Many Washington County employees granted 3 percent raises

January 7, 2013

Some Washington County employees will find their paychecks a tad fatter after the commissioners, at their annual salary board meeting Monday, granted 3 percent raises.

Those scheduled to receive a raise include elected officials and salaried employees.

The commissioners’ salaries, formerly a base pay of $76,385, will be going up to $78,676. Chairman Larry Maggi’s salary of $77,385 will be going up to $79,706.

The full-time salary of most row officers, set at $71,402 last year, will now be $73,544.

John Adams of Independence Township, a retiree and regular attendee at commissioners’ meetings, spoke out against the raises and noted that Social Security recipients will be receiving only a 1.7 percent raise.

There are a slew of workers not included in the action because their union contracts expired at the end of 2012.

Excluded from the raise are employees who continue to work under the terms of their former contracts: Service Employees International 668, SEIU Healthcare, Court-Appointed and Court-Related Local 668, the Pennsylvania Social Services Union Local 668, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees District Council 84, and Teamsters Local 249, which includes assistant district attorneys and assistant public defenders.

The county has a negotiation session scheduled for Wednesday with the SEIU, said Scott Fergus, Washington County director of administration.

The commissioners agreed to grant raises to jail guards and sheriff’s deputies in accordance with union contracts that are already in place.

Elected officials and those representing them also took care of related business at the salary board meeting.

District Attorney Eugene Vittone created a $45,000 part-time salaried position, that of special assistant to the district attorney, and a full-time union position, that of legal secretary paying $15.19 per hour.

Vittone abolished a full-time detective’s position. Chief Detective Michael Aaron will be retiring, and James A. McElhaney will be promoted to Aaron’s position, which pays $58,565. McElhaney’s general-duty detective’s position, paying $42,000, was abolished, although Vittone plans to fill it if the state gaming board provides a grant to pay a detective.

Prothonotary Phyllis Ranko Matheny will add a full-time clerk-typist to her staff, and Register of Wills Mary Jo Poknis will have a part-timer, both paying $14.86 per hour, not from taxpayer dollars, but from money placed in their respective record improvement funds.

Barbara S. Miller covers politics, Washington County government and a variety of other topics for the Observer-Reporter. She is a graduate of Washington & Jefferson College, majoring in English and history. Follow her on Twitter @reporterbarb.

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