Friday, November 05, 2021

McClure Discusses Gracedale Comp, Vaccine Mandate and Living Wage

Fresh off his re-election, Executive Lamont McClure dominated last night's 48-minute meeting of Northampton County Council. In a lengthy presentation, he argued that Gracedale employees are adequately compensated while lamenting the lack of a living wage requirement in a St. Luke's bond for the rehabilitation of Easton Hospital. He also discussed the Covid vaccine at the jail and Gracedale, 

Gracedale compensation. - McClure told Council that, though there's "a lot of talk about compensation being a barrier to us hiring, I don't think it is." He pointed out that salary plus benefits for lower end nursing staff is as follows:  CNAs - $28.74 per hour; LPNs - $34.14 per hour; and RNs - $41,70 per hour.  

He failed to state the stand-alone salary for these positions. 

While he conceded that the pay is lower than at area hospitals, McClure explained that's because the county is a non-profit that relies on Medicare and Medicaid for most of its funding. 

He also pointed out that the highest-paid workers in the county are at Gracedale. 

Living wage. - While arguing that the compensation at Gracedale is adequate, McClure lamented the lack of a living wage requirement in a St. Luke's bond designed to help fund construction work at Easton Hospital. McClure said he would reluctantly endorse the bond over concerns raised by Council members Kevin Lott and Bill McGee, both of who are or were trade union representatives. 

Lott and McGee had no concerns about the compensation at Gracedale. 

Vaccines at Gracedale. - A federal vaccine mandate for health care workers, including nursing homes,has finally been announced. It goes into effect on January 4. McClure indicated that nearly all residents have been vaccinated, along with 65%b of the staff. Henoted there are zero Covid cases at the nursing home, which suggests to him that vaccines work. 

Vaccines at the jail. - McClure indicated that 12 inmates currently have Covid. He noted that they are always tested when they first arrive, and positivity rate is only 0.08%. McClure reasons that inmates therefor must be contracting Covid after arrival. He noted that only 93 of 208 corrections officers have been vaccinated, This suggests that it is guards who are infecting inmates. 

McClure noted that the County is not covered by OSHA and thus has no obligation to impose a vaccine mandate on all workers. The "only place a mandate is in place is Gracedale."

He expressed reservations about a mandate on the entire workforce. 

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

John Stoffa, with the help of Councilman John Cusick pushed for and achieved their goal of eliminating medical benefits for new hires after June 2008. Does the hourly salaries at Gracedale reflect retirees medical benefits? What Are we comparing these salaries too? Talk is cheap. McClure must show where he is getting his information from and how he derived this information. This rubber stamp Council doesn't ask enough questions. There is a problem at Gracedale and Stoffa and Cusick helped create it. I've worked at Gracedale 22 years and I guarantee you we don't make nowhere near those wages.

Anonymous said...

There is more to Gracedale then meets the eye. It is important that county council does its job and reviews data from the Home. Many claims have been made about the care during the election. Families are confused. I think we need to hear more. Many people want answers and not Just from Mr. McClure. We know he controls what is said.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Medical benefits exist for employees hired after June 2008. But when they retire, the benefits stop. This is consistent with most county governments. It is a part of the comp package, but something no one thinks about in his 20s or 30s. If you want to hire people, the salaries should at least be commensurate with what is paid at hospitals.

Anonymous said...

I don't like tax dollars ($2,500+ per month) going towards electronic billboard advertising on Rt 22 for Gracedale seeking staff!

Anonymous said...

Actually, the real salaries are as follows: CNA makes $15.36, an LPN makes $22.33, a RN makes $30.73, and a RN supervisor makes $35.02.

That fact that McClure deviously chose to incorporate their benefits package into the hourly wage shows how embarrassed he truly is at their actual hourly rate.

We can’t pay bills with benefits McClure.

If a public nursing homes cannot compete with current competitor rates, then they need to be sold and go private.

And all of the Republican voters in Northampton County can go ask Trump and his billionaire friends to help pay for their parents nursing home needs.

Anonymous said...

You are right. since 2008 benefits continue for those who are hired prior to that date and are stopped after that date for new hires when they retire. That always was part of the consideration when calculating salaries. We are not paid comparable to Hospitals but our medical benefits may be more. How do we know unless McClure shares with us the information on what the marketplace is paying? Numbers can always be fudged to make them come out the way you want.

Anonymous said...

Didn't take him long to start attacking the employees. He's just getting ready for negotiations at the end of next year. He just wants to start grooming the public to think the ppl at gracedale and the jail are paid these ridiculous salaries. I knew it was gonna happen he doesn't give two sh.ts about the county employees. The election is over. Play on the public's heart strings with the elderly and stop warehousing...

Anonymous said...

One of McClure's favorite tactics is to talk about "wage + benefits per hour" and completely avoid mentioning the straight $/hr rate when talking about low pay at county positions. Like does he think hospital employees or jail guards in other counties don't get benefits at all?

Anonymous said...

The medical benefits upon retirement stop if hired on or after 6/30/2010. If before that date it's 25 years of service and age 60.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Thanks for that point.

Anonymous said...

Completely OT, but I LOL'd when I read about Gov. Wolf's election law violation.

Amazing what happens when laws are written in such a way that ordinary actions (like a wife dropping off her husband's ballot), which is completely normal and should be legal, is illegal.

Now what should happen is Wolf - since he violated a law that he signed - should hold himself accountable to that law, insist that a charge be filed, plead guilty, pay a $1 fine + court costs, and get a law passed that allows household ballot aggregation and delivery.

What will happen is that people will complain.

Why I hate politics and politicians.

Bernie O'Hare said...

9:53, I agree salaries are way too low, but at no time did McClure call existing salaries ridiculous. In fact, he complimented the workers who are the top paid workers at Gracedale bc they earn it with lots of overtime.,

Anonymous said...

Why don't you check out Pike county correction officer wages. They are tired of playing the turn over game. Plus someone up there realize that experience count for a lot when it comes to a lot of positions. This guy is just getting ready to say no raises and take it or leave it . And like ppl say you want more work more. Shame you can't make a fair living working 40 hours a week.

Anonymous said...

Monty states lower pay at Gracedale than that of local hospitals and Medicare/Medeicade, yet complains about St. Lukes not paying prevailing ,high wage union salaries for construction workers as a private business. Hypocrite. The old democrat 2 step.

Anonymous said...

You voted the guy in so nobody will feel sorry for you people.

Anonymous said...

Actually employees before 2010 got retirement benefits( minus dental and eye ) and paid between 5-15 % of their salary into the pension plan . You needed had 20 years of full time service and be at least 55 or older to collect a full pension. Salaries sucked years ago, but the pension and benefits is what drew people to employment in Norco. Now these clowns are just dumbing down the workforce and give the hires NO incentive to do there work. Ask many of the current staff and older employees. Workers are NOT MOTIVATED AND/OR DON'T STAY AND THE OLDER EMPLOYEES CAN'T WAIT TO RETIRE. Sad how the democrats state they want higher salaries and benefits, yet screw those who work here today and don't even make a fair wage like in the private sector as McClure was just complaining about with St. Likes hiring contractors for expansion. I put my time 35+ tears in and when I turned 55, I left. No reason to stay with the way this group treats the employees. Turned out I was better off financially retiring .

Just a thought said...

The salary you listed is the misleading kind that is used to get a new hirer. As per both bargaining agreements RN base pay=27.73, LPN base pay=20.83, CNA base pay=14.61.

Anonymous said...

Most politicians whether county or city do not give 2 sh!ts about the employees. It's about politics that benefit their personal agenda.

Anonymous said...

Lamont's Council address has Stereoid Steve the Juice Monster Snowflake and his FB worshippers nearly apoplectic.

Anonymous said...

I just wish the Northampton county GOP could have put a some what respectable candidate on the ticket. The leaders of this county GOP needs to go .. To put that knucklehead out for a position is embarrassing..

Anonymous said...

I agree with 8:42 AM. I don't want my tax dollars paying for billboards advertising for Gracedale help! Take it out of McClure's salary. He caused the problem. Let him pay for it. I don't believe anything the liar says. Council needs to grow some b----s and do the job they ran for or get out.

Bernie O'Hare said...

So you complain about staffing but do not want the county to advertise for new hires. Brilliant.

Anonymous said...

Although salary obviously is a recruitment issue, the real issue is turnover due to conditions and poor leadership. Ask how many people have been trained and how many have left. They have an amazing orientation for new staff but once new staff see the floor challenges, get mandated to stay and are treated poorly by in house management they leave. Salary is only one issue. Working in long term care is hard. Employees need to feel involved in decision making and valued. They need leaders who know how to motivate,manage and appreciate them. Not bully them. Bottom line if you don't shut up and do as your told without questioning you are targeted as a threat. Weak managers don't care about loosing those staff. Good managers listen and are grateful for staff who care enough to speak up on behalf of the residents and care. The problem is they don't have good management. It starts at the top.

Anonymous said...

The county GOP did not put him up. They made substantial recruiting efforts. Try advertising to your best and brightest that they could go through a grueling campaign for months, face an election, and if they win they will be rewarded with the job of CEO of a very complicated entity (the county government), where they will make MUCH less money than they would for similar work in the private sector. Tough sell, right? Steve Lynch was the only person who came out and petitioned to get on the ballot for the GOP. Leadership didn't choose him or anything, just to set the record straight.

Anonymous said...

Steve Lynch’s willingness to do the job still doesn’t make him a good candidate. Let’s be honest here, Steve didn’t care about doing a good job as county executive, he wanted the position and use it as a platform to propagate his far-right fascist ideologies - no thanks.

Anonymous said...

Listen to all whining crying UNION ASSHOLES
BOO HOO WOOO IS ME I only make what my union says I can and I have to pay for my benefits at a much lower cost then real people. Half of what you make and 300 a pay for benefits god damn cry babies. Oh and let's be honest the average County worker works about 30 hours a week thier at work for 40 but 30 about the effort put in. Oh and how come you never hear any of you pissants bring up that onces a year check just because ya showed up you know the one that starts at 250 and goes up to what is to 2500 for 20yrs in. Or how about departments that get little benefits like 15 dollars per shift to carry a phone and milage to and from home to County building oh and min. 3 when called. Now how about you ask some normal people if they get anything like that at their work and then tells again how unfair your fucking life is.....

Anonymous said...

By continuing the anti-Lynch articles, you give him more credence than he deserves. he's a blip in the County news. Move on to more important issues that affect the people in the community. in a month, Lynch will be back to washing dishes.

Anonymous said...

So..where are these marketing people that were to offer incentives to bring more personnel into Gracedale? I guess the placemat advertising at the 248 diner didn’t work! The great savior of Gracedale NEVER did one thing to add to the bottom line of Gracedale’s fiscal needs to stay afloat

Anonymous said...

Its nice to know Lamont and chucky read this blog... anyone who thinks that's the way it is , is just an idoit. and if they want to come do a double on the flats is more than welcome....