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Nassau to Lay Off ‘Hundreds’ as Part of $181M in Cuts

Union leaders say they won’t negotiate concessions without NIFA.

More than 200 county workers would receive pink slips under a new spending plan announced Wednesday by Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano.

In additon to layoffs, county employees would be forced to take a 13-day unpaid furlough as Mangano attempts to close a $176 million budget gap and appease the Nassau Interim Finance Authority.

After an unsuccessful legal challenge to block the state watchdog agency from taking control of the county's finances, Mangano said Wednesday that the $181.9 million in new spending cuts were necessary as NIFA does not count borrowed money as revenue.

“This is a plan where no one’s insulated,” Mangano said of the proposed cuts he called “severe” and “significant.”  “Everyone’s sharing the sacrifice to address the financial concerns that NIFA has.”

The reductions total about $5 million more that what NIFA projects because “historically there’s been criticism as to some of the cuts that are (promissory),” Mangano said.

Cuts include 213 county workers, elimination of 307 vacant positions, a furlough for county personnel and reduction of part-time and seasonal workers, bringing the total number of workers eliminated since Mangano took office to more than 1,000.

Mangano has also called on NIFA to implement a wage freeze on county union workers set to take effect on April 1, which he said will save an additional $10.5 million. The six-member NIFA board is set to meet Thursday afternoon.

“I wouldn’t be shocked if they did,” CSEA union president Jerry Laricchiuta said of the possibility of a wage freeze.

The CSEA is the largest union in Nassau and all 213 workers on the chopping block are among its members. 

“(What) we don’t get is why he zeroed in on us,” Laricchiuta said, referring to Mangano. “I guess it's because we’re the largest and he had a deadline to meet.”

The new cuts would take effect on July 1 and include $17 million in reduced contractual obligations, $4.5 million in eliminating contributions to the Long Island Bus service, $3 million in reduced overtime at the county jail and $15 million in a “realignment” of the county police department, which may include closing a precinct.

“Bricks and mortar may change,” Mangano said, adding that a more detailed plan would be rolled out in the next few weeks.

Both the police and county workers unions have said they will file a lawsuit against Nassau if furloughs are implemented.

“Even though we were in the midst of a three-year concession plan we provided the county with $50 million in savings each year for 2009, 2010, 2011... this is all about him trying to get $60 million from labor,” Nassau County PBA President James Carver said of the county executive.

Mangano maintains that under the control period instituted by NIFA in January, he has the power to institute layoffs and furloughs.

By far the biggest single departmental reduction is $5.4 million from social services, followed by $2.2 million from the health department and $1.9 million from public works.

The layoffs and cuts would hit some people particulary hard, Laricchiuta said.

“It’s very sad because we already have members that work for social services that are actually part of social service," he said. 

Leg. Kevan Abrahams, D-Hempstead, argued the the spending cuts were coming too late. 

“We are of the belief that the cuts that we’re going to be able to see today could have been done well over a year ago,” said Abrahams, the deputy minority leader. “And from that standpoint it's discouraging because now we’re going to have to cut even more.”

Leg. Wayne Wink, D-Roslyn, added that “if you have to save $12 in a year, you can either save it by saving $1 a month or if you wait until six months in you have to save $2 dollars a month and that’s kind of a time-set, the longer you wait, the deeper the cuts have to be in order to make the annualized number.”

Mangano said that “the first round” of cuts would affect all levels and departments, holding up his own office as an example.

“No one is exempt,” he said, adding that labor leaders would be given time to offer “voluntary concessions to lessen the severity of these actions.”

According to the county executive, NIFA has “declined” to become involved with labor talks “but they have offered to review that decision as the discussions go forward.”

Both Carver and Laricchiuta have said that they would not come to the negotiating table with the county unless NIFA is present.

“NIFA’s the oversight board right now, they’re going to be approving anything that happens in the county,” Carver said. “The only way that we would sit down is if NIFA was in the room and if NIFA gives the authority to do something. Remember, we’re also in the last year of a concession plan. We are not going to negotiate concessions for this year.”

Alan March 25, 2011 at 09:27 PM
Roger, this is not governemnt incompetence - is is greed whilst the taxpayers aren't paying attention.
Alan March 25, 2011 at 09:34 PM
okay shoot the messenger. The truth hurts when looked at squarely. People don't begrudge the pay cops recieve. The don't like the whoppong taxpayer funded benefits for life that are always negotiated behind the scenes when the average taxpayer isnt looking.
Hollingsworth March 25, 2011 at 10:54 PM
What is the biggest problem facing our nation today? JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!! So what does Mangano do to fix that problem – fire people, which increases unemployment on Long Island, forcing people to seek social services and then he cuts funding to social services!?!? Our county portion of our tax bill is less than 20%. What savings are we talking about – pennies? There are only a few ways in which the county gets revenue: sales tax, fees, state and federal aid and property taxes. If Kate Murray hadn’t nixed the Lighthouse Project, we would have seen thousands of jobs on private dollars, an increase in the tax roll which would have meant less money that needs to come out of our pockets, a boom in business and an affordable place for our children to stay on Long Island. Mangano lacks the vision for growth and Kate Murray looks only to how it will affect the Town politically and not at what is the right thing to do for the people she represents. Her stubbornness to keep the archaic zoning codes only leads to strip mall after strip mall with no plan for a new surburbia. If Kate Murray and Mangano don’t get their act together soon, the suburban life that we are trying so hard to preserve will become something none of us will recognize. We need some creative financing here and someone who has the guts to lead us out of this mess.
lucky libra March 26, 2011 at 12:22 AM
THE BACKROOM DEALS WILL BE DONE, AND NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW
Scott Clarke March 26, 2011 at 12:46 AM
Bob, you are right on the money. The only problem is, many on here don't seem to understand what you are saying. They simply say "it's such a hard job, how would YOU like to do what we do"? They don't understand the economics and the severity of the crisis. The others who are arguing against us are the very ones on the receiving end of these inflated benefits who don't want to give anything up. The best you could do is leave this drowning county and state. The lunatics have surely taken over the asylum. I say leave it all to them and let THEM figure it out. No one wants to take the tough medicine. The can had been kicked so far down the road and now we have run out of road. Time for long island to fall off the cliff.
Frank Scarangella March 26, 2011 at 12:53 AM
you would be correct in the real world , not in public employee world where each dollar you have to spend cost the taxapyer 7 or 8 dollars we can't afford that lay them off cut trhe teachers pay or let them work 50 weeks a year they can pick up garbage when school is closed .
Scott Clarke March 26, 2011 at 01:16 AM
Check out LISchooltax.com to see each teacher's salary or pension. Make sure you are sitting when you read them
Scott Clarke March 26, 2011 at 01:23 AM
Art, your explanation of economics would be laughed at by first graders. Better you don't speak about what you don't know. LOL " listen to me carefully".
Art Kelly March 26, 2011 at 02:08 AM
You guys are nuts! It doesn't sound like you had a very goood experience in school, which explains why you hate teachers so much. We don' t pay teachers nearly enough. You guys listen to Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity and think that the bankers who really stole from you are the GOOd guys. Sheesh!
TKK March 26, 2011 at 03:24 AM
I think that teachers as a whole are underpaid in America. On Long Island, I think they are fairly paid. No one makes 100k until maybe 10-15 years at the earliest. You give up the chance for bonuses and limitless potential [in good economci times] for a steady salary, great benefits and a pension plan. Perhaps they should be forced to contribute more than 3% of their wages toward the pension, but otherwise I don't see anything wrong with what they make considering what they contribute to society. I do agree with Art that either many people here hated their teachers or simply that people here are just jealous and wish they themselves were teachers. I wonder how many would change their mind if they had the opportunity to step into a classroom and realize what exactly a teacher must face on a daily basis.....
An tUasal Airgead March 26, 2011 at 04:15 AM
Why can't Nassau County accomplish this? Los Angeles - the city's largest labor unions have agreed to increase retiree health care and pension contributions – an important step in addressing the city’s budget crisis. Los Angeles Labor Unions agreed to increase pension contributions from 6 to 7 percent of their members’ salaries. The coalition's 22,000 members would also for the first time contribute to their retiree health care benefits. That would be 4 percent of their salaries. Service Employees International Union said the hard fought deal means unpaid furlough days will end. The deal includes a freeze on cash overtime and ends automatic civil service raises. It trims $70 million from a projected $500 million dollar deficit. http://www.scpr.org/news/2011/03/25/mayor-cuts-major-pension-reform-deal-big-city-labo/
Frank Scarangella March 26, 2011 at 06:24 AM
hey art if had to run a business and pay for your own helthcare meet a payroll each & every week put up with government regulations, support a family, work 70 hour weeks a minninum of 6 days a week and also pay what the rest of us have to pay, you might understand why we might be annoyed at a BUNCH OF PART TIME WORKERS CRYING ABOUT HOW HARD THEY WORK AND WHY THEY NEED MORE OF OUR MONEY. where do you get the nerve? one more question would the teachers and the slimy unions support a taxpayer strike? stop blubbering and get to work be more productive contribute more to your taxpayer gaurenteed pensions & health care ... be aman not a leech
fred March 26, 2011 at 11:15 AM
I have read all the comments and both sides make good points. Let me ask you all a question. If I were to offer you $5000 would you change your opinion? I am sure some of you would and you have met the first requirement to be an elected official. As long as money influences decisions we are all in trouble. We need to ban all forms of lobbying since the purpose is to take from the many to give to the few.
Robert Demarco March 26, 2011 at 11:31 AM
Bob has stated the facts and the truth clearly and concisely. The current model is not sustainable. Benefits have to come in line with the private sector. The defined benefit pension is an outdated model with no way to control costs. Teachers and public sector employees need to understand that they have to compromise to save jobs. Greed will keep them from doing that.
Charles Greco March 26, 2011 at 12:41 PM
What makes me the craziest is when people try to compare their jobs to others. Sure the county and country have financial issues that need to be dealt with because we are spending more money then we take in. Yes there are facets of all public employees’ contracts that need to be looked at and adjusted to make them more fiscally sound. I am sure there are creative ways to reduce the cost of benefits and to keep the quality of the product. How about for starters no public employee can retire after 20 years of service. How about the elimination of accumulation of sick days that can be taken with retirement. Just two for starters. The solution that no one really wants to look at when it comes to cutting cost is the reduction of administration. Because the way to reduce administrative cost you would have to be open to the consolidation, the merger of such organizations like school districts and town governments. Good luck with getting any of the politicians behind that idea. Years ago when Nassau County was developing there may have been a need to have many local town governments to provide services to the public. If you were to look at other areas of the country that developed much later than Nassau you would see much different structures on how they operate.
Charles Greco March 26, 2011 at 12:41 PM
To posters like Frank Scrangella I applaud that you don’t hide with only a first name. But I ask you to think about the task not the time that a Teacher works in the class room. Do you think the heart surgeon that does a triple by-pass surgery is worth the money they charged based on the time they work or is their value in the task? Does the plumber, carpenter or electrician that knows a trade and can perform a task in half the time as a non-professional earn too much? Okay your rebuttal is that they are not paid with your tax dollars and to that you are correct. But I ask you to think about the future of our great country, do you want to make sure that there is an educated workforce prepared to support you in your declining years. Do you want to make sure there are youth prepared to takeover? Yes there is fat in all the public systems that need to be trimmed. But just like a great steak has a certain amount of fat left on it so it cooks correctly there needs to be some incentives left for a profession to draw good people to the field. BTW I am not now or ever was a public educator and neither is my wife. We are both working professionals in the private sector.
Craig March 26, 2011 at 01:03 PM
Understanding the nature of the beast. New York hands down mandates the feds too, The private sector does not have to deal with. Hiring in the Gov't sector is mandateded by numbers, You have to hire the numbers. % of disabled, % of rase and list goes on. They are hired because of the numbers(%) It now takes two people to do one job. It is a Mandate. or you go to court. The Police and the teachers are the ones raping the tax payer and now many live in Nassau?
Frank Scarangella March 26, 2011 at 01:52 PM
i don't hide my name because when obama let his union gastpo loose they will come after me first anyway... a teacher couldn't / don't work as hard as any small business man i am sure they have bosses as arrogant as they are ...go by the best school in nassau and look at the children and tell me your doing a good job. the young people that come me to for work HAVE TO BE EDUCATED AT MY EXPENCE THEY KNOW NOTHING1 STARTING WITH COMMUNACATING WITH PEOPLE...Teachers your doing a bang up job take 2 months off this summer.................charles do you live in nassau ? couldn't you or your family use the money the county, school distrits, state, federal governments waste, steal.to better use or just spend it and put the money back into the pockets of people that really work that would be an incentive..keeping the money a person earns..i don't know about you but wheni need money i can't bully or black mail the taxpayers for more. oh and mentioning my name dosen't scare me.. another way of bullying people.
Frank Scarangella March 26, 2011 at 01:57 PM
want to educate kids really start a voucher system... the private sector can do a better job and for less money if the government buttts out.
Scott Clarke March 26, 2011 at 02:02 PM
With all the mandates handed down by the govt, what union protections do the municpal workers exactly need? The govt pampers them already. It's all just a political game played by the govt and the union officials. The union workers are the recipients and the taxpayers are the pawns. As for a voucher system, that would work wonders and eliminate mediocrity. The free market would determine the system instead of a politically controlled system.
Robin888 March 26, 2011 at 02:18 PM
This debate begins and ends with one simple fact: There is no more money. Period. This fact renders every other debate point moot. Police officers, firefighters, teachers and any other public employee may, or may not, merit the pay and benefits extracted from the taxpayers by their unions. It is irrelevant. The taxpayer pocket is empty which, fairly or not, effectively renders all contracts null and void. Do-over time has arrived and public sector workers do not get to freely choose whether or not they will join the rest of us in these hard times.
Frank March 26, 2011 at 04:28 PM
LOL...All you people need to get a life and stop writing on here...It seems to be the same people in every Topic..Scott Clarke..Tee..Rick..Bob..seem the worst offenders...Do you want facts...people who constantly send in replies to every story they see have no life, and there is something wrong and strange about "regulars" on these opinion spots...Its ok to put an opinion on a topic that you want to talk about, but none of you know what the other persons jobs entail, and what they do everyday...Public sector..Private sector..blah..blah...We are all consumers...we all buy products and services..whether from the Gov't or a private business..I spend more money on my Cable bill to support million dollar salaries of sports figures so I have no problem supporting people who actually do a real job.(really look at your "yearly cable bill" and compare it to some of your taxes ..I see people spending tons of money having illegal immigrants cut there lawns and other tasks that can be done on there own or by some of our own kids..People spend money on golf, ect.... What are we really complaining about..We have been giving this country away because of our own laziness for years, and watched our Gov't give things away for free to people that don't work or deserve it, but god forbid a Teacher..cop..Vol Firefighter..nurse..ect..should get paid fairly.
Frank March 26, 2011 at 04:33 PM
Look there are going to be changes in retirement..health benefits and other things..but for anyone to suggest that people need to be laid off or have tthere pay cut is just talking like a fool..Everyone should go back to there family and lives and stop being serial posters on here it says a lot about your character. Stop putting down others jobs and professions that you have never done and know nothing about, and stop making up stories about yourselves and then cant back it up when questioned about it..You all know who you are..Although it can sometimes be funny to watch people like the "serial" posters go at it..It is also very..very sad that your out here doing this when Im sure there should be more important things for you to do...Especially if you don't even live on Long Island to begin with..You all know who Im talking about...OK people summer is coming enjoy the outdoors and have a safe and healthy summer...Remember scott clark, rick, clem, bob, and all the serial posters are the sad minority so dont get dicouraged..most of us live our lives and have fun, and enjoy our friends and family..and if I wasnt home sick with my kids plauge they bring home from school I would not be on here..LOL...
Scott Clarke March 26, 2011 at 04:52 PM
Frank, you "obviously" have no life. You post on here AND waste your time watching cable TV? Subscribing to cable is a choice. Paying property taxes is not. For you to drone on & on about how others are on here giving their opinions is laughable. So you say its a 'fact" that people on here have no life. You sound like an idiot when you say stupid things like that (maybe you just aren't limited to just "sounding" like one on here). You compare expensive choices (cable, golf, etc)to mandatory requirements (R/E taxes). So any life advice you want to give others is worthless (much like yourself). Do others find it intolerable to listen to fools like frank who "think" they know what they are talking about? Simple minded people who speak louldy, like frank, are hard to take. Leave the debate for people with more intelligence. (Do you think that got him steamed, lol?)
walter March 26, 2011 at 05:41 PM
Frank, The Syosset budget did NOT include changes to retirement or health benefits. It included a temporary wage freeze- not pay cut.- and a 2.7 percent hike in budget/ not a cut. People in Syosset are upset at the admnistration costs included over 800K for the Superindentent and Deputy Superindentent salary. They are also not happy with all the false praise they heap on the school while Syosset Hich School ranking consistently drops in the studies, and the "Blue Ribbon" is over twenty years old. The drug problem in Syosset HS is no different than any other LI school so what else is there to be so proud of? This is not a plan for the long term health of syosset taxpayers who will probably have to move because of the escalating taxes . That is why a NO vote on their budget is so important. I'm sure other communities face similar problems.
Frank Scarangella March 26, 2011 at 05:56 PM
SCOTT CLARKE... ARROGANT WISE GUYS LIKE YOU ARE THE PROBLEM .. YOU RELLY THINK YOUR BETTER THAN SOMEONE ELSE... I MAKE JOBS YOU LEACH OFF OF ME!
Scott Clarke March 26, 2011 at 06:04 PM
Sorry Frank, I was NOT referring to you. I was referring to the Frank without the last name. I agreed with pretty much everything you had posted. I was replying to the frank (WITHOUT the last name) who posted negative personal attacks against me. Im with you brother; sorry for the confusion.
Scott Clarke March 26, 2011 at 06:07 PM
As for Frank without the last name, you condemn "serial posters", but you keep posting. Oh i see, you are home with the flu. Thats like when you asked your doctor about viagra "for a friend of yours", lol. Frank WITHOUT the last name, why not just comment on the discussion and not worry about why other people post their opinions. Also, give up the psychoanalysis business. You are so far off on yoru assumptions of people you have never met and know nothing about.
MarkO March 30, 2011 at 03:51 PM
Its only when these public servants overstep their place by working against the taxpayers who pay them, by activley supporting positions against the public and community interests (like participating in organized rally against the taxpayer and the needed 2%cap on property tax) that people wake up and see that it is now in the taxpayers best interest to remove support from these servants even if it includes layoffs, taxpayer funded benefit reductions and even salary fereezwes (God forbid).
Frank May 16, 2011 at 08:38 PM
To the other "Frank", you're ruining my good name. Add a B or D to your tag.... jeez.

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