In a blow to Governor Andrew Cuomo's string of labor victories, the Professional Employees Federation--New York State's second largest union--announced its membership had rejected the agreement reached between its leadership and the governor's office.
With nearly 70 percent of the membership voting, the union rejected the measure 54 percent to 46 percent.
“The decision to reject the tentative agreement was made by our rank-and-file members who clearly feel they are being asked to sacrifice more than others, particularly in light of the pending expiration of the state’s millionaire’s tax," said PEF's President Ken Brynien in a statement. “We are calling on the governor to resist laying off thousands of our members as he has threatened and, instead, work with us to identify savings that would preserve the state’s depleted workforce and services, especially during this economic downturn and in light of the recent flooding."
The governor's office has threatened the union with layoffs if the contract, which included three years with no raises, was not approved.