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         June 13, 2001

Proposal Saves $7.3 Million
Allows Next Executive to Negotiate

(Mineola, NY) Minority Leader and County Legislator Peter J. Schmitt (R-Massapequa) is suggesting a straight forward alternative proposal to the labor contract scheme advanced by the Democrat Majority in the County Legislature and the failed Gulotta proposal to settle the labor agreement with the Sheriff Officers Association (ShOA).

"The contract scheme offered by the Democrat Majority is ill-advised and will result in massive property tax increases and/or a control board due to its impact on the County budget and other labor negotiations," said Minority Leader Schmitt. "The Democrats' proposed 33.4% wage increase is way in excess of the rate of inflation, contains costly provisions and binds the hands of the next County Executive through three-quarters of his term."

The Republican proposal is as follows:
  • Enter into a contract for 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001
  • Provide a one-time payment with no adjustment to the base salary of all Correction Officers. The payment is based upon the number of years of service on the job. Under this proposal the median wage increase for a Correction Officer would be 6.49% for the 4-year period.
Number of Years of ServiceOne-Time Payment

"The problem with both the Gulotta and Democrat Majority proposals are all of the hidden clauses and uncertainties with respect to costs and savings. This proposal is straight forward and honest - no hidden clauses, no trap doors, no hidden costs - if you have been on the job for a certain number of years you get a set amount," said Legislator Schmitt. "This proposal is consistent with the labor guidelines as set by NIFA and is a business-like approach in dealing with employee compensation."

"This proposal saves more than $7.3 million against the four-year costs of the Democrat Majority proposal and $5.5 million against the Administration's proposed contract. While we provide our hard working Correction Officers with a raise, we also give the next County Executive the ability to engage in contract negotiations to achieve his own savings and fiscal balance. To tie his hands through almost his entire term of office as proposed in the previous agreement and the Democrat Majority would be wrong," stated Legislator Schmitt.

"According to the Independent Legislative Budget Review Office approximately 45.6% of the County budget is expended on personnel costs. Unless substantial structural reforms can be reached in labor negotiations we will be faced with massive property tax increases. We reject that alternative," concluded Legislator Schmitt.

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