For Immediate Release - March 09, 2010

PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES UNION AGREEMENTS TO SAVE TENS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS, PROTECT KEY SERVICES

National Association of Government Employees Units, 1, 3 and 6, and Massachusetts Organization of State Engineer and Scientists, Unit 9, agree to contract changes to help solve budget gap

BOSTON - Tuesday, March 9, 2010 - Governor Deval Patrick announced today that the Patrick-Murray Administration has reached agreement with nearly 14,000 union workers on two new contracts that will save the Commonwealth more than $40 million and help mitigate employee layoffs.

About 11,000 members of Units 1, 3, and 6 represented by the National Association of Government Employees (NAGE) ratified by an 85% margin contract revisions that will save taxpayers an estimated $36.4 million over the next three years, including roughly $4.5 million this fiscal year.

Similarly, about 3,000 members of Unit 9, represented by the Massachusetts Organization of State Engineers and Scientists (MOSES), ratified by a 75% margin contract revisions that will save taxpayers an estimated $6 million over the next three years, including roughly $760,000 this fiscal year.

"I thank the members of NAGE Units, 1, 3, and 6, and the members of MOSES, Unit 9 for their contribution to the Commonwealth and their willingness to work with us to find ways to save money in the face of very difficult budget challenges," Governor Patrick said.

These contracts, along with others the Governor announced earlier this year ( here and here), mark the first time since collective bargaining was established in the Commonwealth that a Governor has successfully negotiated such compromises.

The Governor called for renewed union negotiations in October as the Administration identified a $600 million revenue shortfall in the current fiscal year. To date, the Governor has reached agreement with four state employee unions.

If approved by the Legislature, the new NAGE contract will save tens of millions of dollars through a combination of delayed wage increases and eliminating some payments to the Health and Welfare fund. The voluntary concessions will save $6.8 million in FY10. NAGE employees work in a myriad of professional, administrative and skilled crafts jobs throughout state government.

Similarly, the new MOSES contract will save millions of dollars through a combination of delayed wage increase and employee furloughs. Furloughs will save $2.7 million in FY10. Members of MOSES work in a number of engineering and scientific positions throughout state government.

The savings from these revisions will allow the Administration to protect key programs and services, and prevent some layoffs.

"State workers have contributed significantly to help address our challenges over the last two years, and we thank them for that," said Administration and Finance Secretary Jay Gonzalez. "As we head into another difficult budget year it is important that we all make the necessary sacrifices that will help us climb out of the recession and position the commonwealth for long term economic growth."

The Governor has reached agreement with the bargaining units of SEIU Local 509, SEIU Local 888, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 93, the National Association of Government Employees and the Massachusetts Organization of State Engineers and Scientists. These five unions cover over 32,000 union employees -more than 75 percent of unionized state executive branch workers.

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