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January 29, 2001|
GOP LEGISLATORS REJECT LABOR CONTRACT
CITING $66 MILLION COST
(Mineola, NY) Citing overall cost and the negative fiscal impact on taxpayers, Minority Leader and County Legislator Peter J. Schmitt (R-Massapequa) has sent a letter on behalf of Republican legislators to County Executive Gulotta rejecting the multi-year labor contract submitted by the County Executive for Nassau County Correction Officers for legislative approval.
"We believe that the men and women of ShOA (Correction Officers Union) deserve a fair, but fiscally prudent labor contract. We believe that the contract negotiated by your office does not achieve enough savings on behalf of the taxpayer to merit our support," wrote Legislator Schmitt in his letter.
The contract is being rejected for the following reasons:
The County Executive is proposing a 25.5% wage increase. However, when required step increments are factored in, the overall wage increase is 40.9%. In comparison, the City of New York settled its contract with its Correction Officers Union with a raise of 12%. Furthermore, Nassau Community College is proposing to settle its contract with the full-time faculty at the college for a 10% raise over a five-year period.
Net Cost to Taxpayers
The contract negotiated by the County Executive will cost in excess of $66 million to the County. It is the position of the Republican caucus that any contract entered into by the County must pay for itself with one dollar of cost offset by one dollar of concession.
Length of Contract
The contract negotiated by the County Executive is for seven years. It is the position of the Republican caucus that it is imprudent to enter into a contract that extends past the recently approved four-year fiscal plan.
Lack of Permanent Union Concessions
The contract negotiated by the County Executive provides that all concessions gained by the County end with the contract while all concessions gained by the union do not terminate with the contract thereby forcing the County to renegotiate over again for concessions it previously had while the union gives nothing up.
Failure to Enact Discretionary Management Initiatives
The contract negotiated by the County Executive provides for the negotiating away of discretionary management initiatives such as improved sick leave management; improved workers compensation reform; and, civilianization efforts. NIFA has clearly pointed out that certain management initiatives can be taken without union approval and the Republican caucus again urges the Administration to implement them.
In concluding his letter Legislator Schmitt wrote, "May I remind you that while money was prudently placed in the budget for wage increases, you are under no obligation to spend all of it just because it is there. We urge you to return to the bargaining table and achieve a labor agreement that provides more savings."