New York Is Basically Bankrupt But You Wouldn’t Know It If You Were A Public Employee


“The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service,” Roosevelt wrote in 1937 to the National Federation of Federal Employees. Yes, public workers may demand fair treatment, wrote Roosevelt. But, he wrote, “I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place” in the public sector. “A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government.” ~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States

If you live in New York and want to know one of the reasons we have no money, one of them is the public employee unions. We love the public sector workers here at the Sentinel and we are not looking to bust the union. We greatly appreciate their service.

There is no way to repay so many of these people for their service. Unfortunately, we do not have the unlimited funds we would like to give them.

An ironclad agreement called the Triborough Amendment makes it literally impossible to negotiate with their unions.

I’m not trying to say the public sector employees are the sole reason we are in trouble, but the pension costs are becoming “unsustainble.”

The public employees get two raises. The regular raise and their “step” increase which is a reward to each employee for just existing. In addition, there are the salary increases for sometimes insignificant coursework.

We simply can no longer afford it. If you look at the salary charts when you click the link below, you will see that this is the average salary for only one sector, not the top salary in Suffolk County.

  • New York’s 30-year-old “Triborough Amendment” requires public employers to maintain all contractual perks for unionized public employees, including automatic “step” increases in pay, after the expiration of a collective bargaining agreement.
  • This law gives unions an incentive to resist negotiating structural changes to their contracts, since the status quo will be preserved even if there is no contract.
  • Pay hikes required by the Triborough Amendment cost the state government $140 million a year, despite a “freeze” on base salaries.
  • The Triborough Amendment guarantees pay increases for teachers that add almost $300 million a year to school budgets across the state.
  • The requirement to finance automatic pay increases has undermined attempts to stretch taxpayer dollars further in a time of extreme financial stress.
  • Repeal of the Triborough Amendment would establish a more equitable collective bargaining system in New York’s public sector, preserving basic union rights while giving local officials the tools they now lack to negotiate needed changes to costly and outmoded contracts.

Read the details about the Triborough Amendment with charts here. I don’t think you are going to like it: Empire Center

Email Governor Cuomo and tell him how you feel about the Triborough Agreement.