Friday, January 08, 2021

Covid-19 Vaccinations Under Way at Gracedale

Jennifer Stewart-King
Executive Lamont McClure told Northampton County Council at their January 7 meeting that vaccinations have begun at Gracedale. Thus far 144, of about 650 employees have been inoculated. McClure said he's concerned that only 22% of those who are eligible have participated. The County is paying $750 to every Gracedale worker who agrees to the injection. 

McClure added that the vaccine is being offered to residents, too. So far, 145 of about 530 residents have been vaccinated. There has been very little resistance from those who live at the home. 

Hazard pay for Gracedale workers terminated on December 31, and Council agreed to extend it. Thirty per cent will be paid to employees at Tower 10, where Covid-19 residents are located. Remaining employees will get 20% if they work extra shifts. 

Council member John Cusick said he supports hazard pay, but argued it should be time-limited. "Making this open-ended will put us in a bad spot," he observed. He suggested that hazard pay should expire on June 1. 

Council member Tara Zrinski asked whether the union was consulted, and Administrator Jennifer Stewart-King responded that this is a "management prerogative" and no consultation is needed. She added that there is $4 million in CARES Act  money available for "infection control," and this is how the hazard pay is funded. 

By a vote of 8-0, Council approved the hazard pay extension.

Council member Peg Ferraro was absent and participated in no votes. 

In other business, Council voted 8-0 to approve the appointment of Kathleen Wedge as Director of Human Resources, and at a salary of $96,094. 

Finally, Council voted 8-0 to approve a two-year contract extension with corrections officers. They will receive 2 1/2% in Year 1 and a step (about 5%) in Year 2. 

There is no separate source of funding for corrections officers or Juvenile Justice workers. 



Anonymous said...

How did the Hefner Woman president do?

Anonymous said...

Why are taxpayers paying Peg Ferraro? She took an oath to represent and isn't representing. She's not even attempting play out the string.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The meeting was mercifully brief and Heffner seemed ok. No snarkiness in her first meeting.

Anonymous said...

Heard Zirinski wasted no time in taking center stage again at the county meeting. Does she ever stop?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I’m ordinarily no fan but thought her behavior was fine.