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Some union members back concessions

ALBANY — Some rank-and-file public union members are pushing to suspend their 4-percent annual raises to save tax dollars and avoid layoffs, a step union bosses have refused to take in New York’s fiscal crisis.

The Legislature returned to Albany on Wednesday after its Easter-Passover break, which saw the state fiscal year end without any agreements on a 2010-11 budget. Although lawmakers insisted the break was spent working and observing religious holidays, no deals were stuck.

Michael Regan, a Binghamton University professor, called for suspending 4-percent raises for a year in an opinion piece for the Binghamton Press and Sun-Bulletin. He said it’s shortsighted for union leaders to refuse concessions.

Several local teachers unions have also accepted concessions so far this year.