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New York, Pennsylvania employees settle.

New York State concluded a round of bargaining with various unions when it settled with the Public Employees Federation for 57,000 employees. The settlement ended a month-long impasse that was triggered by the State's demand that members of the union pay more of their health insurance costs than members of some other unions. According to the State, the change was warranted because members of the unit have higher salaries and higher plan utilization rates than the other workers. To some extent, the State was successful on this issue, as the employees will begin paying $8 toward the cost of visits to doctors' ofrices and hospital outpatient units, and for some other services. Employees are now also required to pay a larger share of premiums for health maintenance organizations.

In the salary area, the workers received a 5 -percent increase in June, followed by a 5-percent increase in April 1989 and 5.5 percent in April 1990. Prior to the settlement, the average salary reportedly was $3 5,000 a year for the professional, scientific, and technical employees in the unit. The contract also extends overtime and standby pay to 12,000 more employees, beginning in 1990, and provides for a study of job stress and for several types of child care benefits, financed by the State up to about $5 million.

Another settlement, which occurred a month earlier, involved 18,000 faculty and other professional employees of the State University of New York. This 3-year contract also provided for 5-, 5-, and 5.5-percent salary increases in the respective contract years.

Elsewhere, the State of Pennsylvania and the State, County, and Municipal Employees settled for 47,000 of the 80,000 employees in the State's executive branch. Pay, which averaged $19,481 according to the State, was increased by 5 percent on July I in each of the three contract years and by 1 percent on January 1, 1991.

Other major provisions called for a cut in the 32 pay ranges to 14; a plan to reduce the 3,200 job classifications by an expected 33 percent; reductions in entry level pay rates to bring them into line with similar jobs in private industry; an 8-cent-an-hour increase in the State's financing of health and welfare benefits; and up to 6 months' unpaid leave for mothers or fathers at the birth or adoption of a child (previously, only mothers were eligible, and only for births).
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Title Annotation:Developments in Industrial Relations
Author:Ruben, George
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Oct 1, 1988
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