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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Controller, Sheriff, Blast Northampton County Pay Study

It was warming up yesterday afternoon, but Northampton County's controversial nonunion salary study still received a chilly reception during a lengthy meeting of the county's personnel committee. This pay review, performed by a six-person county committee working under the supervision of the Hay Group's Ron Seifert, was blasted by Sheriff Jeff Hawbecker and Controller Steve Barron.

Hawbecker commended the committee for its professionalism, but notes the study has left him with a "managerial problem" that has "shattered my staff." If the pay study is adopted, deputy sheriffs will actually be paid about $300 less than a sergeant. One sergeant has already reverted back to a deputy position. "How am I supposed to run an effective and efficient department when my whole staff is extremely upset?"

Controller Steve Barron also expressed his appreciation to the committee, but disagreed completely with the findings.

"The 22 people who have been red-circled, in my opinion, . . . are the best of the best that work for the county. Some of them not getting raises for extended periods of time is wrong. Voltaire said it best. 'It's dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.' "

Steve is right, Jeff is right. I'll have a very detailed report on Monday. The Express Times Sarah Cassi has a well-written report with more details.


Anonymous said...

Bernie ... this madness needs to stop both at the County and local levels. The unions have already made it not lucrative for anyone to go into managment whether its a teacher, police officer, sheriff deputy, public works fellow etc... While local government gives fat cat raises year after year, supervisory and profressional local government positions at the local level are constantly faced with little or any raises. When a laborer or inspector makes only a thousand or few hundred bucks less than his or her immediate supervisor, why would anyone want to supervise. Kudos to these county Department Heads for bringing light to this issue. PS: If the taxpayer wants government to work or him or her, start making sure that the people responsible for delivering the service are compensated properly.

Anonymous said...

Another Stoffa special

Anonymous said...

The employees doing the study were completely unqualified to perform those duties. They lack the education and training.

Absolutly amamzing. Another waste of money. The raises will go through and the people who ar epayed to much will stay the same and still get raises. This is how incompetent government officials operate. Stoffa nad the County Council are equally to blame.

Anonymous said...

I work as a supervisor at the county level. If I had remained in my previous position, my salary would be the same, if not slightly more than it is now. Additionally, I would be eligible for overtime. Many of my workers are quite vocal that they do not wish to be supervisors due the pay not corresponding to the increased responsibility.

Anonymous said...

the study was tainted by the county employees who conducted it. they also made sure they gave themelves a hefty pay increase. something sure smells here.

Anonymous said...

the study was tainted by the county employees who conducted it. they also made sure they gave themelves a hefty pay increase. something sure smells here.

Anonymous said...

Another STOFFA fiasco.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I agree w/ some of these comments and disagree w/ others. I will be writing about this in detail on Monday, but let me make the following points now.

1) Anyone who faults Stoffa for doing a pay study is out of his or her mind. Regular pay studies are required by the Administrative Code and this one is long overdue.

2) The pay study envisions raises for 94% of the people covered. County employees are being paid too little and this gets everyone out of the poverty level.

3) The claim that the study was tainted bc part of the work was done by a committee of county employees, is pure bullshit, although it sounds pretty good. Let me explain a few things I learned on Friday:

a) The Hay group did all of the top jobs itself and even did some of the middle level jobs.

b) A recommendation is that the salary structure should be reviewed every year. So the Hay group took a group of county employees and trained them to perform these functions. Relying on an outside group to do this annually would be cost prohibitive. Relying on volunteers from the private sector would be impossible. Too much work is involved.

3) The Hay study, insofar as it applies to the 22 positions that are redlined, is simply wrong. I know, from my own experience with the county, that these folks are probably the county's most valuable employees. Something is wrong with that aspect of the report, and it needs to be corrected or the pay study will most certainly be rejected by council.

All in all, this pay study is an attempt to make sure everyone is compensated adequately. That should not be faulted. To the extent that something is wrong, we should try to fix it.

The committee worked hard to do the right thing. I have great respect for people like Bob Mateff and Bill Hillanbrand, and they don't deserve the unfair attacks on their integrity.

Anonymous said...

If there is so much work involved in doing the yearly reviews, I submit these people don't have much to do now or they couldn't absorb the extra work. Don't say they are cheerfully accepting the extra work. I have some expreience with the County and people there won't use the toilet without compensation.

Great one O'Hare the Study is a good thing except where it said some people make more than is the norm. In their and your opinion that part is wrong, no kidding.

Either implement it as is no changes or throw the entire thing out.

Personally, I say throw it out it was a waste of taxpayer money and was performed by people with vested interests in the outcome.

AS far as mandated so is a regular assessment, god luck with that. Interperting the code is up to the government and they interpert it as they like when they like, and you know it.

Stoffa is a joke and McHale will be the next County Executive. Fair pay and no taxes we can live with that.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Personally, I say throw it out it was a waste of taxpayer money and was performed by people with vested interests in the outcome."

Sure you'd say that. That's because you're ignorant and want to politicize it.

I waited to form an opinion until I attended the personnel Commission in which it was discussed. There I learned that much of the work is very good. There I learned that all the top positions and many middle positions were evaluated by hay itself. It's pretty hard to taint a product that Hay come up with on its own. Moreover, Hay reviewed everything that came thru the committee.

If you want to cast aspersions on the integrity of the people who served on this committee, that's your business. It's nice to know that these stones are coming from Team McHale. Thanks for that.

I know these people. I would never challenge the integfrity of any of them, nor would I question their dedication. Contrary to your assertion, there are many selfless county workers.

I do think the report is wrong in part and will explain my reasoning on Monday.

Anonymous said...

i'm not questioning anyone's integerity. having that group conduct the study shed a bad light on it for everyone else. even if there was no impartiality, because they worked on it people will always question it"s integrity.

Anonymous said...

A lack of credibility with the employees and County Council both for Stoffa and Sutton-Falk dooms this flawed analysis.

Anonymous said...

first off bernie cant have a fair opinion because hes always up stoffas butt! this is only going to get fixed when stoffa leaves. hes paying people just like when he might have actually worked back in 1813

Anonymous said...

Hi...I have a question for you Bernie. You wrote that county employees gets paid too little and this study will get everyone out of poverty level. I'm just curious, are there management positions that are really paid at or below poverty?

Bernie O'Hare said...

So far as I know, no manager gets paid at or near the poverty level. But this pay study applies to all nonunion workers.

Anonymous said...

Can't we just give them all lucrative jobs on the bridge commission?

The Hay Group says the bridge commission is understaffed, under paid and under appreciated.

Reibman needs additional staff to wake him every couple of hours, fan him, and feed him free-trade grapes.

Anonymous said...

Or we could make them all Stoffa cabinet members since it is a resting place for incompetence.

The most unaccomplished, unskilled and dum people in the history of the County.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"The most unaccomplished, unskilled and dum people in the history of the County."

But unlike you, some of them can spell the word "dumb."