Nassau County correction officers did an about-face Wednesday and approved a contract extension very similar to one they had rejected barely three weeks ago.
"It was something of a reversal; about 580 in favor and 250 or so against," Mike Adams, president of the union, the Sheriff Officers Association, said last night after the votes were counted. The original vote on July 6 was about 580 against and 250 in favor, he said.
The union leadership decided to give its 1,100 members a second chance after County Executive Thomas Suozzi clamped down on overtime and demoted some superior officers two weeks ago in the wake of the contract rejection.
Those and other budgetary moves would save $2 million to $4 million annually - the savings that had been expected from the contract extension - Suozzi said.
Adams declined to say what changes had been made in the newly submitted contract but said they were slight. "It was somewhat of a format change - same savings to the county," he said.
The county's labor negotiator, Dan McCray, said last week he was not interested in negotiating further with the union, but said he would consider accepting a new deal "that does not cost us a penny more."
A spokeswoman for Suozzi said last night he was aware of the new ratification, but declined to say whether he would accept it and submit it to the county legislature for approval.
The four other unions representing Nassau County workers have contracts that run through the end of 2015, while the correction officers' contract expired at the end of 2012.
The earlier deal would have required correction officers to defer four weeks' pay in the next 18 months, while other unions agreed to contract modifications that deferred only two weeks' pay this year.
However, the correction officers would have kept their annual raises intact, while members of the main union, Local 830 of the Civil Service Employees Association, agreed to forego those annual raises for the first seven months of both 2010 and 2011.