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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, November 30, 2015

Calling All Non-Union Workers ... Again

Northampton County's Home Rule Charter was intended to make unions unnecessary. The County's constitution establishes a merit personnel system designed impartial standards and competitive testing for promotions. It creates a pay plan as well as a procedure for resolving grievances. But things haven't worked out that way. Instead of rewarding people based on what they know, promotions have often depended on connections. The grievance procedure has become a bad joke, with fired jail lieutenants waiting more than a year for hearings. As a result, Northampton County now has a hodge podge of 11 different unions representing 75% of its 2,200-person workforce.

Surprisingly, it is a union business agent who wants that to change. Ken Kraft, who chairs Northampton County Council's Personnel Committee, represents the painters' union. He would like to restore some sanity to a crazy public sector in which nonunion supervisors make less money than the people who report to them. Until a new pay study can be completed, he is proposing a 4.5-5% across-the-board wage hike for non-union workers.

President Judge Stephen Baratta has already budgeted a 4.5% wage hike for non-union personnel who report to the courts. Executive John Brown agreed to defer to Judge Baratta, but his spending plan limits raises for non-union workers everywhere else to just 2.5%.

Northampton County DA John Morganelli has already urged Council to make this wage hike uniform. He warned Council that his assistant DAs could decide to unionize, as has happened in several other counties. He said there should be "consistency."

We'll have none of that on Northampton County! It is this inconsistent approach that has resulted in the current, 11-union stew. County officials have run from pay studies or any attempts to treat employees fairly, and unless that changes soon, we'll have a few more unions.

If you are nonunion and want that raise, you need to let Council know about it at the Budget hearing on Wednesday, starting at 4 pm.


Anonymous said...

everything possible should be done to eliminate union positions. Eliminate positions as well. Over 2,000 employees is ridiculous. Cut deep, wide and long.

Anonymous said...

You are connecting the actions of the current administration, to the 11 union stew. I thought the stew was cooked up years ago. Are you saying that the 11 unions came to pass during the current administration?

Anonymous said...

3:30. You are just being stupid, crawl back into your soon to be sold bed

Bernie O'Hare said...

I am b no means attributing the 11-union stew to the current administration. They exist bc throughout several administrations, the career service regulations and our merit system have been ignored. People who are qualified for positions are passed over in favor of people who are not. Testing bears no relation to the job being performed. And the Appeals Board has become a joke.

Anonymous said...

Yeah they also have a jail employee who won his case in binding arbitration and they are still not bringing him back so all in all it is not just rosati getting screwed

Anonymous said...

Government at local, state, and federal levels is about unionization. Non-unionized employees should find or form a union. Politicians use taxpayers' money to reward reliable voters. Public unions are the most reliable voting bloc in existence. The government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always rely upon the support of Paul. Non-union employees need to become Paul. That's how government operates.

Anonymous said...

11:31 said an employee who won a binding arbitration case?? This person resigned on their own accord. The County doesn't have to take them back. Plus, who wants someone who violates the laws of PA.

Anonymous said...

1252.you do not hvee a clue