WOODBURY - County Executive Ed Mangano (R-Nassau) proposed new legislation today that would allow him to break union contracts and make cuts to workers' wages and benefits.
As part of Mangano's plan, a fiscal emergency would be declared in the county and the Fiscal Crisis Reform Act would allow Nassau to get around contracts without the approval of union leaders.
"There are labor contracts that make up 50 percent of revenue here in Nassau County," Mangano says. "So logically, our public employees need to be part of the solution."
Critics, however, are calling the proposal unconstitutional and are threatening to sue. They say there is no point in having a contract if one can legally break it.
Mangano's 2012 budget plan calls for 700 more layoffs on top of the 300 that are already in effect. Employees would also be forced to contribute 25 percent of their health care insurance costs.
Lawmakers will vote on Mangano's bill Oct. 30. Even if it's approved, the county still faces state and federal legal hurdles.