The state board in control of Nassau County’s finances on Thursday froze the salaries of most county employees, leading to a backlash from union leaders who vowed to fight the move.
The Nassau Interim Finance Authority backed County Executive Ed Mangano’s request to stop all scheduled pay increases as part of a plan to cut Nassau's budget deficit.
The wage freeze, which would save the county about $10 million, comes one day after Mangano submitted $181 million worth of cuts and revisions to the 2011 budget. The cuts included 213 layoffs, as well as leaving an additional 300 positions vacant.
Mangano was not at the meeting, but Nassau County Police Benevolent Association Chairman James Carver and CSEA President Jerry Laricchiuta were, and the latter raised his hand when Ronald Stack, NIFA’s chairman, asked if there were any objections to the wage freeze.
“That’s going above and beyond I believe what he was entitled to do,” Laricchiuta said, referring to the county executive. “We are a little distressed that the county executive actually asked NIFA to freeze our wages.”
Stack, meanwhile, said more had to be done. He said “the budget is still not balanced,” adding that employee furloughs and personnel cuts still need the county Legislature’s approval, and the state needs to give the green light to the county’s plan to expand the red light camera program.
“The deficit is real, the deficit is substantial and the deficit is in accordance with (general accounting principals),” Stack said.
NIFA has projected that Nassau will run a $176 million operating deficit in 2011.