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Governor should revisit pay freeze

We agree with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s logic in freezing scheduled 2% pay raises for a majority of the state’s workforce.

Cuomo knows the state’s revenues are going to be unreliable for the rest of the year, if not longer, as the state’s taxpayers dig their way out of the financial holes left by the COVID-19 pandemic. Postponing pay raises makes sense for a state that is taking a fresh look at many of its expenditures to make mid-year budget adjustments.

Of course, the pay raise freeze doesn’t take place in a vacuum. And state workers are upset that they are providing essential services and seeing their pay frozen while unemployment benefits are being boosted through state and federal action for people being paid to stay home. Some people find themselves in the strange situation of making more money between state and federal unemployment payments than they were making at their jobs. That situation can’t sit well with workers who are putting themselves and their families at risk while dealing with the public every day.

365体育网站 Perhaps, then, Republican state senators who asked Cuomo last week to exempt state workers who are classified as essential, front-line workers from the pay freeze aren’t just being contrarian. They have heard the complaints from constituents who are effected and are lobbying on their behalf.

Is there a way to do so while accomplishing the governor’s aims? Possibly. Limiting the raises to only essential, front-line workers who deal with the public might lessen the additional spending in the state budget. There may be money in the state budget that could be reprogrammed into personnel, as Republicans are asking in legislation they have introduced in the Assembly and Senate in the past week or so.

Again, we agree with the governor’s logic when it comes to the pay freeze. We also recognize, during this time, that it’s hard to freeze pay for workers who are providing essential services. The governor is in a tough position when it comes to these raises, but this is not the time to penalize front-line workers who had been promised a raise. The governor should revisit this decision.

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