has been “reasonable and fair” during negotiations, and the contract still achieves the “same level of savings as the first proposal.”

The governor has been pushing for concessions in light of fiscal shortfalls in Albany.

PEF is New York’s second-largest state employee union, representing 56,000 mostly white-collar workers.

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