Garfield County Community Corrections workers to see COVID bonus pay
About two dozen employees at the Garfield County Community Corrections Center outside Rifle are due for a one-time pay bonus, using leftover COVID-19 relief funds.
But the 2-1 decision by the county commissioners Monday to use the restricted funds in that way didn’t come without some concerns around equity.
Commissioner Tom Jankovsky, who voted against the bonus, noted that all county employees were impacted by the pandemic in some way, and said it could be seen as unfair that just one department gets a bonus.
The commissioners also just approved a 5% mid-year across-the-board pay raise for county workers, he noted. And that was on top of a 5% raise to start the year.
But the pot of money being tapped for the community corrections workers is designated for COVID-related purposes within the county’s criminal justice programs.
If left unused, it must go back to the state, Community Corrections Administrator Rodney Hollandsworth said during the Monday Board of County Commissioners meeting.
The Community Corrections Center, which provides a work-release alternative to jail time for low-level, low-risk offenders, was hit with multiple COVID-19 outbreaks over the past two years.
That resulted in staffing shortages and extra stress on the staff, coupled with hiring challenges since that time, facility Supervisor Travis Horton said during the meeting.
The remaining $113,000 can only be used for COVID impacts within the criminal justice programs, Hollandsworth said, and the recommendation was made to use it for the community corrections worker bonuses.
Commissioners Mike Samson and John Martin said they shared some of Jankovsky’s concerns, but approved the request since the money couldn’t be used elsewhere.
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