The union representing New York State University Police, Forest Rangers, Park Police, and Environmental Conservation Officers has been working without a contract since 2014, and without a raise since 2015.
“We are four state police agencies that are the only state employees on 2014 salaries,” PBA President Ryan Law told Capital Tonight. “Our members have been, and will continue fighting the war on COVID to ensure our New York residents are safe.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Law’s members have been deployed to the U.S.S. Comfort, as well as to hospitals in New York City and Long Island, and to SUNY Poly in Utica to assist with vaccine preparations.
“Forest rangers aren’t just making rescues in the backcountry anymore,” said Law.
A few years ago, the union won an arbitration award stating that its members should receive retroactive raises for the years 2015 – 2018, but the arbitration agreement fell through the cracks once the state shutdown, due to COVID.
But just last week there was some movement on the union’s retroactive pay raise.
Governor Cuomo released a bill to the legislature, program bill #1 of 2021, stating that this union is owed $67.5 million, a number that reflects all three years of back pay, but does not include other savings that the union had bargained for.
All $67.5 million had been allocated in last year’s state budget. Law is urging the legislature to act quickly.
“The PBA of NYS is looking for the legislature to act on this immediately in getting it introduced to both houses so it can ultimately get back to the governor’s desk for his signature,” Law said.