County offers retirement incentives

County executive, legislature and labor union reach agreement Wednesday


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Terms of the incentive

Payments of $12,000 will be made to each employee if up to 100 employees retire. Payments of $15,000 will be made if more than 100 employees retire.
The employee must retire by Nov. 1, 2014.
The department must save at least $30,000 in revenue derived from sales and property taxes next year by: not filling the position, filling it at a later date, or filling it with a lower-paid employee.
The payment may be made into a tax-exempt retirement account at the employee’s request.

— Officials see a plan to save money by offering Orange County workers incentives to retire early as a way to reduce the workforce without layoffs.

The county executive, the legislature, and the labor union reached an agreement on the plan Wednesday.

“Massive layoffs are costly to families and can lead to long-term unemployment costs for the county. Having employees willingly leave costs less and ensures that key services can be continued," said a joint statement from County Executive Steve Neuhaus, County Legislature Chair Stephen Brescia, and Orange County CSEA 7900/02 President Sabina Shapiro.

"This is one step in reducing workforce costs, and I am pleased that this agreement could be reached," Neuhaus said.

The retirement incentives are seen as a way to help the county balance its 2015 budget.

Three other Orange County unions — the Police Benevolent Association, the Corrections Officers Benevolent Association, and the Superior Officers Association — have also approved the incentive, which can be considered by the full county legislature as early as Aug. 7.

“Working with the county executive and CSEA, we have helped encourage necessary adjustments to personnel, which can save taxpayers money and is a step toward balancing the 2015 budget,” said Brescia.

“After much discussion, I am pleased that we have agreed upon a separation incentive that I am comfortable bringing to my members,” said CSEA Orange County Unit 7900/02 President Sabina Shapiro. “This incentive gives employees the choice of leaving county service on their terms, while providing county leaders the budgetary savings they are seeking.”

For the terms of the agreement, please see sidebar.

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