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Statement of New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento on Passage of Vital Tier 6 Pension Reforms in State Budget

New York State AFL-CIO
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Albany, NY - "The passage of crucial Tier 6 pension reforms in the state budget is the most significant improvement for our public servants in more than 20 years. It marks a momentous stride towards restoring fairness and retaining invaluable public sector workers.

New Yorkers rely on vital public services, which are only as dependable as the committed and dedicated public workers who provide them. From healthcare to education, emergency response to infrastructure maintenance, these services are the backbone of our communities, ensuring the safety, well-being, and prosperity of all New Yorkers.

The enactment of Tier 6 in 2012 severely rolled back pension benefits and dramatically increased pension costs for workers in critical jobs. Not only did those cuts deter people from entering public service, as we predicted, but they also led to high turnover among existing personnel. Moreover, the state spent over $1 billion on overtime in one year alone to fill the void. This change is an investment in our workforce and will help to alleviate financial strains.

It is important to point out that this would not have been achieved without the support of our members in the public sector, private sector, and building trades unions who rallied behind this issue. They understood this was a benefit for all of us.

I want to thank Governor Hochul and acknowledge the collaborative efforts of Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, and the Democratic Majorities in both houses of the legislature for recognizing the importance of making this change which will help recruit and retain public employees and improve services in the future."