From EAG News:
BUFFALO – Public school boards in New York state should be careful about agreeing to expensive collective bargaining agreements with employee labor unions.
They could be stuck with paying for those contracts for years on end.
The Buffalo school district is a perfect example.
The school board negotiated a very generous labor contract with the Buffalo Federation of Teachers, calling for the district to pay 100 percent of employee health insurance premiums, fund a cosmetic surgery program for qualified employees, and pay for other similarly expensive provisions.
But that contract expired in 2004 – a full 11 years ago – yet its terms are still in effect.
That’s because the school board and the union have been unable to negotiate a new contact over the years, and New York state law allows public employees to enjoy the provisions of their expired labor contracts in perpetuity, until a new pact is negotiated.
That rule derives from the Triborough Amendment to the Taylor Law, which was enacted in 1982.
“The 1982 Triborough Amendment to the Taylor Law prohibits a public employer from altering any provision of an expired labor agreement until a new agreement is reached,” explains the website Stopthetaxshift.org.
“This amendment, which was originally approved with the strong support of unions, has the effect of requiring automatic pay increases where a salary step schedule or longevity schedule exists, even though the labor agreement has expired. Consequently, a public employer’s salary costs continue to rise even when labor negotiations…