The Conservative Party of New York State issued the following legislative memo to the Members of the Legislature asking them to codify the Triborough Amendment to provide localities some mandate relief and save taxpayers from ever increasing costs.
An act to amend the civil service law, in relation to improper employer practices relating to the continuation of pay, vacation and health care benefits; to amend the education law, in relation to employer contributions to certain retirement plans; to amend the civil service law, in relation to disputed agreements; and to amend the retirement and social security law, in relation to establishing a defined contribution plan and in relation to establishing a defined contribution plan and in relation to certain binding arbitration awards.
Localities are fiscally strained by mandates that they have no control over, including the components of the Triborough Amendment that was passed in 1982. New York State is the only state in the nation known to require, under the amendment, that as long as no agreement is reached, the terms of the current expired contract remain in effect. What incentive is there to bargain in good faith, when union leadership know their members will continue to get their step and/or longevity increases?
Under the Triborough Amendment, there is no need to negotiate any reductions or givebacks knowing that an arbitrator seldom considers the employers' ability to pay increases. Since this proposal limits a binding arbitration award to a maximum of 2% for all compensation items subject to negotiation, both sides will be required to come to the table knowing that the maximum increase is limited to 2%.
Codifying the Triborough Amendment will protect workers' salaries and benefits while acknowledging that there is a limit to what taxpayers are forced to pay, especially since taxpayers do not have any input as to how contract increases effect their lives.
Creating a defined contribution plan for non-civil service employees and elected officials of the state will also go a long way to lessen the burden on localities thereby saving hard-earned taxpayer dollars while allowing those in a defined contribution plan the ability to take it with them as they change jobs.
Allowing state and local employees, as well as teachers, the option to join the SUNY optional retirement system will also help relieve the ever-changing burden on localities by providing employers with a known cost and has the added benefit of allowing the employee a portable retirement account.
The Conservative Party urges the Members of the Legislature to pass this bill and give some mandated relief to the working taxpayers of New York State.