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Nassau union pacts still being revised

Nassau’s proposed new union contracts that would lift a three-year-old wage freeze are still undergoing revisions and are not likely to be filed with the county legislature for approval until Monday, officials said.

Brian Nevin, a spokesman for County Executive Edward Mangano, said attorneys are still “crossing T’s and dotting I’s,” on the deals, which include memorandums of agreement for the Police Benevolent Association, the Civil Service Employees Association, the Detective’s Association and the Superior Officers Association.

If the agreements are filed on Monday, the county legislature could still consider them under nonemergency procedures by the following Monday, March 31. Any later than that would require the legislature to declare an emergency, which needs 13 of the 19 lawmakers' votes.

County unions and the county’s financial control board, the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, have targeted March 31 as the date for the legislature and NIFA to approve the deals.

A hiring list for a new police class expires that day.

Frank Moroney, spokesman for Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves (R-East Meadow), said, “The county legislature will not consider any MOA until after the legislative budget office and the county comptroller have weighed in on the fiscal impact of the proposals. That analysis cannot begin until all the proposed MOAs have been filed with the clerk of the legislature.”

NIFA guidelines call for the comptroller to have 14 days to review and comment on any new proposed union deal.

NIFA chairman Jon Kaiman said NIFA lawyers are still reviewing the agreements to make sure the language means what it's supposed to mean and that all the provisions are consistent with state law.

“If it requires some kind of delay, there will be a delay,” he said.

Kaiman said he wanted the legislature to have ample time to analyze the deals. “We may have to put this off a week and try to get the class list extended,” he said. A judge would have to approve extension of the hiring list. The county has already vetted some 170 candidates for the police academy.

Kaiman said there are no disagreements in intent, just in the wording of the pacts. He said NIFA would look on Monday to hire labor counsel to review the deals as well.

“It’s more important that we get the language right and we’re all on the same page,” Kaiman said. “If we can be confident that’s the case and still get it done on the 31st, that's the plan. But if we need a little more time, we will take more time. We want to make sure it means what we think it means” and that everything is consistent with state law, he said.

Kaiman added that he's "not aware of anything that suggests" that NIFA, the county and the unions "are not on the same page substantially."

 

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