Benefits to part-timers

The News of Cumberland County seems to be picking up our battle cry…

Can Cumberland County afford to provide health benefits for part-time workers?

In light of a projected $4 million to $8 million deficit the county is projecting for this year’s budget, the majority of Cumberland County freeholders want to look into that question, according to recently released minutes from a Feb. 18 freeholder meeting.

Joseph Rossi, county personnel director, said Wednesday that thirty-one part-time Cumberland County employees receive county-funded medical benefits.

“We have a policy that employees who work 20 hours or more can receive health benefits,” he said.

Cumberland County spends $450,000 annually to provide these perks.

The article is interesting, and notes that the unions will once again stand in the way of the taxpayers not being raked over the coals. Joe Pepitone and Jane Jannarone voted against the county even considering any change in policy. Jane, who has her own business, refuses to finance her own health insurance, instead demanding that the county pay her way.

Very few of the Freeholders have ever worked int he private sector. Cumberland County recently placed dead last as far as our collective health is concerned. Jannarone should be more concerned with the many taxpayers that are footing the bill for part-timers when they themselves have no health insurance.

Jannarone and Magazzu are the two Freeholders that have insurance and benefits, as part-timers, at the taxpayers’ expense. It is time that they wake up and take a long, serious look at their constituents and the pain we face with the highest unemployment, lowest per capita income, and lack of services taken for granted elsewhere in the state. They do NOT serve the unions, they serve the voters and taxpayers. With property taxes increasing annually, and every municipality cutting services, laying off employees – everyone whether homeowner or renter is feeling the crunch. It is time everyone of the Freeholder begin to take their job seriously. It is time the Freeholder Director begin tackling the job of running the county instead of figuring our cute ways to take potshots at county citizens merely because he doesn’t like what they say.

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12 Responses to Benefits to part-timers

  1. Hoffa's ghost says:

    Please stop with the anti-union rhetoric. Part timers do not deserve benefits. They never have. Your starting to swallow the new wave of, “bad union workers”. How dare they negotiate the best deal possible.

    Those workers did not put this state or this county into its current economic situation… atleast not alone.

    You can’t support the unions in their assualt by Lou. And attack them for their position against knuckling to the whims of The King.

    Cut them a break the unions are just recovering from their payment for supporting Looney!

  2. GoGoCumCo says:

    Does everyone have 50 year contracts? Just cut out the part-timers when the current contracts are up. What’s the problem? They have collective bargaining agreements and I can respect that. But that doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it in the next contract. And, to be fair to them, you tell them NOW. Or would this hurt the dems base? As you can see we’ve already woke the sleeping Jimmy Hoffa…

  3. Curious says:

    Are the part time Governor appointments required to recieve health and pension benefits? Or are they a perk given to them by the freeholders?
    Iam also Curious if the lawyers for Social Services need to be employees with benefits. The theory is that social service money comes from the county, state, and federal government. Is the county contributing more than it’s fairshare by making these “professionals” employees.
    Curious if we could save big bucks by having professional contracts. NO BENEFITS.
    I am Curious if the taxpayers in Bridgeton should pay for 9 part time board members of the CCUA to recieve health benefits?
    Iam particularly Curious, when teachers, police, and other essential personnel are being laid off due to the financial crisis.
    In the case of the CCUA why are these part timers costing the City of Bridgeton a fortune in health benefits costs ? This, while the city cannot afford to replace it’s crumbling infrastructure?
    Just Very Curious

  4. JamesRSauro says:

    1. Do I think freeholders should get Health Benefits.
    Yes. They are elected officials. I may not like the ones that are there but the public saw fit to vote for them. They may be bobble heads and not show up for meeting but they still should get them.
    2. Part time employees? No, they are part time. GoGoCumCo is correct, wait for the contract to come up. But the Board at that time will not have the guts to go against the Union even if it is logical and for the taxpayers.
    3. Appointments should not get the health benefits, but let’s face it if you were appointed would you refuse it. NO. It should be taken out.
    The part time attorneys, the people on boards or committees, or any appointed position should not receive them.

    But this is what really BOTHERED me most. Jane Jannarone’s statement that if she were not to get health benefits she doesn’t know if she would run again. Priorities are wrong. Your a freeholder to serve the county and it’s citizens. Not to get Health Benefits. In my oppinion she should not be on the board. It seems that our some of our elected official are there for the wrong reason.

  5. Calhoun says:

    Mr Sauro,

    Did I read correctly, Mr. Sauro? You think elected officials should get health benefits? Why? How can you defend taking away the benefits from othe part-timers (appointees, workers) but keeping it for elected officials, who also serve part time? That makes no sense. The freeholders are paid for their part time service. And that is enough. I don’t think we should vote for any R or D who is going to sign up for health insurance on the taxpayers’ dime. It’s wrong anytime; and in these times, given the current economic straits the county is in, it’s downright criminal. MWatch and everyone else needs to keep a careful eye on this to make sure that the freeholders give up this plum. Also, Pepitone, may have made a big mistake supporting retention of these benefits for freeholders. That is not something I would want to defend on the campaign trail this season.

    On an unrelated matter have the Rs thought at all about approaching Patrick Conahey Sr. running for freeholder? Fiocchi and Tonetta are fine, but Conahey is also quite good. His articles in the News are quite polished, and he seems quite articulate and thoughtful. I think he would be great, but all I know is what I read. Furthermore, he would provide some geographic balance to the ticket. There is more to Cumberland County than just Vineland.

  6. I beleive if you are appointed to a board or elected, you should not receive any benefits.Why? This is not your main source of income.You are doing it hopefully to make your community a better place to live.I know that some people think that this is there main source of income but hopefully that will stop.

  7. JamesRSauro says:

    Mr. Calhoun you read correctly. Many elected officials are good people that put in many many hours of time performing their duties and serving the public. A good servant of the people is not only making decisions on how to run government, spend money, develop programs, and help people but also is an ambassador for that position. This means going to many events. Listening to people and trying to meet other officials that may be able to help their area. I know for a fact that an elected official can put in over 40 hours a week if that person is serious about the position. The problem with this county is everyone is basing this situation on the people who are elected now. If we had good individuals on the board serving the public and not themselves I believe people would feel differently about these benefits because they would feel they deserved them. But in this case maybe they should be taken away. Your comment is appreciated.

  8. Guess-Who says:

    I think this Issue could fall on deaf ears.

    I have always believed that any kind of Employee CONTRIBUTIONS will have a Positive impact on the Overall C0$T too the Tax-Payers, who has been providing Medical Benefits for Cumberland County Employees.
    Any Employee that Chooses the option of the County Medical Ins. Plan should also be Paying their Fair Share towards the Medical Coverage.

    There’s DEBATE on this Topic that could cause one to WAFFLE.

    The FACT that the County is Paying around $4.5 Million a Yr for Medical Ins. for County Employees is another reason.

    Will the action taken by the Governor last month that will Require Public Employees to Contribute to these Benefits save the County a nice chunk of change or some Money in the Tax-Payers Pocket?

    The Responsibilities & Possibilities are Endless;

    I still want to gather my own Facts & find more INFORMATION before drawing a Conclusion on this very touchy subject.

    ———————————————–
    Checks & Balance make the County a Better Place

  9. WuLi says:

    My thoughts – with Cumberland County topping the list of highest unemployment, highest number of citizens that are under-insured or uninsured the freeholders need to be leading by example.

    Jim Sauro is correct that many of our freeholders do put in what amounts to a full workweek – however their job is classified as part-time, and our economy is in shambles.

    All other non-union part time jobs – sorry – should not get benefits in the same way that no part time job in the private sector gives benefits. It’s tough, but people are hurting, unable to pay their mortgages, and unable to get even a part-time job (14.1% unemployment in our county by the last figures).

    Union contracts are renegotiated on a regular basis, so Pepitone’s argument that they signed on for certain benefits does not fly. They signed on KNOWING the contracts and benefits would be up for negotiation in the future. As such, part-time benefits next round of negotiations should be off the table. We cannot afford it. Perhaps when the economy rebounds, and when property taxes begin declining that can be looked at again.

    Is it better for same part timers to lose a costly benefit or for full timers to lose employment?

  10. hurricane says:

    My yes vote on the extra insurance should not otherwise cancel all related largess. No more farm land assessment for fake farmers.

    PS: Jane needs the benefits to cover her failure to provide benefits to her employees.

    PSS: what if a really good Freeholder didn’t have lots of money, wouldn’t they need coverage to give a big effort to the people?

  11. Calhoun says:

    This is a bit exasperating. A freeholder position is a part time job. It only pays 16K a year! Show me other 16K/year jobs that come with gold-plated health care benefits. There are none. Elected officials should not get special treatment. If a freeholder does not have a lot of money, then he or she should have another full time job from which health benefits are received. Otherwise, go without, like everyone else.

    I am concerned that some intimate that being a freeholder is a full time job. If it is, then I have to ask how do these people support themselves? And that opens a whole other can of worms, especially if the freeholder is not rich and does not have any other stable sources of income. In these cases suspicions of graft are all too common.

    And Mr. Sauro, I am not basing my position on the situation “on the people who are elected now.” I am basing it on basic fairness. I don’t give a damn if our freeholder board includes Mother Theresa, Jesus Christ, Mohandas Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, I still wouldn’t endorse health care benefits for them.

    Sadly, elected leaders from both parties, as evinced from the comments of Jannarone (a D) and Sauro (an R), have a sense of entitlement. They’re somehow different from other employees. No they’re not.

    I also don’t think we need seven freeholders; other counties get by fine with just five. Besides cutting health benefits, let’s cut some of them.

  12. Deep Throat says:

    You all have been scammed again. The financial disaster is going to go out like a spring lamb. The layoffs are being reduced to under 10 people. Since there are no 10 people making 400,000-800,000 per year, you have just experienced Magazzu math.

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