Money doesn’t grow on trees, unless you’re Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein. For her, the COVID-19 pandemic has the money crop thriving in her favor.
She’s amassed over $166,000 in overtime pay since March. Her overtime rate; $144.785 per hour. That’s 1.5x her normal pay rate and in addition to her normal $96.523 per hour ($200,768 salary).
To date, she’s made $363,633.34 this year.
Included in that is nearly $20,000, that she received, without even working.
According to Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw, she’s received:
- $5,386.43 for holidays, that she didn’t work on.
- $8,254.40 for vacation, personal days etc., where she wasn’t working.
- $5,791.38 for vacation buy back pay.
All this comes at time where the Health Department has shut down hundreds of small businesses and has restricted thousands from being allowed to make any kind of income in Erie County.
“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.” said Mychajliw in a press release earlier this month.
Many businesses and taxpayers have become increasingly frustrated with the spending of the Health Department as well as County Executive Mark Poloncarz. We first reported how he’s spent over $227,000 on food alone, for his staff, which has now gained national attention.