A new bill could speed up the pay raise schedule for management and confidential employees from a salary increase over three years to just one year.

The bill was introduced Wednesday by Senate Finance Chairperson Cathy Young. Its companion bill in the Assembly was introduced last year by Ways and Means Chairman Herman (Denny) Farrell.

Salary increases were withheld from management and confidential employees – who do not have collective bargaining rights – in 2009 and 2010. Last year’s budget agreement allocated a seven percent increase for M/C employees by 2018, starting with a two percent increase in 2015, a two percent increase in both 2016 and 2017, and a one percent increase in 2018.

This legislation would increase salaries by five percent this year following a resolution in the state budget, which OMCE – the non-union organization that advocates for M/C employees – called for ahead this session. With the two percent increase already enacted in 2015, this would complete the seven percent phase-in two years early.

Farrell actually introduced the bill last year following the initial increase for M/C employees, but the Senate had not signed on to the legislation at that time.

The bill follows a lawsuit against the state by a group of Thruway employees, who alleged the withheld pay increases in 2009 and 2010 violated terms that were previously agreed to within the agency. There has been no resolution in that case, but previous legal challenges from M/C employees have failed in court.