NIFA board unanimously approves Nassau’s contract with police union

NIFA board unanimously approves Nassau’s contract with police union
The Nassau County Legislative Building. (Photo by Noah Manskar)

The Nassau Interim Finance Authority unanimously approved a new $170 million, 8 ½-year contract between the county and its Police Benevolent Association on Tuesday.

Adam Barsky, chairman of the board tasked with monitoring Nassau’s finances, said he believes the agreement is beneficial for both parties involved and similar to the one previously rejected in 2020.

“I think it is a good agreement,” Barsky said. “It does a lot of things that will help the county in the future, in terms of capping termination pay, providing more appearances and more work [and] providing necessary training for the officers.”

The agreement will run retroactively from Jan. 1, 2018 until July 1, 2026 and increase the top base pay for officers from $122,000 to $141,000. The agreement will also increase the starting pay for new officers from $35,000 to $37,333.

The contract also increases pay by 15% during the duration and includes nearly $6,500 in stipends for officers with six years of service and $3,750 stipends for those with 15 years of service, according to legislative documents.

The county legislature unanimously approved the deal on Feb. 6. Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman described the negotiations between the two parties as “exhaustive,” but expressed his pleasure with the agreement.

“I believe this agreement keeps our police department at the highest levels of salary in the nation but at the same time has provisions that enhance the safety of our communities and guards the taxpayer’s money,” Blakeman said in a statement earlier this year.

The county failed to come to an agreement with the 1,800-member union during the tenure of Democratic County Executive Laura Curran. Contract proposals of the same length were submitted and provided officers with a 25% raise over eight-and-a-half years.

Annual stipends of $3,000 for officers wearing body cameras were agreed on by the county and the union, which officials said costs taxpayers $8 million each year.

Democrats attempted to add an amendment in the county’s budget to hire more than 100 new police officers. Blakeman’s $3.88 billion budget included the hiring of 36 additional officers.

“Police officers are often confronted with danger and put themselves in harm’s way as they fulfill their oath to serve and protect the public in Nassau County and across the nation,” Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) said.

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