Friday, 13 April 2012 00:00
In the past few weeks, the first installment of the transaction entered into by Mayor Suozzi and the city of Glen Cove CSEA employees was paid out in the amount of $67,654.00.
This amount was calculated based on terms of the new contract, 1 percent increase, retroactive to January 1, 2010, to the city workers, the other increases are as follows: 1.5 percent retroactive to January 1, 2011 to be paid out in June 2012; 2.5 percent for the year 2012; 2.5 percent increase for the year 2013; and 2.5 percent increase for the year 2014.
I will leave to each individual to think for themselves as to whether or not these are reasonable terms; again, given our still turbulent times. What I am concerned about, and I know others are, too, is how the process unfolded and the timing of the agreement.
It is important, I think, to point out that the employees’ old contract expired on December 31, 2009 and from that point on city workers continued to work based on the stipulations of that contract. The city hired an expert negotiator to represent the city – us, the taxpayers, so we were told - and negotiations went on for almost two years.
During these two years, at various council meetings, the mayor was asked quite frequently about the status of the negotiations and his constant response was something to the effect that both sides were talking and were aware of the current economic situation. Additionally, he also went on to reassure the employees not to worry. As it turns out, he really meant that. Now, do you see the dilemma that I see? Who was on our side, we, the people of Glen Cove; the voters who had entrusted him to provide the best possible service at the lowest possible cost? Hence the betrayal of that trust!
During the 2012 budget approval process that ended on October 25, 2011 not a single word was spoken about the new contract, not a single line outlining the possibility of increases for employees salary. I am guessing that the mayor thought that an educated citizen may not have been the best customer, read voter. Yes, fellow citizens, voters, because you see the election was only nine days away and the mayor knew he could not have justified those generous terms to the people he was asking to re-elect him. So what did he resort to? A little delayed action: the bounty was conceded to the unions who voted on November 7, 2011 several days prior to the election.
Does anybody think that the time was a mere coincidence? I do not! What do you think Glen Cove? Too bad we do not have a recall mechanism in the State of New York.