To address the “severe” staffing shortage, the Lehigh County Commissioner’s Board extended the temporary wage increases at the 911 Communication Center, Cedarbrook Senior Care and Rehabilitation, and the Department of Corrections until Wednesday evening. Unanimously approved at the meeting.
Lehigh County’s Personnel Manual enacts temporary wage increases within “critical 24-hour county departments in response to significant labor issues limiting the department’s ability to consistently maintain regulatory staffing standards.” doing.
Extensions lead to the following benefits for employees:
- 911 communication center: $200 if all operators, supervisors, trainers and staff schedulers work 40 hours per week. This includes a payroll run that begins with a payroll period of January 1st and ends on July 15th. At a center that receives about 1,300 calls a day, 18 of his 63 operators are missing, said Rick Molchany, director of general services.
- Cedarbrook Senior Care and Rehabilitation: Fixed $3 hourly bonus for staff caring directly for COVID-positive patients, $5-10 flat bonus for certain additional shifts through July 15th.
- Correction Bureau: $200 for all “negotiation department staff and uniformed supervisors” working 40 hours a week. This includes a payroll run where he starts with the January 14th pay period and ends on July 15th.
Chairman of the Board Geoff Brace said the extension was “budget neutral” and would not incur additional costs for the relevant departments.
“By reducing our workforce by 29%, we are in a position to mandate overtime,” Molchany said in a November letter to Brace and County Commissioner Phillips Armstrong. “Forcing overtime is a morale issue and our effort is to inspire staff to volunteer for extra shifts.”
“This is an unprecedented and unique workforce issue that impacts all industries, but it is especially important to the 24/7 operation of correctional facilities,” said Director of Corrections Janine Donate, a similar 11 said in a letter of the month. “This is necessary to strengthen our recruiting efforts and to retain our current staff who continue to support the division’s mission.”
In other news, the board has given first reading and first unanimous approval for a continuing agreement with Lehigh Carbon Community College. provide educational services to prisoners Within the corrections office to reduce recidivism.
The agreement includes over 1,100 hours of classroom instruction in areas including adult basic language, workplace literacy, and English.
“This is one of the great things we continue to do in Lehigh County. [incarcerated] Give them the skills they need to make their lives better,” said Commissioner Dave Harrington.
https://www.mcall.com/news/local/mc-nws-county-wage-increases-20221215-cpv4wkv6bbb5fk64thqqamq6hm-story.html#ed=rss_www.mcall.com/arcio/rss/category/news/local/ Lehigh County Approves Temporary Wage Increase Due To Severe Labor Shortage In Cedarbrook, 911 Communications – The Morning Call