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Let the ad wars begin

ALBANY -- Two major public employee unions today announced new ad campaigns they say are meant to shed some reality into the state budget talks.
"Not good for people. Not good for the economy,'' states the tagline on a new print ad being taken out statewide by the Civil Service Employees Association, the largest union representing state workers. The campaign includes radio and likely some tv ads.
The union is upset about a number of budget plans by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, not least among them his call for an additional pension tier for newly hired public employees that would increase worker costs and include an option for a 401(k)-like enrollment instead of the longstanding defined benefit plan for public workers.
Meanwhile, hours after Cuomo gave another speech bashing the education "bureaucracy,'' the New York State United Teachers union said it isstarting a newspaper ad campaign. The union is concerned that Cuomo is pushing an effort that will put an over-reliance on student test scores on teacher evaluations.
"Teachers know: A child is more than a test score,'' the new NYSUT ad states.
The ad campaign comes as NYSUT is in talks with the state Education Department to resolve a dispute over how to evaluate the performance of public school teachers. Cuomo has given the two sides until Feb. 16 to iron out the differences or he will put his own plan into his state budget proposal. Cuomo declined to offer any specifics on what his plan might entail.
 
“Too much emphasis on standardized tests will naturally lead to a narrowing of the curriculum to focus only on what’s being tested, and even more ‘teaching to the test,’” Richard Iannuzzi, president of NYSUT, said in a statement this afternoon.
-- Tom Precious
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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

[email protected]


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

[email protected]


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | [email protected]


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | [email protected]

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