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Monroe County approves 'hazard pay' for some county workers 

The Monroe County Legislature on Wednesday approved a measure to temporarily provide 10- to 20-percent "hazard pay" wage increases for about half of the county workers who are deemed to be at greater risk of exposure to COVID-19 and who have worked extended hours because of the pandemic.

Some 2,400 county workers will benefit from the measure, including those employed at Monroe Community Hospital, the Sheriff’s Office, the Greater Rochester International Airport, and in the departments of Public Health, Human Services, Environmental Services, Veterans Services, and Public Safety.
Tragedy waiting to happen: Members of the Federation of Social Workers protest the county budget proposal, among other things, last week in downtown Rochester. - PHOTO BY KRESTIA DEGEORGE
  • PHOTO BY KRESTIA DEGEORGE
  • Tragedy waiting to happen: Members of the Federation of Social Workers protest the county budget proposal, among other things, last week in downtown Rochester.


Those employees are social service case workers, child welfare investigators, emergency housing personnel, law enforcement, jail guards, environmental service workers, nurses, food service workers, and others.

The additional pay is projected to cost $542,000 per biweekly pay period and is to be funded by part of a $129 million grant from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

“I am extraordinarily grateful to legislators on both sides of the aisle for recognizing the sacrifices so many Monroe County employees are making,” Bello said. “Undaunted by the personal risks they face, these frontline employees remain committed to serving the public, day in and day out, during this very difficult time.”
The hazard pay is retroactive to April 4, and, under the legislation, will continue through to December 31 or until the county executive declares and end to the state of emergency. The Legislature has the option to extend the hazard pay beyond the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the city of Rochester is preparing to lay off or furlough an unspecified number of city workers. Mayor Lovely Warren is expected to announce details in the coming weeks.

David Andreatta is CITY's editor. He can be reached at dandreatta@rochester-citynews.com.
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