Labor groups that represent workers at the City University of New York in a letter being released Monday praised the agreement to restore $485 million in state funding that would have been shifted onto the city government.

But the unions — DC 37 and PSC/CUNY — are also calling on the top legislative leaders in the Senate and Assembly, as well as Gov. Andrew Cuomo to find room in the budget for a retroactive pay increase for the 35,000 workers who have gone without a hike in six years.

“We thank the Governor for his announcement on Thursday that New York State will fully fund the $485 million that was initially part of a ‘cost shift’ to New York City, but restoration of those funds simply returns CUNY to its prior position of inadequate State support,” the unions wrote in the letter. “Without additional funding to support retroactive salary increases for the 35,000 CUNY employees we represent, the labor contracts at CUNY will be impossible to settle; the quality of education for CUNY’s half-million students will suffer; and tens of thousands of working New Yorkers will find it increasingly difficult to support themselves and their families.”

At the same time, the labor groups want a “true” maintenance of effort provision in the budget that would stabilize state funding for both CUNY and SUNY.

“New Yorkers from every county in the state attend CUNY and rely on its unbeatable combination of high quality and affordable access,” the groups wrote. “Maintaining academic quality and a stable labor force at CUNY is vital for the health of the whole state. We call on you to make the one-time investment needed to fund retroactive raises at CUNY and allow the labor contracts to be settled.”

Cuomo has said the state wants to seek ways to make spending at the state and city university and college campuses more efficient in the next budget year. That will include the hiring of a financial management expert to identify cost savings at the public university systems.

PSC_DC37 Ltr 3 29 by Nick Reisman