Salary Increases Come After FY 2022 Enacted Budget Closes the Deficit and Invests in the Ongoing Response to the Pandemic and Recovery Efforts
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York State will restore $600 million in retroactive general salary increases for state workers after having sacrificed their contractual raises as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement comes after the federal government delivered $12.6 billion in funding and additional revenues were made available in the FY 2022 budget, which also invests in the ongoing response to the pandemic and recovery efforts.
"New York State workers showed up every day so people could stay home and they are true heroes of the COVID crisis," Governor Cuomo said. "The FY 2022 enacted budget will repay $600 million that was withheld from State workers during the pandemic. On behalf of the entire family of New York, we thank state workers for their extraordinary service, sacrifice, and selflessness which helped us through this unpredicted crisis."
In April of 2020, New York State was forced to freeze scheduled 2% pay increases as the State at the time was contending with the worst revenue loss in modern history as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Today's announcement fully funds the scheduled salary increases and retroactive pay to approximately 120,000 state workers, including members of the below unions:
- Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA)
- United University Professions (UUP)
- New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association (NYSCOPBA)
- Management Confidential (MC)
- New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association (NYSTPBA)
- New York State Police Investigators Association (NYSPIA)
- Graduate Students Employees Union (GSEU)
Throughout the pandemic, state workers answered the call to support New Yorkers, and went above and beyond, including:
- Employees of several agencies, including Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Division of Military and Naval Affairs, Office of Victim Services, and Division of Criminal Justice Services, supported the Department of Labor's Unemployment Insurance program benefits hotline.
- The Justice Center supported the State's pandemic response by assisting with four call center activities, either directly within the Justice Center's own call center or by providing staff to assist other agencies' call centers, including: fielding questions related to sick and paid family leave for the NYS Worker's Compensation Board; helping the Department of Health and the Department of Tax and Finance set up COVID testing appointments and answer general COVID questions; and triaging calls from the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities' COVID-specific hotline. Through these efforts, the Justice Center has handled approximately 70,000 calls with New Yorkers regarding COVID-19.
- Department of Environmental Conservation staff from every division, including Emergency Management staff, Forest Rangers, and Environmental Conservation Police Officers, are serving on the frontlines of the State's response to COVID-19. More than 1,000 staff have volunteered to help combat the pandemic, supporting more than 20,000 missions in New York's coronavirus fight. DEC staff stood up and operated testing and vaccine sites, delivered food, PPE, and test kits, supported Department of Health and Labor call centers.
- Department of Agriculture and Markets staff, with its partners, distributed more than 100,000 face coverings and tens of thousands of gallons of hand sanitizer to farms across the State. Ag&Mkts also launched on-the farm COVID-19 testing for farm workers, in partnership with NYS DOH, in targeted areas of the State that see the greatest number of seasonal farm workers.
- DHSES Emergency Operation Center has been activated since March 2020 in response to the pandemic. Their asset management personnel have coordinated the receipt, storage and distribution of millions of pieces of PPE and durable medical equipment at locations throughout the State. They are involved in the management of the State's diagnostic testing operations, including test kit procurement, distributing medical supplies, and facilitating mask fit testing.
- Department of Transportation personnel helped establish testing sites, medical facilities, supply warehouses and vaccination centers across the state; and took the lead in transporting vital supplies and equipment, including more than 7 million bottles of hand sanitizer, 4 million test kits to health care facilities and millions of items of personal protective equipment. DOT employees also chipped in to assist with more than 75,000 DOH Call Center calls and 300,000 DOL Call Center calls. Over 2,250 DOT employees devoted more than 275,000 hours to COVID response.
- The Office of General Services worked with DOCCS on the NYS Clean hand sanitizer program and managed warehouse operations for storage and distribution of hand sanitizer, PPE, and other supplies. OGS provided real estate services for lab, warehouse, call center, and testing sites. OGS staff established enhanced cleaning procedures for State offices and participated in many COVID-related volunteer efforts.