New York, Pennsylvania Employees Settle

Article excerpt

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. …