ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York's second largest state employee union on Thursday agreed to a contract that includes no raises for three years and other concessions demanded by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, avoiding nearly 3,500 layoffs.

More than 70 percent of the Public Employees Federation rank-and-file voted to approve the tentative contract. The approval came just a month after a similar tentative contract was rejected by the rank-and-file.

"Truly, cooler heads prevailed," Cuomo said. "The contracts weren't that different .. I think it was the tonality. It was the decibel level."

Cuomo said union members in New York were riled by what they saw as attacks nationwide on unions, such as the conflict in Wisconsin between public workers and Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who proposed taking away nearly all their collective bargaining rights.

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