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Unions Freak Out When Governor Paterson Orders Hiring Freeze

by on April 22, 2008

You know the governor must be doing something right when the unions aren’t happy.

Gov. David Paterson, warning of deteriorating state tax revenues, ordered a “soft freeze” on hiring yesterday and directed state commissioners to come up with “serious, achievable and recurring” budget savings by May 16.

Paterson issued the order just hours after he declared that he’s likely to run for a full term as governor in 2010.

“Only job openings absolutely essential to your agency’s operations and protecting the health and safety of New Yorkers are to be filled,” Paterson told the heads of all state agencies.

Paterson warned of a “hard hiring freeze” – blocking all new hires – if commissioners fail to cut spending.

The limited hiring freeze will likely affect only a few hundred jobs, officials said.

Paterson required a detailed savings plan from each agency by May 16.

Paterson’s call shocked the state’s largest public employees union, which had planned on increases in hiring as part of the state budget approved earlier this month.

“We did not have any forewarning of this,” said Civil Service Employees Association union spokesman Stephen Madarasz. “We’re extremely disappointed there was no discussion of this direction.”

He warned that Paterson’s plan could be counterproductive, saying that adding enforcement jobs could bring in more revenue from fines than the cost of the positions.

So, this so-called “hiring freeze” would only halt the hiring of non-essential positions… considering the fact that our taxes are paying the salaries of these hires, I would hope that all the positions that are filled all the time are essential, and not redundant.

Madarasz can’t claim that this was totally unexpected either.. Talk of a hiring freeze of state workers has been discussed for quite some time. Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco, proposed a hiring freeze last month. Paterson may not have been on board at the time, but that doesn’t mean the idea wasn’t on the table.

Madarasz has to stop thinking about the best interests of the unions and think about the best interests of the taxpayers. If we’re paying the salaries of these new hires they damn well better be essential.

One Comment
  1. The CSEA wasn’t consulted . . . who the hell do they think they are? It was a management decision.

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