Letter: Old and new Nassau workers should pay in to benefits

NIFA chairman Jon Kaiman.

NIFA chairman Jon Kaiman. (Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas)

Our political leaders are shortsighted when negotiating with the public sector unions ["Nassau's woes even bleaker," Editorial, April 15].

While it makes sense to eliminate the risk associated with the constitutionality of the wage freeze on Nassau County workers, limiting additional contributions for medical and pension benefits to new hires comes up short of being a long-term solution.

Why can't people now on the job contribute more to their benefits? This is common in the private sector. In fact, it is common to base benefit contributions on a percentage of salary.

Add to that the fact that cost-of-living adjustments do not exist in the private sector, and step increases are rarely seen these days. They certainly don't approach 3 percent.

Are we going to ask the new, lower-salaried public sector employees to fund the generous benefits of the incumbents? Or increase property taxes, thereby spreading more pain to those who don't receive cost-of-living adjustments or raises?

If we want to avoid becoming the next Detroit, we need to seriously explore long-term solutions that are economically feasible.

Robert Biancardi, Valley Stream

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