Dennis Deahn asked: Are Labor Contracts included in this budget?
No, labor contracts are not typically a topic of negotiation in the state budget. Collective bargaining for New York’s 14 public sector contracts usually happens outside the budget cycle. For instance, one of the state’s largest public sector unions, the Public Employees Federation (PEF), voted last July to ratify a three-year contract — several months after the legislature passed its unusually overdue budget. That said, unions generally try to sync negotiations up to a time when the legislature is in session to make the process easier, because there is a legislative process that kicks in after contract negotiations. Once the deals are signed, the legislature must pass a so-called “pay bill” to allocate any additional funding in the agreement.—New York Focus contributor Max Parrott