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NIFA's Barsky gets 'pre-decisional' authority in labor talks 

The Nassau Interim Finance Authority board still must approve final agreements in labor talks.

NIFA Chairman Adam Barsky during a public NIFA

NIFA Chairman Adam Barsky during a public NIFA meeting in Uniondale on Oct. 16, 2018,. Photo Credit: Danielle Silverman

The Nassau Interim Finance Authority has given Chairman Adam Barsky authority to sign off on “pre-decisional agreements” during future labor talks — though a final agreement must be approved by NIFA’s seven-member board.

NIFA officials said delegating that authority to Barsky, or a designee, allows for smoother negotiations. The officials can give Nassau County guidance about contractual matters and sign “interim pre-decisional agreements,” according to a NIFA resolution.

Barsky must then “promptly” notify NIFA directors about such matters and cannot “bind NIFA to any final agreements” without the consent of NIFA directors at a public meeting.

NIFA officials said interim decisions need to be made to keep negotiations moving. Contracts with county unions expired at the end of 2017.

“Because it’s such a dynamic process, the county unions may need some assurances from us along the way on certain matters, and this would do that without having to require a formal meeting,” Barsky said in an interview.

Representatives of Nassau’s unions in December objected to NIFA even being at the negotiating table after it hired its own labor counsel, Gary Dellaverson, a former chief financial officer of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Jerry Laricchiuta, CSEA Nassau County Local 830 president, said, “It makes sense to give him the authority.”

While it’s “a little awkward” that NIFA as a “neutral monitoring board” is in the room during negotiations, Laricchiuta acknowledged, “I don’t care who’s in the room actually.”

Asked about NIFA’s decision, Nassau Police Benevolent Association president James McDermott said: “I’ve been advised by counsel not to speak on the matter.”

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