MERCER COUNTY Commissioners approve pay raises

Raises for eligible professional, administrative and daily-rate employees average 3.5 percent.
MERCER, Pa. -- Pay increases were approved for nonunionized county employees when Mercer County commissioners met Thursday.
Eligible professional, administrative and daily-rate employees will receive an average of 3.5 percent, said Bill Boyle, director of administrative services. For example, those employees who have worked 10 years and reached the top of the pay scale will receive $364 per year.
Technical, clerical and support staff will receive their step increases plus 20 cents per hour. Boyle said the increase, which averages 3 percent, is an attempt to keep their wages comparable to their unionized counterparts. About half of this category of employees are nonunion.
Union contracts are currently being negotiated and the increases to be given those employees will not be known until contracts are finalized.
Other action
Also Thursday, commissioners:
UApproved advertising for bids for one 10-passenger wheelchair-accessible small transit bus and four accessible 12-passenger small transit buses for Mercer County Community Transit. The purchase will replace aging vehicles and will be paid through federal funds
UApproved contracts with lawyers to provide legal services to defendants who cannot be represented by the Public Defender's Office. They include: Randy Hetrick and Jarrett Whalen, 65 cases each for $26,000; Stephen DelPero, 25 cases for $10,000; Robet Vitello and Tedd Nesbit, 20 cases each for $8,000.
UAlso approved contracts with attorneys to provide legal counsel to children involved with Juvenile Probation and Children and Youth Services who cannot be represented by the Public Defender's Office. They include Matthew Donnelly, 45 cases for $13,000, and Michael Bonner, no set number of cases, also $13,000.
UEntered into an agreement with Infocon Corp., Ebensburg, for application software rental for the Clerk of Courts History Access System. Monthly rental rate is $250 and the agreement is effective till Jan. 31 or can be extended month to month by the clerk of courts.
UEntered an agreement with Outside In School of Experiential Education, Greensburg, to provide a wilderness experience for delinquent children who are court-ordered into the program. Costs range from $142 to $175 daily. Mark Benedetto, chief of juvenile probation, said the program is highly recommended by Erie County. He said one Mercer County youth is in the program now.

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