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Editorial: Thaw unlikely for Nassau wage freeze

NIFA Chairman Jon Kaiman, center, during a meeting

NIFA Chairman Jon Kaiman, center, during a meeting of the NIFA board in Uniondale on Dec. 30, 2013. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

The wage freeze on unionized county workers is up for renewal at the Nassau Interim Finance Authority meeting scheduled for Monday evening.

Despite aggressive negotiations by Jon Kaiman, the new NIFA head, his proposed deal is likely to come up short and the board will vote to continue its freeze for a fourth year. All that means, however, is that talks will continue, because any freeze can be rescinded.

The main obstacle is the Police Benevolent Association's legal challenge to the wage freeze. NIFA says the PBA can continue the case only on principle, but the unions want to collect back pay if they win. An even bigger problem is Nassau's claim that it can cover 2014 union raises and step increases with growing sales-tax revenues and speeding fines from school-zone cameras.

But those numbers just don't add up.