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Letter: Lag pay isn’t the best option

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, pictured on Sept.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, pictured on Sept. 17, 2015, is seeking a 2.9 percent hike in Suffolk police district taxes. Credit: Ed Betz

The Suffolk County Association of Municipal Employees agrees with Newsday’s editorial board that “maneuvers like lag pay are disastrous ways of kicking trouble down the road” [“Suffolk’s woes in a microcosm,” Editorial, Feb. 1].

Suffolk County is facing financial challenges, and it’s crucial that stakeholders work together to reach solutions. But asking more than 5,000 county residents to defer pay isn’t the answer.

Pay deferral is one option, but it isn’t the only or the best option. The estimated $11.2 million in savings it would generate will do little to address the county’s more than $100 million deficit. Additionally, that $11.2 million in “savings” will cost taxpayers approximately $30 million in the long run, as the county will eventually have to repay employees at future wage rates.

AME is committed to working with County Executive Steve Bellone to identify responsible solutions that will make meaningful progress toward improving the county’s financial situation — without hurting workers and without costing taxpayers.

Brian Macri


Editor’s note: The writer is the president of Suffolk County Association of Municipal Employees.


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