Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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December 15th, 2016

The Plight of the Sullivan County Workforce

With additional sales tax revenue anticipated for Sullivan County thanks to the new Casino and other developments – Town Supervisors appealed to Sullivan County Legislators last week to share the extra monies with their local municipalities.

Legislature Chairman Luis Alvarez disagreed saying that Sullivan County needs to utilize the anticipated additional revenue for county government and assist in paying off such projects as the new jail and giving employees much needed pay raises.

People often forget and overlook the hardworking Sullivan County civil servant. Once the largest employer of workers in Sullivan County, we have seen our workforce dwindle.

No matter what our criticism of county government might be – we have one of the most dedicated and efficient workforces.

In a plea to legislators – Jerry Ebert Sullivan County’s Teamster Representative begged them to use anticipated new sales tax revenues towards much needed pay increases for Sullivan County’s workers.

Many people think those who work for the government are overpaid and do very little – That is furthest from the truth.

County Government Employees  often earn less than those working for other municipalities.

I asked Teamsters representative Jerry Ebert to speak directly to you about the Sullivan County workforce and the need not to overlook them. Here is what he had to say.


Sullivan County Employee Realities

By Jerry Ebert, Teamster Representative

for Sullivan County Employees

 How much would you guess the average Civil Service account clerk is paid per year?

If you estimated $43,000, you’d be right for most state, school district and correctional account clerks.

If you guessed $33,000, you’d be in the ballpark for most villages and towns.

 But you wouldn’t guess $23,000 per year. That’s about $300 per week when you subtract taxes and health benefits. Hell, fast-food workers make that.

 So do Sullivan County account clerks and eighteen other groups of county employees, including our personal care aides, typists, receptionists, lab clerks and domestic aides.


 Included in this column is the entire wage scale. If you know what you’re looking at, it will shock you.

 It doesn’t get any better in the positions above the bottom classification. If you work for a school district or correctional facility, you’ll see that some of the more advanced county positions are paid as much as $10,000 per year less than equivalent jobs in your workplace.

 If you’re an average taxpayer, it’d be easy not to care. Nearly everyone in our county is struggling to survive, so why pay special attention to county workers?

 Because they are the heartbeat of our county.


 It is they who protect your children and elderly from abuse and neglect, who provide your DMV, County Clerk and Real Property needs, who counsel your mentally ill and substance-addicted, who supervise those on probation, who build and repair your bridges and plow your highways, who make home visits to those in need, who nurse your elderly and infirm at the Adult Care Center, who answer your 911 call at 4 a.m., who send deputy sheriffs to help you, who train your unemployed for jobs, who give aid to the poor and collect child support from stubborn spouses, who fulfill the paperwork required of our county courts, who transport and counsel your veterans, and more.

 Did you know if your town or school district fails to collect the taxes due to it, the county makes up the difference?

It could be argued county government provides people more direct services and safety nets than any other public entity. Yet county workers are paid much less than all other public employees.

It didn’t happen by accident, and it won’t be fixed by accident.

This column will explore these issues further in upcoming weeks. You’ll see through their eyes some of the everyday challenges they confront.

If nothing else after reading this, please appreciate what county workers sacrifice to serve you. Avoid the uninformed prejudice that all public employees are overpaid and underworked. For the exact opposite is true of Sullivan County employees.

Thank you – Jerry Ebert.

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself on National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the “MOUTH THAT ROARS” Column in THE SULLIVAN COUNTY POST.


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