|Justus James and Cathy Allen|
According to a memo from Human Resources, "the county has struggled in recruiting and maintaining staff in many of the clerical positions throughout the county." A "more fair and equitable pay rate" is proposed for some of the "lower level clerical positions," which affect both union and non-union workers.
AFSCME Business Agent Justus James endorsed this proposal at yesterday's meeting of the Personnel Committee. He was as happy as I've ever seen him,
"The clerical members that I represent - with honor, by the way - have come to us consistently, saying 'It's not fair' and 'We have the lowest payrate in the county. We have more and more work forced on us every day.' ... The secretaries of this County help keep lawsuits out of the County. They are saving the taxpayers money by doing their job correctly. So I believe it's long overdue that we turn around and make this adjustment for them."
James said he was "stunned" by the proposal. Cathy Allen, an Assistant Director of Administration, stated that this is something that she and Human Resources had been working on since last year and is "over and above" what will be awarded as a result of arbitrations.
Ken Kraft stated that he just happened to have a living wage calculator in his pocket. In Northampton County. it's $17.95 per hour for a single mother raising one child. He derided the raise as a "4% increase from nothing to nothing." With the wage hike, the lowest paid employees will go from $10 per hour to $12.05. "We're not breaking any records here," grumbled Kraft."But it's a move in the right direction because they haven't had a raise in five years."
"It is a start," noted James, who added that employees will be visiting Council tonight for a "long conversation."
After the meeting, he promised that you will see Council, employees and Executive working together, for a change.Council has sought to establish a Foundation for Gracedale, which could accept charitable contributions. James stated AFSCME will kick in the first $500. In addition, he wants to work with Council and the Executive to pressure the state legislature and Governor Wolf to increase the reimbursement rate for public nursing homes. He also wants Council to agree to keep Gracedale in County hands for at least the next three years.
"We are moving forward with the Brown administration," stated James. He stated he wanted to make the County a better place for everybody, including the taxpayers.
5 PT and 3 FT Clerical TechIs go from CR/CS/RU-9 TO CR/CS/RU-13.
4 Admin. Services Techs go from RU-10 to RU-13.
3 PT and 13 FT Clerical Tech IIs go from CN/CR/CS/RU-11 TO CN/CR/CS/RU-13.
3 Secretary IIs go from CS/RU-13 TO CS/RU-15.
5 PT and 63 FT Clerical Tech IIIs go from CN/CR/CS/RU-13 TO CN/CR/CS/RU-15.
10 Support Tech Is go from CN-13 to CN-15.
7 Intake Tech Is go from CN-13 to CN-15.
1 Elections Tech goes from RU-15 to RU-16.
7 Support Tech iIs go from CN-15 to CN-16.
2 Intake Tech IIs go from CN-15 to CN-16.
8 Nursing Home Fiscal Techs go from CS-15 to CD-16.
1 Purchasing Specialist goes from RU-16 to RU-17.
36 Clerical Specialists go from CN/CR/CS/RU-16 TO CN/CR/CS/RU-17.
3 PT and 52 FT Magisterial Techs go up one step in the CN-17 pay grade.