New York, NY –
The state budget process appears to be exacting a toll on Governor Paterson's relationship with the state employee unions. WNYC's Arun Venugopal has more.
REPORTER: The governor has taken a hard line on spending, including a vow to lay off 8,900 workers if unions aren't willing to make more concessions. But three of the biggest unions representing state workers say they've hardly been in touch with the governor, and that he's been using the media to score political points at labor's expense. Stephen Madarasz is with CSEA, which represents 70,000 state workers. He says the governor is far less aligned with labor than he was as a state senator.
MADARASZ: We frankly don't know the individual who's in the governor's office at this point. Because he has taken positions and actions that Senator David Paterson never would have done.
REPORTER: Madarasz also said Paterson has failed to specify just who would be laid off. Another union spokesman said Paterson is burning his bridges with the very people who form his political base. For WNYC, I'm Arun Venugopal.
Arun Venugopal is a reporter and the creator of Micropolis, WNYC’s multi-platform series examining race, sexuality, religion, street life and other issues that define New York City. He has been with the station since 2005, and has covered a wide range of stories, including the death of Sean Bell, the controversy over the Park 51 mosque and community center and Occupy Wall Street .