Babylon Village non-union employees’ pay raises spark criticism

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Some taxpayers are criticizing the village of Babylon for approving thousands of dollars in pay raises last year without any public notice. Some taxpayers are criticizing the village of Babylon for approving thousands of dollars in pay raises last year without any public notice.
BABYLON -

Some taxpayers are criticizing the village of Babylon for approving thousands of dollars in pay raises last year without any public notice.

Some of the village's residents say they are outraged that the board of trustees approved $190,000 in raises for 23 non-union, full-time employees last year without a public hearing. 

The mayor says it was past practice to approve non-union raises without a public hearing, but this year's raises came up at the village's board meeting last week.

The village had budgeted only about $78,000 for raises, but approved $440,000 for both union and non-union employees. They will partially be paid for with funds from the village's $2.8 million surplus, according to officials.

Other residents have voiced support for the raises.

"I think it was fair," says Michael Kaufman, another resident. "It was coming to them. They did a lot of hard work for us."

And Babylon Mayor Ralph Scordino says the raises were necessary to meet the requirements of federal law.

"The Affordable Care Act, with the formula they give us, they have to be above a certain percentage," he says. "If they are not, then we could get penalized by the IRS."

Scordino says they were also necessary to keep and attract employees.

"You have to be competitive, and the salaries were low," he says. "They work very hard, and I felt that it was needed."

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