Members of the union that represents state correction officers have voted down a contract the union tentatively agreed to with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration late last year.
A final vote tally was not available.
Members of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association shot down a proposed contract that included 2 percent raises for 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 and provided for “compensation enhancements” based on location of work and hazardous duties.
When the tentative contract agreement was announced in December, the Cuomo administration projected that it would save the state roughly $35 million on health insurance costs and another $35 million on overtime costs.
The contract also would have provided for changes to the disciplinary process for prison employees, including a tripartite panel to hear abuse and neglect cases involving inmates and a table of penalties covering serious misconduct.
Such provisions came as corrections staff in different prisons have faced allegations of abuse. In December, Cuomo ordered an investigation into alleged racial bias within the prison system. The state inspector general is to recommend reforms to the governor.
The prison system also has faced new scrutiny following the escape of two inmates from the maximum-security Clinton Correctional Facility in rural Clinton County in 2015.
“The collective membership has spoken and chosen not to approve the tentative agreement with the state of New York,” NYSCOPBA said in a statement. “The members have the power to reject any proposal the state offers and the majority have chosen not to approve the current offer. The Collective Bargaining Committee will remain committed to working with the state’s negotiating team to address the concerns of the membership.”
Thomas Mailey, a spokesman for the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision said the Cuomo administration “remains committed to negotiating an equitable contract that fairly compensates NYSCOPBA members, protects taxpayers, and upholds the highest standards of professionalism and accountability among our state workforce.”