Civil Service: State managers want Gov. Cuomo to sign bill that could end five-year wait for pay raises

A group of 8,000 state managers may soon get long-awaited pay raises.

The state Legislature finally passed the Management Confidential Pay Commission Act, a bill that would create a seven-member commission to recommend salary increases for the managers.

But it remains unclear if Gov. Cuomo will sign the bill.

“We are still reviewing it,” said spokesman Rich Azzopardi.

State managers have gone five years without a raise, and many earn less than their subordinates.

“We are very hopeful that he will review it and sign it. This is the right thing to do,” said Organization of New York State Management Confidential Employees executive director Joe Sano.

The Cuomo administration has struggled to convince employees to take the managerial jobs for less money, Sano noted.

The problem started five years ago when then-Gov. Paterson left out the management confidential employees from the last two years of the contract pattern negotiated by the state’s public employee unions. That contract was anchored with 3% and 5% wage hikes in its last two years.

That was done to save money during a rough economic stretch.

“The state has saved over $400 million out of the pockets of the management confidential employees by withholding the across-the-board raises and by not paying the steps,” Sano said.

Management confidential workers are not covered by the contracts negotiated by the Civil Service Employees Association and the Public Employees Federation. That’s due to a 1972 amendment of the Taylor Law, which removed the supervisors from collective bargaining.

As for the pending legislation, the measure would create a seven-member pay commission similar to the one established for state judges last year.

Three of the members would be chosen by the Governor, one by the state Controller , one by the state Senate leader, one by the Assembly leader and one by the Organization of New York Management Confidential Employees.

The commission would recommend salary levels every four years. The suggested salary structure would take effect immediately unless voted down by the State Legislature and the Governor.

The group representing state managers plans to lobby the Governor hard to sign the bill.

“We anticipate that the management confidential staff will be sending thousands of letters to the Governor,” Sano said.

The bill was sponsored by state Senate Finance Committee chair John DeFrancisco and state Assembly Ways and Means chair Herman Farrell.

Management confidential employees work as clerks, secretaries, and top bosses, such as prison superintendents and chiefs in mental hospitals.

In June, they rallied at the Legislative Office Building in Albany, urging state lawmakers to support the bill. The protest included a mascot wearing a skunk outfit to highlight how going five years without a raise stinks.

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