BUFFALO, NY- Chanting "They say cut back, we say fight back!", about 50 union members and supporters rallied Monday afternoon outside of the Ellicott Square Building in downtown Buffalo.
The members of the NYS Public Employees Federation are trying to head off a threatened 9,800 layoffs. Governor Cuomo has proposed $450 million in savings through the nearly 10,000 layoffs of state workers.
Union leaders say the Governor is trying to balance the books on the backs of New York's middle class. PEF Regional Coordinator Kevin Hintz says that the Governor is trying to characterize state workers as over-paid and over-pensioned.
Hintz says they began contract negotiations with the Cuomo Administration in March, the state made their offer, the PEF made its counter-proposal, and Hintz says they have not heard from the Governor since.
If a compromise is not reached by July 15th, the layoffs are scheduled to begin.
Buffalo was one of 13 rallies organized across the state Monday afternoon.