382 GRIPES and Griping Strong!



I had to do it! I had to create a blog so you and I could gripe about all of "The Crap" that we encounter everyday in our lives. Believe me, there is plenty! You can now come to this blog to Gripe because you have the right to do so. Over time, we will Gripe about topics ranging from sports to politics to just about all of the garbage that happens around us. When you Gripe, you can add your name or not. It's your right! You can vent any way you want. Use foul language if you are angry enough to and if you are offended, just Gripe It! Hell, we have been banned from Facebook twice! You can Gripe about people, places and things. The only thing I ask is if you are going to Gripe about someone and you use their name, make sure you have the facts straight or say it's your opinion. Otherwise they will sue your and my ass off! It's your RIGHT TO GRIPE! You can respond to one of our Gripes or you can lay down your own Gripe. It's easy. To post your own Gripe just email it to therighttogripe@hotmail.com and we will get it on. You can also post a Gripe on our Facebook page. Just search The Right To Gripe. If you don't want to write it down, just click on one of the boxes below each Gripe to give your opinion. You can also become an official "Griper". All you need to do is "Sign Up" and create an account. IT'S FREE! So, don't sit back and take it, just GRIPE IT!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Luzerne County Pay Raises

The chaotic state of Luzerne County was dealt a blow to their pocketbook this past week.  The county now needs to come up with more than a half million dollars to cover raises for 3 nearly finalized union contracts.  These insane raises will be dished out to 480 union employees and will total $538,000 after healthcare savings.  The new contracts cover unionized prison employees, assistant district attorneys and public defenders and a multitude of workers in the residual union, including 911 telecommunicators, security guards, maintenance crews and other support staffers in various offices.  All three of these unions have been working under contracts that expired the end of 2013, and none will receive raises for 2014.  Poor babies, no raises for 2014.  It breaks my heart.....NOT!  County Manager Robert Lawton announced these raises but also said that the county saved $115,000 in healthcare concessions.  Wait a minute, a $538,000 in raises versus a $115,000 savings in healthcare?  This does not add up to anything good to me.  If my math is correct, the pin heads from the county just lost $423,000.  I guess they must be using some other type of math so it doesn't look so bad.   Lawton told reporters that about $840,000 of the $42 million earmarked for payroll can be tapped for the union raises because the county typically has a 2-percent position vacancy rate due to delays replacing employees who leave, Lawton told council.

Here is a breakdown of these raises and my thoughts.

• Prison —2.5-percent raises this year and 2 percent in 2017 and 2018. Instead of a raise, workers will receive 2.5-percent bonuses that are not permanently added to their base salaries in 2016.  The compensation of corrections officers ranges from $28,155 to $56,311, according to the county’s position report. A 2.5-percent increase would be $704 at the low end and $1,408 on the high. 
(This reminds me of an NFL contract laced with incentive bonuses.  This is nothing more than a smoke and mirrors show to deflect what the real % of increase is.  I can bet that all of the employees will make their bonus)

• Assistant district attorneys/public defenders — 2015, 3 percent; 2016 and 2017, 3.25 percent; and 2018, 4 percent.
The salaries of most full-time assistant district attorneys range from $40,000 to $52,300, which equates to raises from $1,200 to $1,569 this year, county records show. The compensation for full-time assistant public defenders runs from $40,000 to $64,550, records show.
(I'm really confused here?  The public defenders make more money on the high end than the assistant district attorney's?  No wonder the joke around the county is you can get away with murder in Luzerne County.  Shouldn't the D.A.'s make more that the public defenders?  I say give the D.A.'s office all of the money and make the P.D.'s fend for themselves.)

• Residual — 2015, 2.5 percent; and 2016 and 2017, 2 percent. 
( I can only assume this mysterious category is for the remainder of the union people covered under these contracts.  When it comes to government I really am skeptical of generalities when it comes to money.  What I do know is these workers are getting a 2.5% raise in 2015 and 2% in 2016 and 2017.) 

The bottom line here is the county needs to dump these unions and come into the real world.  These workers have been milking the teat of the taxpayers for as long as I can remember and it has to stop.  As I write the Gripe, I have a tube of KY next to me because you can bet our taxes are going up.  How else will the county nimrods be able to fund these raises.  I for one am sick and tired of getting bent over and jammed with increased taxes.  My pay does not go up to compensate for added expenses and my guess is neither does the pays for most people working in the private sector.  It's business as usual over at the courthouse on River Street.  I think it's time to hang the closed for business sign on the door and cleanse the halls of the mismanaged government.   

1 comment:

  1. The bonus isn't based on any performance criteria, it is a one-time payment to each employee. It isn't counted as a salary increase and isn't rolled over into future years. Raises are a permanent increase in salary, bonuses are a temporary payment.