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Public Employees Federation Representative Testifies At State Assembly Hearing In Albany, Says New York Could Save Up To $84 Million A Year By Having State Department Of Transportation Employees Do Work Instead Of Private Consultants

Published Monday, November 14, 2011 11:00 am
by The Public Employees Federation

(ALBANY) - The Public Employees Federation (PEF) today (November 14th) provided examples of ways New York State can save an estimated $55.6 million to $84.3 million a year by having State Employees do between 50% and 90% of the work that is currently done by more expensive private consultants at the State Department of Transportation (DOT).

PEF Executive Board Member and DOT Civil Engineer Edward Lucas, who testified at an Assembly hearing on the DOT's two-year capital plan, showed how much the State can save by having State Employees do the work currently being done at a much higher cost by consultants.

“Now more than ever the State simply can't afford to continue wasteful spending,” Lucas said.  “Our research shows the cost, on average, of a DOT Engineer, including benefits, is ($50.11) an hour.  Comparable private consultant engineers charge the State up to ($99) or ($49) more an hour.  Even more work is going to consultant engineers this year.  For the first half of the current fiscal year, DOT’s capital-projects’ consultant spending has increased by more than twenty-two-percent from ($113.5) million to ($138.45) million for bridge inspection, engineering, engineering supervision and materials testing.  If DOT’s current capital program continues on the same path, the number of State Bridges considered deficient will increase from thirty-one-percent of all State Bridges currently to thirty-five-percent in 2016 and to forty-percent in 2025.”

Since 2000, the number of DOT State Employees has decreased by 1,900 employees, with more than 1,000 being engineers, Lucas testified.

“We’ve reached a tipping point.  The work force at DOT has been slashed and cut to the point where DOT no longer has the capability to do work that was done more efficiently and cost effectively in-house.  New York faces multi-year deficits that could be as high, or higher, than ten-billion dollars.  We have a responsibility to make sure every tax dollar is well spent.  We can no longer afford policies that benefit the corporate CEOs of engineering firms at the expense of Middle-Class Workers,” he said.

PEF is the State’s second-largest State-Employee Union and represents 55,000 Professional, Scientific and Technical (PS&T) Employees, as well as other Public and Private Employees.

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