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 Post subject: TRIBOROUGH MUST GO
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:34 pm 
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New York’s “Triborough Amendment”, enacted in 1982, mandates that public employee union contracts must remain in effect even after the contract actually expires. As a result, public employees are entitled to their usual perks, including automatic salary increases and fringe benefits, regardless of changing fiscal conditions or changing local priorities and regardless of an expired contract. Obviously, the Triborough Amendment creates a disincentive for teachers and other public employees to accept terms and conditions less costly than those allowed in their previous contract and it drastically hampers the employer, i.e. the taxpayer, to effectively negotiate changes in response to a depressed economy. Recently, the impact of the Triborough Amendment was illustrated when Governor Cuomo’s attempt to negotiate a less costly contract with a public employee union initially failed. In the words of one union member, “We have the Triborough Amendment- why do this to yourself?”

When teachers and other public employees complain they are working without a contract, they simply mean that they have not gotten an increase in their automatic increase, aka, step. They mean, on average, their annual salary increased only 2% instead of the usual 6%. This explains how the so called “salary freezes” negotiated by some school districts did not lower costs, but increased State costs by $140 million. In addition, the Amendment adds almost $300 million a year to school budgets across the State and these figures are only part of the story. Since the Triborough Amendment makes it easier for unions to resist proposals for more significant and lasting changes to work rules, staffing requirements and fringe benefits, the full cost of the Amendment is incalculable, as is its affect on student education.

Governor Cuomo’s two percent cap on county, municipal, school and special district property tax levies makes the case for repealing the Triborough Amendment. In order to live within the cap without disrupting public services, local governments and school districts need greater flexibility to restrain automatic pay increase and to restructure the most costly aspects of their collective bargaining agreements.

As expected, Unions have fiercely fought any attempt to repeal the Triborough Amendment, frequently asserting that the Triborough Amendment was a quid pro quo enacted to make up for outlawing public sector strikes. Not so! It was President Reagan’s’ 1981 dismissal and replacement of striking air traffic controllers and a prolonged economic boom that swelled government tax coffers that enabled local governments to appease unions which led to a decrease in public sector strikes.

Furthermore, when the Triborough Amendment is repealed, it would be replaced with an earlier version, the Triborough Doctrine, which would preserve major elements of public sector contracts, but at the same time, would give employers the ability to truly freeze employee wage increases in the absence of a new contract. The result would restore true collective bargaining to a system that now extends it to unions but denies collective bargaining to the taxpayer. New York State’s fiscal stability demands that Triborough be repealed, now.
Fred Gorman


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 Post subject: Re: TRIBOROUGH MUST GO
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:25 am 
Pension reform is needed, no doubt about it, but pension reform benefits are on a longer timeframe
whereas Triborough Amendment repeal effects would have immediate benefits - it that why there might be political resistance to tackling TA? because it affects current employees (with constituent names & faces) & not the more hypothetical "future" hires who are currently nameless & faceless?


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 Post subject: Re: TRIBOROUGH MUST GO
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:35 am 
If you remove Triborough then we might have to give them the right to strike. That would really blow the whole thing up, which might not be that bad of a thing.


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 Post subject: Re: TRIBOROUGH MUST GO
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:26 am 
gipcfred wrote:
As expected, Unions have fiercely fought any attempt to repeal the Triborough Amendment, frequently asserting that the Triborough Amendment was a quid pro quo enacted to make up for outlawing public sector strikes. Not so! It was President Reagan’s’ 1981 dismissal and replacement of striking air traffic controllers and a prolonged economic boom that swelled government tax coffers that enabled local governments to appease unions which led to a decrease in public sector strikes.


Revisionist history, Fred. The Taylor Law (1967) allowed public sector employees to unionize and gave them the right to collectively bargain. It ALSO prohibited them from striking. However, one weakness of the Taylor Law was that it still allowed public employers to unilaterally alter or eliminate many contractual benefits while attempting to negotiate/settle a successor agreement. It gave employers too much power, and as a result they had very little motivation to negotiate in good faith.

The Triborough Amendment to the Taylor Law erased public employers power to alter contractual benefits while negotiating a new agreement. It gives employers the motivation to negotiate fairly. And believe me, the rights given by the Triborough Amendment are ones that no public employee wants to use. We (yes, I am a public employee) always prefer to be IN contract and not have to worry about negotiations/etc.

Look around you, Fred. The public unions of today are NOT what they were 25 years ago! They are far more reasonable and sensitive to the current economic climate. We adapt!


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 Post subject: Re: TRIBOROUGH MUST GO
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:28 am 
Guest wrote:
gipcfred wrote:
As expected, Unions have fiercely fought any attempt to repeal the Triborough Amendment, frequently asserting that the Triborough Amendment was a quid pro quo enacted to make up for outlawing public sector strikes. Not so! It was President Reagan’s’ 1981 dismissal and replacement of striking air traffic controllers and a prolonged economic boom that swelled government tax coffers that enabled local governments to appease unions which led to a decrease in public sector strikes.


Revisionist history, Fred. The VPW Law (1967) allowed public sector employees to unionize and gave them the right to collectively bargain. It ALSO prohibited them from striking. However, one weakness of the VPW Law was that it still allowed public employers to unilaterally alter or eliminate many contractual benefits while attempting to negotiate/settle a successor agreement. It gave employers too much power, and as a result they had very little motivation to negotiate in good faith.

The Triborough Amendment to the VPW Law erased public employers power to alter contractual benefits while negotiating a new agreement. It gives employers the motivation to negotiate fairly. And believe me, the rights given by the Triborough Amendment are ones that no public employee wants to use. We (yes, I am a public employee) always prefer to be IN contract and not have to worry about negotiations/etc.

Look around you, Fred. The public unions of today are NOT what they were 25 years ago! They are far more reasonable and sensitive to the current economic climate. We adapt!


I'm not exactly sure why, but the board changed something in my post...in a harmless manner I'm sure. Above, where it says "VPW Law", it should read "Ta ylor Law".


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