Bill S4478-2011

Freezes salary increases and other payment increases of employees of the state for one year; authorizes municipal corporations to institute such freezes

Freezes salary or wage increases of employees of the state which would otherwise take effect pursuant to collective bargaining agreements or similar agreements for one year; freezes increased payments to state employees for holiday and vacation differentials, shift differentials and salary adjustments for one year; authorizes municipal corporations to institute such wage or increased payment freezes for their employees.

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  • Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT
  • Apr 6, 2011: REFERRED TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4478

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general municipal law and the civil service law, in relation to freezing salary or wage increases of employees of the state and authorizing municipal corporations to institute such wage freezes for their employees; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill would permit local governments, by local law, and state government, to establish a wage freeze for governmental employees for a period not to exceed a year.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 - Legislative findings and declarations.

Section 2 - Adds new §25 to the General Municipal Law allowing any municipality to freeze and suspend all increases in salary or wages of its employees for a period of no more than one year. No retroactive pay adjustments may be made at the conclusion of the wage freeze.

Section 3 - Adds new §137 to the Civil Service Law requiring New York State to freeze and suspend all increases in salary or wages of its employees for a period of no more than one year. No retroactive pay adjustments may be made at the conclusion of the ~age freeze.

Section 4 - Sets the enacting date and sunset date of one year.

JUSTIFICATION: Real Property Taxes in New York State are too high, and the burden they place upon citizens, homeowners and businesses, is making it difficult for New York State to thrive, prosper and succeed. The only way to realistically reduce the real property tax burden upon our citizens, homeowners and businesses, is to place a comprehensive approach in State law which controls costs and spending for local governments, and provides significant mandate relief with respect to their fiscal obligations. Real property tax relief and local government mandate reform must be achieved by establishing a comprehensive approach to reduce real property taxes across the state, the controlling government costs, and providing significant mandate relief to local governments.

In recognition that New York State has been impacted by the national recession, a fiscal emergency currently exists. A structural imbalance has contributed to New York becoming one of the highest taxed states in the country. During this time of fiscal crisis, the State and local municipalities are experiencing extreme pressures to continue to provide adequate infrastructure and core services to their residence while also keeping taxes reasonable and affordable. A combination of enhanced budgetary discipline and short-term budgetary relief is necessary to

assist the state, and local governments and the taxpayers of both to facilitate a return to economic stability.

Even while experiencing significant revenue declines and increasing costs in pensions and health insurance that are largely unavoidable, both the state and municipalities are locked into multi-year collective bargaining agreements that require temporarily unaffordable salary increases. Even if there is no contract currently in effect, step increases must still be granted due to the Triborough Amendment. consequently, while private sector employers may avoid layoffs by freezing salaries, local government employers have no such option. This legislation would provide the state and its local governments with the ability to impose a wage freeze for a period of one year, giving them greater ability to address the fiscal challenges they are confronting, without having to dramatically reduce their workforce or curtail essential municipal services.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This is a new bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Cost savings to New York State and Local Governments.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately and shall expire and be deemed repealed one year after effective date.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4478 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE April 6, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sen. MARTINS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Local Government AN ACT to amend the general municipal law and the civil service law, in relation to freezing salary or wage increases of employees of the state and authorizing municipal corporations to institute such wage freezes for their employees; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Legislative findings and declarations. The legislature hereby finds and determines that real property taxes in New York state are too high, and that the burden that they place upon our citizens, homeowners and businesses, is making it difficult for New York state to thrive, prosper and succeed. The legislature further finds and determines that the only way to realistically reduce the real property tax burden upon our citizens, homeowners and businesses, is to place a comprehensive approach in state law which controls costs and spending for local governments, and provides significant mandate relief with respect to their fiscal obli- gations. The legislature also finds and determines that real property tax relief and local government mandate reform must be achieved by estab- lishing a comprehensive approach to reduce real property taxes across the state, controlling government costs, and providing significant mandate relief to local governments. The legislature also finds, determines and declares that a fiscal emergency exists in the state of New York. That the state's fiscal condition, and that of its municipalities, has been significantly weak- ened by the impact of the national economic recession. This has led to a structural imbalance between revenues and expenditures which has
contributed to New York becoming one of the highest taxed states in the nation. The legislature additionally finds, determines and declares that the state, and many of its municipalities, are in a state of fiscal crisis, and that the welfare of taxpayers in the state is seriously threatened. As a result, the state, and its municipalities, are experiencing extreme pressures to continue to provide adequate infrastructure and core services to their residents while also ensuring that taxes remain affordable. The legislature further finds, determines and declares that a combina- tion of enhanced budgetary discipline and short-term budgetary relief is necessary to assist the state, and its municipalities, as well as taxpayers to facilitate a return to fiscal and economic stability, while ensuring adequate funding for the provision of essential services. S 2. The general municipal law is amended by adding a new section 25 to read as follows: S 25. WAGE FREEZE. 1. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY LAW, RULE OR REGULATION TO THE CONTRARY, ANY MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, BY LOCAL LAW OF THE GOVERNING BODY OF THE MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, MAY FREEZE AND SUSPEND FOR A PERIOD OF NOT MORE THAN ONE YEAR, ALL INCREASES IN SALARY OR WAGES OF EMPLOYEES OF THE MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, WHICH WOULD OTHERWISE TAKE EFFECT AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION, PURSUANT TO COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS, OTHER ANALOGOUS CONTRACTS OR INTEREST ARBITRATION AWARDS, NOW IN EXISTENCE OR HEREAFTER ENTERED INTO. ADDITIONALLY, ANY MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, BY LOCAL LAW OF THE GOVERNING BODY OF THE MUNICIPAL CORPO- RATION, MAY FURTHER FREEZE AND SUSPEND FOR A PERIOD OF NOT MORE THAN ONE YEAR, ALL INCREASED PAYMENTS FOR HOLIDAY AND VACATION DIFFERENTIALS, SHIFT DIFFERENTIALS, SALARY ADJUSTMENTS ACCORDING TO PLAN AND STEP-UPS OR INCREMENTS FOR SUCH EMPLOYEES. FOR THE PURPOSES OF COMPUTING THE PENSION BASE OF RETIREMENT ALLOWANCES, ANY SUSPENDED SALARY OR WAGE INCREASES AND ANY OTHER SUSPENDED PAYMENTS SHALL NOT BE CONSIDERED AS PART OF COMPENSATION OR FINAL COMPENSATION OR OF ANNUAL SALARY EARNED OR EARNABLE. 2. NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION, NO RETROACTIVE PAY ADJUSTMENTS OF ANY KIND SHALL ACCRUE OR BE DEEMED TO ACCRUE DURING THE PERIOD OF WAGE FREEZE, AND NO SUCH ADDITIONAL AMOUNTS SHALL BE PAID AT THE TIME A WAGE FREEZE IS LIFTED, OR AT ANY TIME THERE- AFTER. S 3. The civil service law is amended by adding a new section 137 to read as follows: S 137. WAGE FREEZE. 1. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY LAW, RULE OR REGULATION TO THE CONTRARY ALL INCREASES IN SALARY OR WAGES OF EMPLOYEES OF THE STATE, WHICH WILL TAKE EFFECT AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION PURSUANT TO COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS, OTHER ANALOGOUS CONTRACTS OR INTER- EST ARBITRATION AWARDS, NOW IN EXISTENCE OR HEREAFTER ENTERED INTO, REQUIRING SUCH SALARY OR WAGE INCREASES AS OF ANY DATE THEREAFTER ARE SUSPENDED FOR A PERIOD OF ONE YEAR. FURTHER, ALL INCREASED PAYMENTS FOR HOLIDAY AND VACATION DIFFERENTIALS, SHIFT DIFFERENTIALS, SALARY ADJUST- MENTS ACCORDING TO PLAN AND STEP-UPS OR INCREMENTS FOR EMPLOYEES OF THE STATE WHICH WILL TAKE EFFECT AFTER THE DATE OF THE ORDER PURSUANT TO COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS, OTHER ANALOGOUS CONTRACTS OR INTEREST ARBITRATION AWARDS REQUIRING SUCH INCREASED PAYMENTS AS OF ANY DATE THEREAFTER ARE, IN THE SAME MANNER, SUSPENDED FOR A PERIOD OF ONE YEAR. FOR THE PURPOSES OF COMPUTING THE PENSION BASE OF RETIREMENT ALLOWANCES, ANY SUSPENDED SALARY OR WAGE INCREASES AND ANY OTHER SUSPENDED PAYMENTS
SHALL NOT BE CONSIDERED AS PART OF COMPENSATION OR FINAL COMPENSATION OR OF ANNUAL SALARY EARNED OR EARNABLE. 2. NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION, NO RETROACTIVE PAY ADJUSTMENTS OF ANY KIND SHALL ACCRUE OR BE DEEMED TO ACCRUE DURING THE PERIOD OF WAGE FREEZE, AND NO SUCH ADDITIONAL AMOUNTS SHALL BE PAID AT THE TIME A WAGE FREEZE IS LIFTED, OR AT ANY TIME THERE- AFTER. S 4. Preference of appeals. If any section, part or provision of this act shall be adjudged unconstitutional or invalid or ineffective by any court of this state, any party in interest shall have a direct appeal as of right to the court of appeals of the state of New York, and such appeal shall have preference over all other causes. Service upon the adverse party of a notice of appeal shall stay the effect of the judg- ment or order appealed from pending the hearing and determination of the appeal. S 5. This act shall take effect immediately and shall expire and be deemed repealed one year after such effective date.

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