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Nassau County Executive-Elect Laura Curran seeks copies of union pacts

Nassau County Executive Elect Laura Curran speaks outside

Nassau County Executive Elect Laura Curran speaks outside the Theodore Roosevelt County Executive Building on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017 in Mineola. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Nassau County Executive-Elect Laura Curran has asked the county’s five municipal unions to give transition team copies of their labor agreements with the county, which expire at year’s end.

Curran requested the documents in letters on Dec. 1 to the Civil Service Employees Association, Police Benevolent Association, Superior Officers Association, Detectives Association and Correction Officers Benevolent Association.

Curran, a Democrat who takes office Jan. 1, said in the letter that she wanted to “set the stage for a productive relationship that serves the interests of both Nassau County residents and your members.”

Curran asked the unions for “complete” copies of their existing collective bargaining agreements with the county by no later than Jan. 2, including all side letters, amendments, memorandum of understanding or other contract modifications.

CSEA President Jerry Laricchiuta called the directive “unusual,” noting that Curran has yet to appoint a labor director who would negotiate with the unions. But Laricchiuta said his office would comply with the document request.

“We know that Nassau’s finances are a mess,” Laricchiuta said. “Our members have sacrificed a lot over the past eight years.”

PBA President James McDermott said he was looking forward “to working with the county executive-elect in the best interest of the county and the public.”

All five unions endorsed Curran’s GOP opponent, former State Sen. Jack Martins.

The unions did not negotiate new labor deals with County Executive Edward Mangano, a Republican. Mangano did not seek a third term as he fights federal corruption charges.

By law, existing labor deals will remain in effect next year. But until new agreements are signed, county employees will not receive cost of living adjustments. Then can get contractual step increases — salary hikes based on time on the job.

The Nassau Interim Finance Authority, a state monitoring board in control of the county’s finances, has said it will not consider new labor pacts until unions turn over verified summaries of the major terms in existing contracts.

NIFA officials said side letters, arbitration awards, settlement agreements and memorandums of understanding related to the labor deals have never been compiled in one summary.

“NIFA has been very clear as to the importance of completing this project before consideration of any new labor agreements,” said NIFA Chairman Adam Barsky. “We appreciate that the County Executive-elect recognizes this initiative as a priority.”

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