More than 140,000 state union employees this month will receive their first raises since 2011.
The raises were part of collective bargaining agreements between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state's largest unions in 2011 when the state had a $10 billion deficit. The contracts called for no raises until the 2014-15 fiscal year, which started April 1, and also included a no-layoff pledge.
The Civil Service Employees Union, which represents 66,000 employees, agreed to a five-year contract that froze salaries for two years and required a five-day furlough for workers in 2011 and four days of furlough in 2012.
Workers received a $1,000 payment starting in 2013 that includes $225 this year. CSEA members get a 2 percent pay increase this year and in 2015. The four unpaid furlough days in 2012 are to be reimbursed in 2015.
For the Public Employees Federation, which is the state's second largest union with 55,000 members, they reached a four-year contract with Cuomo in 2011 after the rank-and-file members rejected the first tentative agreement earlier that year.
The agreement is similar to the one by CSEA, but ends this year. It also includes a 2 percent raise this year, but includes reimbursement to workers for 9 furloughs days at the end of the contract. Yet there's no $1,000 payment.
Cuomo threatened massive layoffs if the unions didn't agree to the pay freezes in his first year in office.
Similar deals have been reached with a portion of the state Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association, as well as the 35,000 United University Professions members who work at state colleges.
Those unions will also get 2 percent raises this year and next year.