Health department raises opposed PDF Print E-mail
Written by ALEX ASPACHER Sentinel Staff Writer   
Tuesday, 13 August 2013 09:30
Employees at the Wood County Health District are unhappy with a plan to give raises to managers when they say the department remains understaffed, according to their union.
The board of health was scheduled to consider management raises on Thursday, but a lack of quorum prevented business from being conducted. A follow-up meeting has been scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.
A pool of $16,000 would be given to a dozen management-team members at the discretion of Health Commissioner Pam Butler, with the amount in future years to be determined by the board. This year's sum represents an increase to the health district's management payroll of about 2 percent, said Bill Ault, director of administration.
An organizer with Service Employees International Union District 1199 disagreed with the proposal, calling it an "abuse of taxpayer money" in a prepared statement. 
"Voters passed a levy to help fund the services our community relies on, not to pad the paychecks of administrators and management staff," stated Danie Tarrow, an administrative organizer for the union which represents about 45 employees of Wood County Health District.
"The citizens of Wood County keep a watchful eye on the Board of Health and demand that commissioners table this unnecessary, taxpayer-funded wage increase. How can services to the community be delivered effectively when workers are short-staffed and management gets rich at the expense of all of us?"
The statement also criticized a 15-percent pay increase for Butler approved earlier this year of about $12,000.
Butler said she does not believe the health district is understaffed, presently having just one unfilled opening after hiring for several positions within the last month.
Management received raises in November of last year, also averaging about 2 percent. At the same time, workers negotiated three hourly increases of their own of 40 cents each that took effect on Jan. 1 and July 1 of this year, with another set for Jan. 1, 2014.
These raises each represent an average of a 2-percent raise in an effort to keep things comparable between bargained staff and managers, Ault said.
Ault said the plan is to shift toward a performance-based system of raises, as Butler would determine pay increases based on whether managers made or exceeded their yearly goals or fell short.
Butler herself would not be included in those increases. The employees paid under the plan would be the directors of nursing, environmental health, administration and the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program; the assistant nursing director; other managers and supervisors; and an administrative assistant.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 August 2013 09:50

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