Let NY Work Agenda


Now that we have been successful in passing a 2% property tax cap, UU will now turn our focus to mandate relief in 2012.  Mandate relief is essential to keep NY affordable. When coupled with the tax cap, mandate relief will continue to lower the burden on taxpayers across the state. 

That’s why Unshackle Upstate took the lead to bring together 11 prominent business, government, and educational organizations to promote the “Let NY Work” agenda.  This critical 6 critical point plan will make our communities more affordable, ensure that we are providing our kids with a well rounded education, and allow our municipal government to deliver services we need and deserve.


1)  Make the Pension System Affordable - the State of New York, for both state and local employees, should offer two retirement options to new employees.  A reduced defined benefit plan or a new defined contribution plan that is controlled by the employees, is portable, and does not weigh down taxpayers.


2)  Redefine Compulsory Arbitration

 - Define Ability to Pay – contracts cannot force government to exceed the cap or cut services

-  Prohibit Consideration of Non-Compensation Issues

- Limit Access to Binding Arbitration

- Add Transparency to the Arbitration Process – let taxpayers hear the terms before they are voted on


3)  When Contracts Expire, Freeze Step Increases


4)  Reduce Costs of Construction on Public/Private Projects

- Support alternative project delivery (e.g. design build). DONE

- Wicks Law-increase threshold to uniform $10 million across the state

- Use Unemployment Insurance (UI) Prevailing Wage tables to determine regional prevailing wage rate for projects

- Pass legislation to apply a comparative negligence standard under the Scaffold Law where a recalcitrant worker-one who refuses to use required safety devices, or engages in other reckless or negligent conduct-is injured [A.2835 (Morelle)]


5)  Establish Minimum Health Insurance Contributions Level for Employees and Retirees

- Employers should cover no more than 85 percent of a single healthcare premium or 75 percent of a healthcare premium for families or retirees.


6) No New Mandates!

- The state should not impose any future mandates on municipalities, school districts and taxpayers.  Enacting the Unfunded Mandate Reform Act (S.5379/A.8150) and requiring a super-majority to add new unfunded mandates would be beneficial.