First, we’d like to start by saying a courthouse position with Clearfield County used to be one of the best jobs available to local people.
Job vacancies were rare and routinely employees worked here for a long time. Many made it their entire careers here.
Now, due to several factors, there are many vacancies that can’t be filled and many employees are leaving for better conditions and pay.
Some departments will face critical employee shortages this year, and there’s also the real possibility of services to the public being reduced or cut.
Clearfield County employee wages are some of the lowest, if not the lowest, when compared to similar-sized counties across the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The union employees are in contract negotiations with the county, and the commissioners say they’re “listening to the employees and offering wage increases”
But in reality, they’re attempting to cut major benefits and shift some of those monies to a meager wage increase. This will leave employees’ wages stagnant or lower than their existing wages.
In fact, there are several county employees who make so little that they’re eligible for state-funded healthcare programs while the commissioners attempt to make employees feel warm and fuzzy.
They’ve offered a Christmastime door-decorating contest, “bonus” monies for COVID shots and taxed “bonus” monies for those who worked 100 percent through COVID, which began in 2020.
It’s interesting that all these offers came two years after the COVID pandemic started and during contract negotiations. Coincidence? We don’t think so.
In GANT News coverage, Commissioner Dave Glass said spousal exclusion from medical coverage is now “trending with employers, including the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.”
However, this isn’t true and information obtained from PennDOT shows its employees can still choose to cover a spouse and family members, even if they have coverage through another employer.
Glass also neglected to acknowledge that clerical positions at PennDOT earn $30,000 as compared to a Clearfield County wage of $17,150 per year.
And that’s before a deduction for insurance, leaving a single person earning $16,500 per year. This isn’t even comparing “apples to apples.”
The county has also spent thousands and thousands of taxpayer dollars on a Pittsburgh-based attorney to negotiate its employment contracts.
I’m sure there are competent attorneys in the local area, such as State College, Altoona, Huntingdon, etc., who could negotiate contracts at a much more reasonable cost.
The county also wants the employees to vote on ‘the contract’ without seeing a written proposal. It sounds like a pig in a poke to me: sign here and we’ll tell you later what you’re getting.
We hope the taxpayers pay close attention to the actions of this board of commissioners, as it seems to have its own agenda and it’s not for the benefit of the public or the employees.
The Clearfield County Paying Union Members