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Letter: Pay figure wrong on Nassau workers

Members of the Nassau CSEA at a meeting

Members of the Nassau CSEA at a meeting (June 28, 2011) Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

In Newsday's front-page story "More Bills Coming Due" [News, Aug. 16], Brian Nevin, spokesman for Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, twisted and manipulated the facts as best he could.

When I read that all civilian employees of Nassau County earn an average of $121,000 including salaries and fringe benefits a year, I knew I was reading a myth. After all, Nevin was crying foul that both the Civil Service Employees Association and police salaries were placing Nassau in the red for another $115 million in 2012!

We believe it's around $50 million. What Nevin left out was how Nassau came up with these numbers. After some investigation, we found out his $115 million number came from Tim Sullivan, Nassau's deputy county executive of finance, and includes health care for retirees whom nobody, including the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, can do anything about.

Sullivan also explained that Nassau included all workers who are not law enforcement. He also stated he included correction officers in his $121,000 average salary figure, who make more than CSEA employees. Much more offensive, however, is that Sullivan included nonunion political appointees such as department heads, commissioners and county executive staff in his civilian salary figure.

The disheartening part about all of this is now when Nassau residents see a hardworking public works employee mowing the lawn, they will believe he is costing our county $121,000 a year. The average CSEA member makes a salary of $61,000 a year. Our members have been lambasted, ridiculed and, worst of all, laid off. Newsday and the Nassau taxpayers were hoodwinked, and that is a crying shame.

Jerry Laricchiuta, Massapequa Park

Editor's note: The writer is president of Nassau Local 830 of the Civil Service Employees Association.

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