Unions move to block Nassau furlough plan

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Nassau's five labor unions will be in federal court Wednesday morning seeking to block legislation that would allow County Executive Edward Mangano to furlough employees and reopen labor contracts.

Mangano signed the legislation, authorizing him to make $41 million in cuts to the county budget, on Monday -- 28 days after it was passed by the GOP-controlled county legislature.

"The actions provided in this law would break CSEA's contract with Nassau County, which we believe to be a violation of the United States Constitution," said Ryan Mulholland, spokesman for Civil Service Employees Association Local 830. "It also strikes at the very purpose of a union and collective bargaining as enacted through New York's Taylor Law."

Gary Learned, president of the Nassau Superior Officers Association, said "the bill is illegal and we want to end it before it has a chance to do any damage."

Mangano's office did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

The law gives Mangano unilateral authority to cut the budget through variety of options including furloughing union employees one day a week, modifying county contracts and cutting county contributions to employee benefits.

Mangano on Monday also signed legislation broadening the authority of police Commissioner Thomas Dale to discipline officers. The Police Benevolent Association says it expects to challenge the bill in State Supreme Court in Nassau next week.

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