Health board OKs pay hike for employees

Erie County’s health department has approved a 2 percent pay hike for employees.
Tom Jackson
Dec 2, 2012

The agency is also moving ahead on opening a dental clinic for low-income patients next year.

The board OK’d the pay hike during its regular meeting Tuesday, while also hearing reports on the dental clinic and other matters.

Joe Palmucci, director of administrative services, submitted a $6.5 million budget Tuesday, up 3.5 percent from this year's $6.3 million budget.

The 2 percent pay raise is a merit increase, which means it's not given across the board. Supervisors decide whether the employee has earned it, Palmucci said.

Peter Schade, Erie County’s health commissioner, said the pay increases allows the health department to remain competitive in hiring.

“It’s what we could afford in the budget,” Schade said.

Board member Dawn DeMuth accepted the pay hike reluctantly, saying it wasn’t high enough. The department should award 3 percent pay increases if it can afford them, she said.

If every employee at the Erie County Health Department received the maximum pay hike, the total cost would be $46,000. Not everyone will get the full amount, however, so the raises will cost less than $46,000, Palmucci said.

Schade said the health department recently opened bids for dental equipment and obtained a low bid of about $223,000 from Benco Dental. The Mylander Foundation awarded the department $2,413 to help pay for the equipment.

Schade said the health department is looking to have the dental clinic finished by March, with an opening in May.

The department plans to hire one dentist and two part-time dental hygienists. It's seeking a young dentist now, Schade said.

“We’re talking to Ohio State and Case Western,” he said.

Comments

donutshopguy

Didn't the health department workers across the board get a 5-7% increase in wages two years ago?

If the voting public keeps passing health care levies the administration will keep handing out the money. The voting public must have unlimited funds to support the workers who administer the unlimited entitlement.

donutshopguy

Do we even need the Health Department with the implementation of Obamacare? Every man, woman and child in Erie County already pays $85.00 each to cover the cost of services for a few.

God Of Thunder

I don't think it was even 2 years ago for those pay raises and the time we all discovered that the chief is way overpaided. Right after voters approved a levy for them.

donutshopguy

Can't decide which local government agency has more pompous overblown egos, Erie County Health Department or Erie Metro Parks? It's a toss up in my eyes. What's your thoughts?

donutshopguy

How come all other Erie County workers get a 1% increase but the Erie County Department of Health got a 2% increase?

The Bizness

The health department does a lot just go to the website and look at all the programs they offer...You are getting a good product for your tax dollars.

The board voted for the 2% raise, that is why it is 2%, which is less than the rate of inflation.

Contango

@ The Bizness:

Good product for tax dollars spent? Hardly; accounting gimmicks and malinvestment.

The Bizness

What are you implying?

Contango

@ The Bizness:

Ain't "implying" nothin'; thinking this gov't boondoggle dental program is somehow efficient is ludicrous.

Watch the taxpayer funded budget climb.

Kinda like ObamaCare is gonna save money and boost the economy nonsense.

The Bizness

ok

samiam

If 2% is less than the rate of inflation, why are social security recipients only getting a 1.7% increase for 2013?

wiredmama222

yeah! I understand they have good programs but I don't think I am going to be voting for any more levys for awhile.

Don S

OH, I see, this raise is a kiss your boss's Butt type of a raise. Too bad, I thought this was going to be a fair raise in pay. This is the GOP influance at it's best !!!!

KnuckleDragger

LOL!!! The perfect comment by a union dolt. So maybe it should be fair by union standards? Meaning the laziest most worthless slob in the place gets the same raise as the people who are who are working their butts off and also pulling that persons weight for them? Same goes for the union promotions criteria, give to the person with the most seniority because they are "entitled" to it simply because they have been in existence there for more years. Doesn't matter if they are a lazy drunk that otherwise wouldn't have a job. Give 'em the raise and the promotion for nothing. Gotta love the way union morons think.

grandmasgirl

I don't understand the dental thing. As a senior, I don't have dental or eye care. That all comes out of my pocket. I think the government thinks we seniors can live without teeth or eyes, but low income people can't. As stated before, I worked 40+ years, saved and still have to make appointments when I can afford it. And I agree with Don, it does sound like a "kiss your boss's butt" raise, but I used to hate it when someone who didn't do their job got paid the same as me.

The Bizness

Your whole rant above shows why the dental clinic will be put in place. For seniors like you and people that can't afford the insurance...

Contango

@ grandmasgirl:

Suggestion: If your credit is good, perhaps your healthcare providers can hook you up with CareCredit.

http://www.carecredit.com/

0% interest in our case.

Also, perhaps they'll be willing to spread out payments by tapping your current credit card over a series of months.

Two methods we have used for large unexpected dental expenses.

Our healthcare trust doubled our dental premium due to costs associated with ObamaCare mandates (26 yr. olds on parents' plan) and we dropped it.

If you think healthcare is expensive now, just wait until it's free.

donutshopguy

The health department does not have to follow the same rules as other county employees. This little fiefdom does as they wish without taxpayer control.

It's time to get a handle on this organization.

Julie R.

Remember when the assistant Erie County prosecutor, Terry Griffith, retired (on the taxpayers dime) and then became the personal attorney for the Erie County Health Department on the taxpayers dime doing the same job she used to do as the assistant prosecutor?