UNIONDALE - Dozens of laid-off Nassau social services workers were back on the job today after the county says it found grant money to pay their salaries, but some are questioning why the workers were laid off in the first place. Over the holidays, 106 Department of Social Services (DSS) workers were laid off in an effort to plug Nassau's budget gap. On Jan. 1, long lines of Nassau's neediest residents began forming at the DSS building in Uniondale. County officials say they were able to locate grant funds to bring back 40 social services workers. However, some officials say the grant money may have been there all along. Nassau Leg. Kevan Abrahams (D-Hempstead) says the salaries of the laid-off workers were mostly paid for by the federal government, so firing them saved taxpayers nothing. "This was a mistake made by the Republican administration, they should own up to it," Abrahams says. A Nassau County union representative agreed, saying all the laid-off workers should be rehired immediately. County Executive Ed Mangano's (R-Nassau) office responded by saying that state civil service laws allow veteran union members to knock newer workers out of jobs during layoffs, even if the newer workers' jobs are reimbursed by the government.
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