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State employees held harmless; taxpayers are another matter

State lawmakers just closed a huge budget deficit for the fiscal year that ended March 31, and another one is already rearing its ugly head for the current year. But not to worry - state workers won't.

Their jobs are all safe. All 136,490 of 'em.

Even if the jobs held by many of the taxpayers keeping them in a style they're accustomed to, aren't.

Newsday reports that, rather than the 8,900 jobs Gov. Peterson has threatened to eliminate through layoffs, only a couple of hundred might actually be at risk.

The Budget Division said last week the state payroll had shrunk by around 1,200 positions since the job-cutting plan was drawn up. The reductions were because of a hiring freeze and people leaving for retirement or other reasons.

So, the positions on the chopping block now stand at 7,687 from a workforce of 136,490. These cuts will be achieved primarily through more attrition and wiping out unfilled jobs. At most, only a few hundred layoffs are expected, experts said.


Why no layoffs, you ask?

Paterson's weak position in negotiating with the powerful Civil Service Employees Association, Public Employees Federation and eight other unions. Besides having dismal poll numbers, he limited his leverage by not inflating the jobs at risk. Previous governors attempted to scare rank-and-file union members with higher numbers to lobby their leaders into making concessions.

There, now isn't this a nice break from all that One Sunset news?

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State government
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