It may seem to crazy to believe, but the head of the Erie County Health Department has now been paid $147,249, in overtime pay alone. Dr. Gale Burstein has ammassed that amount, in just 8 months, since the pandemic began in March.
That is according to a report released by Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw on November 23. That’s in addition to her normal salary of $200,768, putting her on track to profit over $350,000 in a year in tax payer money, in a year where many taxpayers are being told they can’t work.
“Taxpayers can judge for themselves if they think $147,249 in overtime and holiday pay for a salaried, political appointee is exorbitant.” reads a press release from Mychajliw. “Enough is enough. Adding insult to injury, while struggling taxpayers are barely getting by because of lockdowns, political appointees are personally profiting from COVID-19,”
To date county employees earned $4,582,748 in COVID-19 related overtime and holiday pay.
“People are angry. They are fed up. Look no further than business owners telling Dr. Burstein’s inspectors to ‘get lost’ when they tried to shut down an Orchard Park gym. Families suffer. Schools are closed. Businesses are being destroyed by lockdowns.” added Mychajliw.
His statement echoes the words of that very gym owner, Robby Dinero. Dinero has angerly questioned publicly why he is being told he can’t make any money, while elected officials, can profit, especially to such an exuberant extent.
The Erie County Department of Health is responsible for enforcing Governor Andrew Cuomo’s micro-cluster strategy, which as a result has shut down thousands of small businesses throughout the county.
Burstein’s overtime pay alone, would be enough to make her the eleventh highest paid government employee in Erie County, compared to all base salaries.
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