Cuomo open to deal in PEF layoff standoff

By Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he's open to
shortening a contract with a public labor union to avoid layoffs if
concessions remain to give the state the savings it needs.

Cuomo says talks with the Public Employee Federation are aimed at avoiding 3,500 layoffs statewide.

PEF's members rejected a tentative contract with the state that would have avoided layoffs, but included a wage freeze, higher health care costs and other concessions.

Cuomo says the first three years are critical to achieve the savings, but on Thursday said he could consider cutting out the last two years. That would mean PEF could negotiate a new contract in three years, when the state's coffers and the economy could be stronger.

Cuomo made no commitments in Thursday's press conference.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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