Levy asks for union givebacks to plug budget gap

Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy asked unions Friday to help shoulder the burden of the county?s dire financial situation by accepting givebacks. Suffolk is struggling to close a $100 million budget

News 12 Staff

Mar 13, 2009, 11:43 PM

Updated 5,607 days ago

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Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy asked unions Friday to help shoulder the burden of the county?s dire financial situation by accepting givebacks.
Suffolk is struggling to close a $100 million budget gap. Levy says Suffolk residents aren't spending as much money as they used to, which means the county is taking in a lot less in sales taxes. He says he?ll be forced to lay off about 400 county workers if the unions don?t come up with $30 million to give back to the county.
Union leaders say they're not committing to any concessions yet. They want to hear what other areas Levy plans to cut before they discuss givebacks with their members.
?[The unions] have already been asked to do more with less,? Municipal Employees Union President Cheryl Felice says. ?Vacancy rates are at an all-time high.?
Levy met with county legislators to seek support for his call for union concessions. While he stopped short of supporting Levy?s idea of a lag payroll, Presiding Officer Bill Lindsay says the unions need to come up with some kind of giveback.
Under a lag payroll, county workers would lose two weeks of salary this year and would have them reimbursed when they leave county service.
Levy says an agreement on concessions needs to be reached by April 1 to avoid layoffs.


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