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CSEA prez: Unions in 'serious talks' to end Nassau pay freeze

Civil Service Employees Association president Jerry Laricchiuta addressed

Civil Service Employees Association president Jerry Laricchiuta addressed rumors that have been circulating for weeks about a deal to lift the salary freeze, which was instituted in March of 2011 by the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, a state watchdog in control of the county's finances. (May 7, 2012) (Credit: Howard Schnapp)

Nassau’s municipal labor unions are engaged in “serious talks” with County Executive Edward Mangano on a deal to end the pay freeze for county employees, according to labor officials and political sources knowledgeable about the discussions.

In a letter to his membership on Wednesday, Civil Service Employees Association president Jerry Laricchiuta addressed rumors that have been circulating for weeks about a deal to lift the salary freeze, which was instituted in March of 2011 by the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, a state watchdog in control of the county's finances.

“I can say that my team and I have been working around the clock for months working on a deal which could possibly ‘unfreeze’ all of our members,” Laricchiuta said in the letter.

Nassau political officials had speculated that a deal was going be presented to the legislature earlier this month but a formal agreement did not materialize.

“Jerry Laricchiuta and his team have been in constant talks with the county executive’s office over the past several weeks with the goal of reaching an agreement that would release CSEA members from the NIFA wage freeze,” union spokesman Ryan Mulholland said on Thursday. “There are no details to disclose at this time, but we hope to have a deal soon that will get our members moving again in their salaries and step plan, and that will work for the county legislature, and for NIFA.”

Mangano spokesman Brian Nevin responded that “the county does not comment on labor negotiations.”

Nassau’s four law enforcement unions — the Police Benevolent Association, the Detectives Association, Superior Officers Association and the Correction Officers Benevolent Association — are also working on a deal to end the wage freeze for their members, multiple sources have confirmed.

PBA president James Carver declined to comment on the negotiations, saying only that the union “continues to work with the county to find a solution to the wage freeze imposed by NIFA.”

Nassau’s five unions filed a federal lawsuit against NIFA, contending the pay freeze impairs the contractual rights of their membership. Any deal to lift the freeze would include an end to that litigation, several sources said.

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