Pay hike for county workers on coronavirus frontlines approved

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ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) — The Monroe County Legislature voted unanimously to approve a grant from the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, and hazard pay for some 2,400 county employees dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.

The legislature says the hazard pay is for those at the greatest risk of coronavirus exposure during the crisis. That includes county nurses, social service case workers, child welfare investigators, emergency housing personnel, law enforcement, environmental service workers, some food service workers and others.

It will be funded by $128 million dollars via CARES Act stimulus. It will cost about $542 thousand dollars per bi-weekly pay period, giving those county workers about a 20 percent pay boost.

The payments will expire on December 31st, 2020, or until the state of emergency is declared over by County Executive Adam Bello. 

In a statement Bello said, “I am extraordinarily grateful to legislators on both sides of the aisle for recognizing the sacrifices so many Monroe County employees are making….these frontline employees remain committed to serving the public, day in and day out, during this very difficult time.”

Monroe County Legislature Minority Leader Vincent Felder said, “Our County employees are putting their health at risk while going above and beyond to provide the services we depend on. We want them to know that we value them and their contributions to our community. We are also appreciative of our federal partners, whose funding has made us able to provide temporary hazard pay for COVID related work at no cost to the County.”

The Legislature also gave a big “yes” to securing a grant to get more medical gear to workers from the Health Care Association of New York.

You can watch the full special session here.

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