Rick Brand Portrait of Newsday reporter Rick Brand taken on

Rick Brand is a longtime Newsday reporter who writes about politics and government on Long Island.

The Suffolk comptroller’s office has set Feb. 15 as a deadline for county union officials to come to an agreement on overpayments made to 53 emergency operators at the Fire Rescue and Emergency Services office in Yaphank.

Aides to Comptroller John Kennedy Jr. and officials of the Association of Municipal Employees met last Wednesday. They attempted to resolve a dispute in which some workers were paid for periods during which they were supposed to undergo training, which was never scheduled. The average worker could face a pay loss of $3,000 to $4,000.

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Dan Levler, AME president, said the workers are not to blame, as the county failed to schedule the required training. “Our people showed up, did their shifts and did as they were directed, but later found out they were improperly directed,” Levler said.

The union has asked the comptroller to defer what is owed until employees either retire or leave county service so that they can take the money out of the time employees can cash out for unused sick and vacation time.