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LEGISLATURE TO VOTE ON FILLING SERVICE JOBS

Cattaraugus County Legislators are expected to vote Wednesday on resolutions to fill a variety of vacant jobs in the Social Services and Nursing Homes departments, a move that has received the support of the Employee Vacancy, Human Services and Senior Services committees.

The resolutions, outlined by department heads in last week's committee meetings before being drafted, were earmarked for immediate consideration at Wednesday's legislative session.

One of three full-time permanent positions included in the resolution will not lead to immediate hiring in the Social Services Department, but will authorize a pay rate hike for a Grade 19 support officer, referred to by officials as an account-clerk typist.

That position was removed during March budget cuts to make up for sales tax revenues that won't be collected due to insufficient votes to seek tax hike approval from the State Legislature.

The support officer position was restored in early April and, under schedule increases for the general bargaining unit, is now subject to a higher pay rate. If approved by legislators, it will be budgeted for a $3.08 raise to $18.22 per hour.

Social Services Commissioner Wendy Bourgeois said the job is now vacant due to a promotion. She also is seeking approval for filling a second position that opened up when a Grade 11 keyboard specialist was promoted recently to fill an examiner vacancy. The keyboard specialist hired would receive $13.61 per hour. A Grade 14 data entry operator slot, vacant due to retirement, would be hired at $15.15 per hour.

Bourgeois said the six remaining part-time workers usually are called back each year to help run the Summer Work Program, finding and overseeing minimum-wage jobs for more than 100 youngsters and adults enrolled from May through August in the federally funded Workforce Investment Act One-Stop program.

Three part-time work site supervisors, who manage the worker cases, will be paid the Grade 16 rate of $11.13 per hour. Two certified part-time Grade 22 vocational instructors would receive $14.14 per hour, while a part-time Grade 23 employment specialist will staff the program at an hourly salary of $14.72.

When committee members questioned the pay rates, Bourgeois told them the rates were established by the Legislature.

Nine certified nurse's aide vacancies at the Pines of Olean and the Pines of Machias, which currently are budgeted at Grade 15A in the Nursing Homes Department, also will be contained in a resolution offered for immediate consideration.

Two of the Olean Pines' positions are full-time, paying $11.77 per hour, with one vacancy due to a resignation and the other opened when a worker on disability retired. A third Olean Pines position, vacant due to a resignation, will pay $10.57 per hour, if approved.

The same rate will be paid to candidates filling the six aide vacancies, created due to one termination and five resignations at the Machias Pines.

Nursing Homes Director John Ognibene said the 2005 budget includes 42 certified nurse's aides in the Olean facility and 37 at the Machias facility.

The meeting will begin at 3 p.m. in the County Center, Court Street, Little Valley.

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