Judge Grants Unions Preliminary Injunction Against Mangano Law

The law, if enacted, would have given County Executive Ed Mangano the authority to open up collective bargaining agreements.

A federal judge granted local labor unions a preliminary injunction on the Nassau County Executive Powers Expansion Law (Local Law No. 315-12) Monday.

The law, if enacted, would have given Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano the authority to open up collective bargaining agreements and extract $41 million or more in drastic labor cuts to pay for the county's backlog of property tax judgments.

Judge Arthur Spatt granted the plaintiffs -- the Correction Officers Benevolent Association (COBA), Civil Service Employees Association, Police Benevolent Association (PBA), Detectives Association Inc. and Superior Officers Association -- the preliminary injunction, barring the county executive from unilaterally modifying any terms or conditions of employment for any unions that are set forth in contracts, according to a release from the COBA.

No changes can be made pending the final determination at the conclusion of the case.

"When you enter into an agreement with somebody, you should keep your word on that agreement," Nassau PBA President Jim Carver told Patch Tuesday, "and that’s what this is about -- keeping your word, your promise on a deal."

Carver made a point of saying that the various union members are already under a wage freeze set forth by the Nassau Interim Finance Authority (NIFA).

"[This law] would have gone beyond just freezing our salaries, it would have gone into diminishing benefits," he said. "... This is a big win."

Also denied was the county’s argument that Spatt didn't have the jurisdiction to decide the federal issue since COBA has introduced a motion in state court contesting the manner in which this local law was adopted. The COBA is still proceeding in state court on this matter.

Lastly, the county asked the judge to have the plaintiff’s post a $41 million bond to put in escrow pending the final determination. Judge Spatt denied the county's motion on that request as well.

"This is a major victory for COBA and all of the other county labor unions," said John Jaronczyk, President of the Nassau County Sheriff’s Correction Officers Benevolent Association, in a release. "... We believe that Local Law 315-12 is unconstitutional and that this law was illegally approved by the legislature. We are very confident that we will prevail in these matters in the coming months."

Carver echoed Jaronczyk’s sentiments, saying that by looking at the judge’s language, he feels the unions will win in the long run.

Nassau Taxpayer August 24, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Taylor/Triborough or not, private employees in certain industries don't have the right to exercise self help even under a bankruptcy cramdown.
Frank August 24, 2012 at 01:44 PM
For clarification, Gulotta HAD to borrow. In 1992, the county was facing a $200 million deficit so Gulotta proposed a 25 percent hike in property taxes. He was cruxified by the rotten Joe Mondello. Mondello trimmed the tax increase to less than 10 percent and left Gulotta the herculean task to eliminate about 2,000 jobs. Gulotta said on record "I'm doing the right thing and I get screwed by my own guys? I'm never raising taxes again.'" And he didn't. So Nassau borrowed like crazy, invented stupid taxes, and just did everything possible... simply not to raise taxes. Gulotta was a good politician that did his best to work in the chicago-style machine that was (and still is) Nassau County.
Mac August 24, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Bob simply pointed out you forgot some of the history behind the law and amendment you cited. In your mind because of these contracts workers should lose their rights. By taking away certain abilities and leaving others in place you will inevitably hurt one side or the other. Your sarcastic use of the word " enlighten" simply means you choose to give us the history that works best for your point. I ask again what happened to those bridge workers that forced this amendment? You are apparently the historian giving us " a little history lesson". But what would I do? Have all these people pay into their pension(something that can actually be negotiated and I don't believe is state driven though I could be wrong) at a lower rate for their entire career and all employees then contribute a minimum of twenty percent towards health benefits. In addition your base pay is only calculated into retirement not overtime or unused sick days etc.. Then when that is complete carefully analyze each department and see what it costs to run vs what it brings in while chopping the fat. Finally each new contract must be negotiated by an independent binding arbitrator whose job does not revolve around winning an election. But all of my suggestions may cost a politician his job so what are the odds? Your suggestions beside changing the law?
Mac August 24, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Taxpayer the comparison between private and public is getting old. Not a valid comparison just easy to point out. Why not compare what the highest public workers get paid to the highest in private industry?
Nassau Taxpayer August 24, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Then compare the value proposition. You first. I reserve the right to laugh.
Mac August 24, 2012 at 02:13 PM
Frank gulotta refused to raise taxes for many years then wanted a huge number was rallied against. His response for the future was that of a petulant child in never raising taxes again. He basically took his ball and went home. What he also did was give contract very lucrative contracts to family and friends throughout his tenure. Eleven straight elections lead to complacency there should be a limit also. Tom did many good things but ultimately left the county a financial mess. The mess continues now because nobody has the stones to do what it takes to straighten things out.
Mac August 24, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Why is it when someone asks you a question you try to turn it around? Value proposition itself is not valid in many areas. Value proposition can be Subjective. Who is more valuable the DA who is prosecuting and getting indictments of drunk drivers and drug dealers for her public salary or the law firm that made millions getting a guy off of the crime. Bit even in this scenario top earner private attorney compared to our DA? Just based on finances and who can make more compare that.
Nassau Taxpayer August 24, 2012 at 02:44 PM
It's called critical thought, Mac. Much of what the County "produces" is not worth what it costs, and could be far more effectively done at the local municipal level. That includes Rice, BTW. County consolidation hasn't ever worked.
Mac August 24, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Taxpayer we do agree on your last statement wholeheartedly. Cost effective, productive relative to cost and critical thinking are not what our county government is all about. Seems like what you could paybformthe most and get the least with NO thought at all.
GCBob August 24, 2012 at 02:55 PM
For those who like to read and be informed there are two articles you might be interested in pertaining to public sector contracts. The first can be found at the website of the Empire Center for New York State Policy article entitled,"Lifting the Shroud of Secrecy from Public Employee Contracts." dated 11/08. The second is from The New York Times, April 10, 2012 entitled,"Unions in New York State get Raises Even Without Contracts." Both make for some interesting and informative reading into our troubling financial times.
Nassau Taxpayer August 24, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Glad we can agree on that. Here's to a great Friday.
Candygram for Mongo August 24, 2012 at 04:08 PM
You can debate it until the sun comes up. At the end of the day, we needed to have layoffs. It was the only option left after we could not gain concessions from the unions. Very unfortunate.
Happy Daze August 24, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Why should retirees pay for health care? That wasn't part of the deal when they retired. Will the politicians go to the companies the county has done business with in the past and say....well we want some of the money we paid you, for the service you provided, returned because we're in a rough economic situation now. No they won't because no court in the land would allow that. But it's OK to change the deal when it comes to public retirees? Why? Because the politicians are using the media to get everyone all up in arms about public worker salaries and benefits, all the while continuing to enjoy their own unopened contracts with the county and at the same time continuing to hire their cronies. The main problem the county is having is the real estate tax refunds. So the workers should get screwed because the county over assessed home owners?
Happy Daze August 24, 2012 at 05:59 PM
It is a good example. Matter of fact, many times businesses will hit the government with more bills because of cost overruns. The government gets sucked into many crappy deals with businesses because some politician or government employee gets a pay off. Why should municipal salaries go down? When was the last time you heard prices of goods going down? If the stock market hadn't "crashed" in 2008, all of this would be a non issue. If municipalities would have continued making the proper contributions to the pension systems instead of wasting that money on other projects...this would not be an issue. If the politicians would not have sicked the media on public workers, to take the attention of their mismanagemnet, this would not be an issue. It's all a bunch of BS. Oh the sky is falling, the sky is falling.......front page news: MUNICIPALITY IN CALIFORNIA DECLARES BANKRUPTCY!!!! ANOTHER MUNICIPALITY IN RHODE ISLAND DOES TOO. OMGGGGGGGG All of a sudden it's as if this is something new??? Do you folks think these bankruptcies only started occuring when the MEDIA made it FRONT PAGE NEWS???. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chapter_9,_Title_11,_United_States_Code From 1937 to 2007 there were on average 8.54 municipality bankruptcies per year in the US. From 2008 to mid 2012 there have been an average of 9.33 per year. OHHH THE HORROR. Wake up folks. The media will do everything in their power to sway us in favor of it's MASTER'S agenda.
Nassau Taxpayer August 24, 2012 at 06:06 PM
Under the circumstances, there ought to be more.
joe thrapp August 24, 2012 at 06:17 PM
I agree with you Ham. The only way the unions will understand that concessions need to be made is when you tell the unions at the present contract levels the county can only afford so many jobs. The county offers to keep all the union workers at reduced benefits if concessions are made. If concessions are not made the county should cut as many union jobs they need to meet the new budget. When the unions give up fellow union brothers and sisters for job cuts to keep their inflate job benefits let the laid off union brothers work it out with their employed union brothers and sisters. See if they agree if it's best to protect all and not the few. Mr Mangano do your job bring some real economic religion to Nassau County. The county must remain strong to represent the interest of the whole county and not the unrealistic union few.
joe thrapp August 24, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Hey Happy, All the Municipalities and all the tax entities in NYS made their proper contributions to the state retirement funds from 2008-2012. All of the NYS pension systems are fully funded. " If municipalities would have continued making the proper contributions to the pension systems instead of wasting that money on other projects...this would not be an issue." I guess it's not an issue for the state Union retirees because they are getting their full benefits. It is an issue for all the taxpayers in NYS who have to continue paying the NYS controllers contribution rate until the end of time. Unless the county just stops paying and goes to court,or the unions agree to take lower pension packages. What do you think keep paying or stop paying. Pretty easy decision.
Love This City August 24, 2012 at 08:46 PM
@HAPPY DAZE - is really in a DAZE!! You are right the economy is wonderful and the media is just making it all up. Municipal salaries should go down because salaries in the private sector are going down! Prices come down significantly for goods in a Depression, and that is what you will have if the unfunded liabilities and increasing government debt is not substantially curtailed and then turned around. The municipal bankruptcies in the last year or two have been some of the largest in history, and there will be many more on the horizon. The reason you do not see more, is because once a municipality declares bankruptcy credit is discontinued and NO ONE will lend them money. So the inept municipal leaders need to continue the charade until the last possible minute, after all they are not "playing" with their own money. You also have not seen too many "extra" municipal bankruptcies because of the OBAMA stimulus, now that the money dried up last year, you will see larger shortfalls and more bankruptcies...
Love This City August 24, 2012 at 08:50 PM
HAPPY DAZE HAPPY DAZE HAPPY DAZE!!! "The only things in life that is guaranteed is DEATH and TAXES. No one ever said 0% contribution health care and 0% contribution pensions were guaranteed did they?
Mac August 25, 2012 at 01:27 AM
Ham hands and joe bush is it listed anywhere what the unions already gave up? They claim they have given but what is it they gave. Part of the problem is the county has too many useless needless jobs. I can drive by the local deli every morning and see the county workers getting breakfast and sitting around have coffee on our time. Just last week the water department checked some meter at my house then sat in the truck in front about half hour. Trim the waste perhaps losing jobs will force people to actually work. The county has been cutting union jobs but they can't be relaxed by non union workers either. Even at the loss of members the union can't give up everything. How much of a reduction in benefits can the members take because once theynare gone they never come back. We all pay the price these politicians bargain for to get the support of the unions to get elected.
joe thrapp August 25, 2012 at 04:09 AM
Hey Mac, I know you just can't cut union jobs to get efficiencies. Nassau County employees and elected officials need to work together. In good times organized labor unions do well. They want to share in the increase pool of cash. In bad times the public unions who have negotiated great benefits already are unwilling to budge on benefits, even if they accept no salary increases. Teachers, police, fire and clerical unions who give up salary increases, still enjoy seniority tier step-up raises. In NYC. the police and fire retirees get a $7,000 cash payment every year. This is due to the NYC financial crisis in 1975. The pension funds agreed to take on more risk by allowing the pension plan to invest in other financial instruments other than bonds to make up for losses. So the pension funds took more risk and the unions wanted some guarantees. Well it's 37 years since the crisis and the cash payment have grown from 1,500 to 7,000. In private industry in bad times, it's pretty simple no salary increases, higher benefit costs and no additional financial incentives and no guarantees. If the private companies go out of business well to bad. Simple, private citizens have less money because of cuts to personal finances and still have to pay the same or higher taxes. When pension funds drop, the NYS controller sends out yearly rate increases and the taxing authorities pass the increases to people with no resources. We need shared sacrifice.
Felix Procacci August 25, 2012 at 11:52 AM
New York has to repeal the Triborough Ammendment so when contracts are up,they are really up!!! They cannot be renewed automatically and indefinitely without new negotiations. This would fix a lot of fiscal problems, if the union members don't like the terms of the new contract offered, they could quit and find a better job somewhere else, just like non-union members.
Mac August 25, 2012 at 12:12 PM
Joe my question to you about shared sacrifice is that when it does turn around again do we give the unions everything back in "shared prosperity"? Honestley because we cant have it just one way to meet our needs.
Mac August 25, 2012 at 12:16 PM
Felix please get a clue before you speak. These contracts are negotiated before they run out. Very very rarely are government contracts negotiated after they run out. If the governemnt was unhappy with a contract they agreed on what incentive would they have to negotiate upon expiration? How simplistic and childish "if the union members don't like the terms of the new contract offered, they could quit and find a better job somewhere else," is this the way business or the government should be run? How about the government wants your house and will give you half the value too bad take it or get nothing. An unrealistic stupid comment. You know what would fix problems independent negotiators and politicians who care about us above their career.
JOE August 25, 2012 at 12:58 PM
Joe , Felix , and everybody else who think the unions are the problem. Here is a reality check: Organized labor negotiates on behalf of its members for a decent standard of living. Look at the useless politicians that residents vote (and the residents who choose not to vote)for to blame . Union members do not receive profit sharing so they do not receive bonuses in the good times like the blood sucking corporate world so do not expect them to take pay cuts in the bad times. If the county has to layoff then they do what they have to do. The lack of appreciation for labor unions in this country is sad. Everyone should be grateful for most odf the benefits they receive from their non-union corporate employer. Do you think they want to give you benefits and vacations ? no Years ago when S.S., OSHA, EEOC, Medicaid, Medicare, Compensation, disability , and too many others to name were created , they were created because Labor unions and working class people demanded them not the corporate world. Some people feel there is no need for unions anymore. Wrong . Labor unions are the only organization in this country that are fighting for YOUR rights and I use the word YOUR to point out that they are fighting for the organized and unorganized.
David Rosenthal August 25, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Politics, smolitics, ergotics-- what's it all about? Winners, losers, employed, unemployed-- my Party, your Party.. People today are one-sided, not willing or in many instances incapable to join in a discussion to come to a meaningful conclusion without getting an attitude. Compromise is a dirty word. People are inherently spoiled, demanding this and that without regard to the general consequenses. We are so close to the forest we cannot see the trees! Let's get together--- right now we are on an inflatable raft, pushing each other overboard-- and we cannot step back and look at the whole picture for a fear of drowning or loosing our self importance.
joe thrapp August 27, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Mac, When things turn around yes, we have give backs to the unions. I believe when there are more revenues,the economy picks up, people go back to work, then there will be an increase to taxpayer wealth. They can support necessary county increases including union givebacks. I always try an look at the world from both views. Good Afternoon.
Mac August 27, 2012 at 11:36 PM
Joebush so just to be clear when the economy turns around you will advocate to renegotiate union contracts to give more back and restore to levels they were accustomed previously? I guess it would be the first. Very unlike gas when the price of oil goes up so does gas but when the price of oil drops gas never seems to go back to match originally. Things never really go back.
Love This City August 28, 2012 at 12:19 AM
Mac - JoeBUsh I think your conversation about "when the economy turns around" is really really premature. Besides the turnaround we also have $16 trillion debt to pay off and that debt doesn't include the $4 trillion plus in state and municipal debt around the country. So in like 20-30 years of belt tightening - I will also agree to pre-existing levels of union pay and uncontrollable debt and spending, so the next 2 generations can feel the pain like we all will for the next 20-30 years...
Greta October 27, 2012 at 05:21 AM
you have a lawn?


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