Workers Rally Against Nassau County Layoffs; Mangano Rips Union Leaders

MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Several thousand unionized Nassau County workers rallied outside the County Executive’s office Monday in Mineola to protest his proposal to layoff hundreds of employees to balance the budget.

WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs On The Story

They came with a message, but Ed Mangano’s  message was equally as stinging.

“We will remember November, this November, next November, and the November after that!” chanted Danny Donohue, president of the statewide Civil Service Employees Association, over a loudspeaker.

“We get laid off, people are going to start leaving Nassau County or are going to migrate to another area,” he said.

Donohue called the layoffs un-American, unfair, and unconstitutional. The crowd of middle class employees cheered him on.

In a statement from Mangano’s office, the Nassau County Exec said: “Rather than waste members dues on t-shirts and juvenile signs, union leaders would serve their members responsibly by getting their butts to the negotiation table. ”

The scathing statement continued on saying “It is a sad day in America when union bosses are arrogant enough to claim that asking for concessions is Anti-American. Tell that to the veterans of World War II who are struggling to pay their property taxes. Tell that to the soldiers of Vietnam, Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan who struggle to live in Nassau County. How dare Nassau’s union bosses insult anyone who is fighting for lower taxes!”

Mangano’s office said that “the fact remains if union bosses fail to negotiate more of their members will lose their jobs or will be furloughed.”

Nassau County faces a $310 million budget gap.

What do you think Nassau County should do to balance its budget? What do you think of Mangano’s  response? Sound off in the comments section below.

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  • David Turk

    What about a reduction in benefits instead of layoffs? Keep everybody working and cut the budget at the same time. I live on a fixed income and the school tax is a real killer. 60 cents plus, of every tax dollar goes to the school tax is ridiculous.

    • Jenn

      Your right school tax is the killer, not the county workers. The county freeze the workers pay, takes there give backs, then ask for alot more givebacks. The county budget makes up about 9 cents per dollar of taxes yet we go after the county workers. What about cleaning up the school systems. Most people pay over 6k in taxes just for schools. Thats where they should go after, there just to afraid to go after eduaction. Education is very important and should be well funded but im sure there is a ton of waste that could be cleaned up to save taxpayers money

  • John Boothe

    You’re obviously one of them…. People who have contracts in place should never have to worry about that contract being honored, especially the the government. what kind of country is this when the government tramples its own constitution and doesnt live up to is agreements?

    • soccer mama

      A kind that serves the ultra rich at expense of everyone else. I know many rich ,very wealthy people who are decent and as outraged as I at what is going on. It isn’t the wealthy who are the problem per se, but the politicians who allow themselves to be bought and paid for by those whose interests do not lie with our towns, schools, parks, or anything else. Our system is broken. There is no vision, courage, or forethought. Simply what is politically expedient, at any cost.

      Nassau county workers reside in Nassau. What is going to happen when their contracts are gutted and they get laid off? Certainly not economic good times. Vote these cowards out this November!!!! They are all about getting themselves re-elected at this terrible cost to so many.

    • Napolitano

      Completely agree with you. Contracts should be honored. And I don’t claim to know the details or the legality behind what Mangano and his staff are doing. But I tend to agree with him that these kinds of public displays typically don’t serve much purpose, other than to waste more money. If there was something constructive that the union leaders wanted to say, I’m not sure that’s the best way to get it across. If there are legal issues involved with breaking contracts, well then I guess they will have a strong case. I was laid off from my job at a major NYC company a few years ago. No explanation other than business was bad. I didn’t complain. I didn’t stand in front of the building with a sign admonishing my former employer. Instead I networked, applied to other jobs and found a better paying one a few weeks later.
      Again, if there are legal issues at play here, then I’m sure they will come to light.

      • soccer mama

        What these public displays do is raise awareness.It is about time people woke up to what is going on around them. I too, got laid off, became an entrepreneur and enjoy running a small, successful business

        For county employees, the story is this. You sign a contract and expect it to remain honored, It is that simple. If it is good enough for the CEOs who crashed this economy, it’s good enough for our fellow townspeople who work, live and die in our communities. Renegotiating an extant and inforce contract because they wish to avoid some sure to be very unpopular moves is cowardly and self serving. Laying off more people won’t help. Moving away from a short-sighted idealogy will.

        • Napolitano

          Firstly, I applaud your resilience and success. You set a good example and we need more people like you.
          I’m not sure it’s the CEO’s who crashed this economy. I think it’s the greedy bankers and individuals who didn’t know what they were getting into when they signed on for a new mortgage or loan during the height of the real estate “boom”. And gee, doesn’t the government now offer assistance to people who can no longer pay their mortgages? I think that’s a form of broken contract, too, wouldn’t you agree?
          It seems the issue here is accountability. Yes, there are contracts in place, but who’s monitoring what we as residents are getting from those under contract? Three day work weeks, six figure salaries, 60+ days off a year? Wow, sign me up, too. I think Mangano is really saying, hey, let’s look under the hood here a little bit. What exactly is going on? I don’t think it’s cowardly at all. Sometimes difficult decisions have to be made for the better good. He promised to balance the budget and this is one step in that process. I am assuming (perhaps naively) that there has been some due diligence in regards to who might be affected by layoffs. If not, then as I said, the lawyers can get to work. So no, it is not as simple as signing a contract and expecting it to be honored. There needs to be some responsibility and accountability on the other end of that contract as well. And yes, I completely agree with your statement that “people wake up to what is going on around them”. It’s time we demanded better from everyone. Higher standards, more awareness, less tolerance for nonsense. That’s when things will start to improve. Having this lingering dark cloud of financial mess over the county is good for no one. It’s not good for the residents who work hard and pay their fair share, and it is not good for the image of the county. It will only get worse if tough decisions are not made and this financial mess straightened out. This is what we elected him to do.

          • Robert

            Since Mangano has taken over the deficit has been getting worse. NIFA has taken over, and the only thing he can come up with is attack the middle class workers of nassau county that has already given back. This guys terrible, he keeps up the crazy spending giving his brother and damatos daughter high paying jobs ect… S

          • soccer mama

            I thank you for your kind words! Wasn’t the time, however, to “look under the hood” as far as the contracting process goes, before the contract was signed? if I sign a contract, I cannot say “oops, I changed my mind?, at least not after 3 days. Can you? Well if I cannot, and you cannot, why should they? Remember, my original point was Wall street bankers got theirs because it was promised to them under contract. That’s right. Why are our people told they cannot expect what they were promised? Because they aren’t rich enough and won’t line enough pockets, that’s why.

            I don’t know of any county employee that works 3 days per week unless they are part-timers. i do know of many that work 6 days per week. And they cannot make ends meet. Please, please be careful in your judgment, The way to address any potential rules of employment is to hold employees and employers accountable to a standard.

            I must agree accountability is the core issue. Balancing a budget will require that multiple layers of administrators go away, that some duplicative services get centralized, and that revenue be raised. It is the sad truth, but that’s it. Our county is forced to run many unfunded state mandated programs, something you can thank George Pataki for…weren’t those state income tax cuts fantastic? Our property taxes and fees for use (check out how much it costs to renew your driver’s license) have been soaring ever since.

            We have also lost some state revenue because the state is taking in less money. But no one wants to tax the millionaires. Do you see how and where the disparities are being propagated? I know many a millionaire who sees this just as I do, so this isn’t a class warfare game at all. Don’t believe it. It’s about fairness and transparency instead of duplicity and cowardice.

            As for the aid to those who defaulted, to my knowledge, and I am not in the banking business, that aid is not available to all who defaulted on their mortgages. I’d like to see some of the banks who bet on mortgages failing be forced to pay up for deliberately selling equities they knew were tainted. If I deliberately sold a bad product I’d surely have my feet held to the fire. Why can’t they? And I certainly would love for the banks to maintain the houses they have foreclosed on, rather than letting them fall into disrepair and blight our neighborhoods. Do you know who pays for making sure the weeds don’t grow all over the place, and that the lots don’t fill up with rats? Yes. The county and towns do. The banks aren’t. And they don’t want to sell the properties short, so they sit there, vacant, unattended and blighted until we the people fork over yet more cash to clean up after their mistakes. I am not sure I favor that approach. In fact, I know I don’t!

            I am glad that we are able to have this debate. More people need to do so and I applaud you for your attention to my lengthy posts and both kindness and candor. In the end, it’s what these public demonstrations are about, Not about hating but about making sure all sides are heard and that fairness and accountability return to our system.

            I make sure my workers have no fear at all about coming to me with complaints. They had better be well-researched, but I am all ears. It helps me get better. It helps us get better. The principle is the same here.

            • Napolitano

              Well said. There’s certainly no hate coming from this corner. I want this county and its people to prosper and succeed as much as anyone. I do my part in trying to make this a better place to live. I just sometimes feel others don’t have those same interests in mind, and it’s disheartening.
              Thanks for the insights you provided. It’s refreshing to hear someone speak with eloquence and intelligence. Hoping for better times ahead.

              • soccermama

                Thank you. We do have so many more similarities across this great county and country of ours, than differences. We must work toward the better times by making sure those responsible behave responsibly. Many thanks and best wishes to you. You are a good man.

  • soccermama

    Many of those so-called “malcontents” are your clerks, detectives., police officers, office workers, hospital staff and health department employees. Many of these folks are highly educated and don’t deserve to be paid peanuts.
    The county executive wants tore-open an extant contract and force a 25% cost of healthcare expenditure on the workers. The county had previously agreed to 0% payout when the contract was signed. Why is it that the workers’ contracts ought not be honored, but those of Wall St executives can and should? Especially when the latter get huge bonuses even when their bad decisions cost the companies they run substantial sum sof money? Uneducated? Where do you reside, Mr. Napolitano? Nassau county, as I recall, is not a town at all.!

  • Lawn-Guy Land

    They should go to Zuccotti Park and join the Organized Wanters Society.

    • Idiot Hater

      Organized Wanters??? People who work for a living risking their lives to keep you safe and simply demand that a signed sealed and delivered contract be honored??? Pull your head out of your a$$…. those wall street hippies are a bunch of skells, these people are the backbone of society

  • Neil Napolitano

    Danny Donohue: “Is Nassau County workas in da house!!?”…… Yeah, and then you wonder why Long Island has the reputation it does. Mangano is right. Stop embarrassing yourselves and get to the bargaining table. Really tough to live in this town with so many uneducated malcontents.

    • Robert

      Mangano does the double talk. Its one thing to say to the unions, hey we need your help what can you do? Thats not unamerican. What is unamerican(unconstitutional) is when he tries to pass law stating HE can open up contracts that were legally negotiated, tear them up and give what HE wants to give to each union member. Does he forget that hes proposed this? Unions have been doing give backs. The police are in the 3rd year of give backs. CSEA has been giving back. Gives back they agreed to for tax payer relief. After they were given to the county, nassau they froze all there wages, costing members thousands each, now there asking for more!?! Its fine to fight for lower taxes, but how about cleaning up govt. first. Mango created a job for Al DaMatos daughter where her base is over 100k. He has a classic car and spends thousands on a car show on hempstead tupk. He holds BBQ for his emplyees after he frezzes pay. In my opion in these times it is nice for the unions to help, and they did, but its very unfair nassau keeps up there crazy spending and the only thing they do is blast its workers for not giving more and more and more. There are plenty of ways they could save money rather then going to the unions year after year after year.

      • Napolitano

        Not sure what the solutions are here. Perhaps the unions need better leadership then, if they are continually being treated unfairly? As Mangano said, maybe there are better ways to communicate the injustices. Don’t know. But thanks for the insights.

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