HARRISBURG – 3 June 2022 – The headline seems like a “gotcha” joke. We know. But it’s true.
Governor Tom Wolf has about 45,000 union-represented state employees that fall under the his jurisdiction in Pennsylvania. He announced yesterday that those employees will receive $1,000 bonuses for working through COVID.
It will cost the state about $50 million... It will cost YOU about $50 million.
Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “I think this is outrageous. We all worked through COVID. They all got their full pay and benefits during COVID. I don’t know what the justification is that they each should get $1,000 bonus now simply because they stayed on the job and were paid the entire time.”
Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “The justification is paying off the Democrat’s biggest monetary supporters are the unions. He is paying off his funders and this is so disturbing. He’s using tax money, money that we don’t have, money that’s printed, money that’s causing your inflation to go up everybody. So those $1,000 bonuses that these 45,000 union represented employees, which again did not lose their jobs during COVID, got their full pay and benefits and a lot of them, sitting at home questionably whether they’re putting in their real full time work effort and yet they will get this money, your money, my money, which will cause our inflation to go up even more, which will cause our bills to go up even more. Union employees, why do you keep paying these unions your dues? Maybe you like it. You like getting the government to give you stuff. It’s going to hurt you in the long run. It’s going to hurt all of us in the long run. And this is the problem when the federal government just hands out money and they’ve got all this money that they don’t know what to do with. Oh, they can’t give it and make sure that we all don’t get our things raised and use it efficiently and effectively. No. We’ve got to give goodies to our supporters and buy their votes and keep that union money support coming in.”
The same thing was done in our backyard – Hagerstown City Council gave out bonuses to city employees for working through the pandemic.
The $50 million in Pennsylvania is coming out of $372 million in the American Rescue Plan Act funds.
Representative Jesse Topper said, “This idea that we just have this money that can be spent however and then there is a concern that because this is the governor’s last term, he really doesn’t care because at the end of the day, he’s not going to need to pick up the pieces when we spend all this money for salaries and benefits because he won’t be in office next time.”
Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM noted, “I’ve got restauranteurs who are looking at gas bills, grocery bills, trying to hire people and he’s taking your money and handing it to people that were doing just fine. They had gigs, they had health care, they had it all.”
Topper pointed out, “We have to look at this because every bureaucracy that my office called (during the height of the pandemic), they could not get through to anybody. We were getting three weeks turn around time on something that should have taken two days. So again, I want to know what the definition of working through COVID even actually means in this case.”
Ryan said, “Priceless and so important that you isolate that. The time it took for people to give you answers. Great point here.”
Barkdoll said, “A lot of these workers, they were teleworking for months, in some cases over a year. The offices were closed for very prolonged periods of time and they all still got their full pay and their full benefits. I think a lot of people listening to this, it’s insulting the idea that they’re now going to get $1,000 bonus for what the governor is saying working through COVID. We all did. We all figured out a way to grind it out. We’re not getting $1,000 bonuses for simply doing our jobs.”