Suffolk employees facing possible lag payroll

WOODBURY - Suffolk County workers are outraged tonight upon learning of a proposal to have them take another two-week lag payroll to help bridge the county's projected $160 million budget gap.Cheryl Felice, the president of the Association of Municipal Employees (AME), says her union members took a lag payroll in 2009 and most recently agreed to a two-year wage freeze. "We just completed contract negotiations and our members are asking, 'are we now in hostage negotiations?'" she says. Yesterday, Legislator Jon Cooper (D-Lloyd Harbor) filed a resolution giving County Executive Steve Levy (R-Suffolk) a directive to return to the negotiating table with the lag payroll initiative, which, Cooper says, could save Suffolk about $28 million.Levy says he'll go to the unions on the directive, but adds he doesn't think he'll get very far unless there are layoffs on the table. The Legislature is set to vote on AME's contract May 10.

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