County Executive Ed Mangano late last week penned an op-ed in Newsday that takes direct aim at unions.
Mangano, in his first term as county executive, argued that they're partly to blame for the government's financial mess.
Right now, their contracts guarantee employees annual salary increases, longevity pay, free health insurance and educational allowances that do not require any education.
Over the life of the current contracts, growth of total benefits was projected to exceed the Consumer Price Index by more than $500 million. Together with other archaic contractual requirements that drive up overtime, these contracts are simply unaffordable.
In the piece, Mangano also writes that a large percentage of Nassau's $310-million deficit for 2012 is "driven by labor compensation increases."
Detractors, however, point out that Mangano voted in favor of all the contracts he now trashes.
"I read it this morning, and what struck me was not only did he vote for all these agreements, but he made it difficult for Tom Suozzi to negotiate tougher agreements," said Jay Jacobs, the Nassau County Democratic Commitee Chairman. "Now he sings a different song and he wants everyone to believe he's genuine. It's absurd."
In an interview with Patch, Jacobs added that Suozzi threatened furloughs, but Mangano was against it.
John Durso, the president of the Long Island Federation of Labor was no friendlier to Mangano.
"It's easy to blame the workforce," Durso said in an interview this afternoon. "The truth is we have given back. But more importantly, I'd love to know how firing 700 people and threatening thousands of other workers will help the Nassau economy."