PEF layoffs in WNY near 200

October 4, 2011 Updated Oct 4, 2011 at 6:42 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Business First

October 4, 2011 Updated Oct 4, 2011 at 6:42 AM EDT

Of the nearly 3,500 layoff notices sent out last week to members of the Public Employees Federation, about 200 workers in Western New York will be impacted.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office released the breakdown Monday.

PEF, based in Albany, represents 56,000 white-collar workers. About 54 percent of those who voted rejected a proposed five-year contract with the state last month.

The vote triggered the start of layoffs, which Cuomo had said he would do to keep the state budget balanced.

The majority of the local cuts will be felt in Erie County as 178 workers will be furloughed. Additional cuts in neighboring counties call for eight reductions in Cattaraugus, two in Chautauqua, and five each in Niagara and Wyoming.

The bulk of the layoffs - 1,167 of the 3,496 total - will be in the Albany area.

The contract included general protection from layoffs for the next two fiscal years. It also mandated nine days of unpaid furloughs, higher health-care premiums for workers and three years without across-the-board salary increases.

PEF has said it hopes to bargain changes to the contract proposal that might win support of a majority of its members.

Layoff notices were sent out last week. The layoff process is expected to take two or three weeks before employees lose their jobs.

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