State lawmakers in June quietly approved a measure that would expand an existing law to allow the leaders of the statewide teachers union to accrue pension time while working for the umbrella labor group.

The measure, signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on July 22, is considered revenue neutral: The New York State United Teachers union reimburses school districts for the cost.

NYSUT spokesman Carl Korn said the law clarifies an existing measure that’s been on the books since 1972, which applied to local teachers unions. The law approved in June added the words “statewide affiliate.”

“It was a technical bill to clear up an ambiguity,” he said, adding he’s unsure if any of NYSUT’s board members will take advantage of the new law, though it’s likely some will.

NYSUT elected a new slate of leaders, including a new president, in April.

It’s also not unusual for public labor leaders to accrue hours towards their pension while working for their union. PEF, CSEA and Council 82 have similar arrangements.

It’s unclear why the statewide union didn’t qualify earlier for such an arrangement.

The measure sailed through both the Senate and Assembly with only a handful of votes opposed. Introduced on June 9 in the Assembly, the bill cleared both chambers by June 20.

Its passage came at the same time changes to the state’s teacher evaluation measure — which slowed aspects of the implementation of Common Core standards in New York — were negotiated. Union officials insisted the evaluation agreement and the pension bill’s passage were not linked.

The pension change has gone more or less unnoticed, save for advocate teachers blogs, though not all union members agree this is a give-away to the organization’s leadership.

E.J. McMahon of the Empire Center for New York State Policy said that even while the law is revenue neutral, it’s still troubling.

“This is big favor,” he said. “It may not be unprecedented to have such an arrangement, but in fact it’s a huge gift to the unions.”

He added the state’s pension system remains backed up by taxpayers, saying it sets an example for other labor groups.

“The last thing we need to be doing by fact or example is expanding access to the pension system whether it’s quote-un-quote paid for or not,” McMahon said.