The Public Employees Federation, the second-largest state workers union, has broken with its fellow members of the public sector arm of labor to enodrse AG Andrew Cuomo for governor.

The 58,000-member union was able to get over some of the less palatable aspects of Cuomo’s agenda, which includes a proposeed wage freeze for public employees as well as creation of a sixth tier in the state pension fund, because he is supportive of some of its own key agenda items: Reducing the state’s reliance on outside consultants and reining in public authorities.

“We agree with Mr. Cuomo that New York deserves better government especially on these issues,” said PEF President Kenneth Brynien in a press release.

“Our members working in the state Department of Law have found state Attorney General Cuomo supportive of PEF’s efforts to save the taxpayers’ money by reducing the state’s reliance on costly private consultants.

“We expect Mr. Cuomo to continue to reduce the state’s reliance on consultants when he becomes governor. We support Andrew Cuomo’s candidacy for governor and look forward to working with him in January.”

This puts PEF in direct opposition to two of the largest public sector unions – NYSUT and CSEA.

NYSUT voted last week to remain neutral in the governor’s race – at least for now, and it appears that decision probably won’t be revisited, unless the race changes dramatically, say, if Carl Paladino wins the GOP primary and the Democrats decide that all hands are needed on deck.

CSEA hasn’t yet announced its decision in the governor’s race, but the union’s president, Danny Donohue, was one of two people to argue in favor of “no endorsement” during today’s AFL-CIO convention at the Desmond in Colonie. (The other was NYSUT’s Dick Iannuzzi).

I see this move by PEF as the ultimate form of political pragmatism. Keep in mind that both PEF and CSEA will be in contract negotiations come next spring with whoever wins the governor’s race….Just sayin’.