Thousands of Erie County workers will see a boost of about $250 in their paychecks.
It’s only for this month, and it’s because they’re not being charged their health insurance premium.
County Executive Mark Poloncarz says workers pay 15 percent of the total cost for the coverage. The rest is paid through a labor management health care fund.
The fund did well this year. It can only be spent on healthcare for county workers.
Poloncarz chose to waive the premiums in workers’ December paychecks.
However, Minority Leader Joe Lorigo thinks it would be better to put the money back into the fund for 2019.
“Nothing against county employees, but I think the County Executive’s gift is a little insensitive,” Lorigo said. “At a time when residents of Erie County are paying more than ever for their healthcare, the County Executive told 3,500 or so employees they don’t have to pay.”
Poloncarz said “I think it just made sense because we didn’t need the money to cover for the remainder of the year, so why should we take it out when people have an opportunity to hopefully spend it locally in our local economy.”
Poloncarz added that even with waiving the premiums for December, he expects to be able to lower healthcare premiums for all county workers next year.