Some of you may recall that in November the workers of Nassau County were given a warning that they may be laid off. For those of you who did not catch it, here is an excerpt from our earlier coverage:
“The odds are that unless you live inside the five boroughs you know Nassau County by a different name, Long Island. If the county executives and the union are unable to reach an agreement 400 workers in Long Island will be let go from there jobs 11 days before the Christmas holiday. If the union and the county executives can reach an agreement some, or all of the jobs may be spared.
In order to add insult to injury the proposal made by the county executives also what would allow them to demote about 200 other employees in about two weeks.”
Well, it happened today, a round of mass layoffs put several hundred Nassau County workers out of a job this week. On the bright side it was not the expected 400 workers who are out of a job, but instead of 262 civil servants. While this is still a high number of layoffs it is not as bad as it could have been.
The bad news is that most of the workers be let go were from departments such as social services, public works and probation. According to the union most of the workers who were let go were the lower paid ones in the county, as a matter of fact some of the lowest paid workers on the payroll.
In addition another 137 worker were demoted, with the expected pay cuts.
The county executives are blaming the union for not being flexible enough with the county. County Executive Mangano made the following statement to NBC New York, “While it pains me to see anyone lose their job, I informed Nassau’s unions months ago that layoffs would occur if they didn’t provide the concessions needed to protect residents from a tax hike.”
Of course, the union does not support this position and they told the same reporter the following, “Blaming us is just an excuse”, said CSEA union president Jerry
Laricchuita. They are insisting that a tax hike of about 25 cents a day would have held the layoffs at bay. For those of you who are interested that would be a tax increase of about $91.25 each year for every taxpayer.
The Republican majority of Nassau County did not want to make the tax increase. Instead they wanted all of the workers to take a 20%, across-the-board pay cut and then a pay freeze of five years. As you can imagine that option was not popular with the members of the union. “My members would have never accepted that,” said Laricchuita to the same reporter. “This is politics and bad government.”
The size of the workforce for Nassau County is now as small as it was in the 1950’s. The county is facing down a $310 million budget deficit.Nassau County Layoffs Begin by Harrison Barnes