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Modified: July 7, 2021 8:55am
Created: July 7, 2021 8:51am

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July 7, 2021

Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein tops list of COVID related overtime for political appointees, pulling in $85,412 in 2021


(ERIE COUNTY, NY) – Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein once again tops the list of all political appointees raking in COVID-19 overtime for the first six months of the year, pulling in approximately $85,142.  This represents 65% of all the COVID-19 related overtime for salaried, political appointees, officially titled Managerial Confidential (MC) employees.  

While Dr. Burstein raked in $85,142 in overtime for the bi-weekly pay periods one through 13, all political appointees combined earned $132,966 in COVID-19 related overtime.

“Most hard-working taxpayers do not even earn that much money working in an entire year.  Political patronage employees are salaried. They should not earn one extra penny in overtime.  Unfortunately, entrenched politicians never met a crisis they didn’t take advantage of. COVID-19 cases are decreasing. Vaccination rates are increasing.  It is sick that salaried workers continue to profit from a pandemic that no longer exists,” said Erie County Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw Jr. 

Counting union employees represented by a bargaining unit and salaried, political appointees, the total amount of COVID-19 related overtime for the first six months of the year was $10,137,537.  This represents approximately 265,157 hours of overtime between January and June of this year.

Even more troubling: Erie County changed the rules making it harder for workers to collect overtime.  Employees must accumulate 200 hours of comp time before they can receive OT.  Dr. Burstein at first racked up 200-hours in comp time, the overtime meter started running, allowing the salaried, political employee to receive $85,142 in OT for the first six months of the year. 

“Dr. Burstein can still cash out that comp time at the end of the year. It’s money in her pocket. If she does that, her overtime would be $97,014 for the first six months of the year. Don’t let the politicians fool taxpayers.  These workers will cash out comp time and laugh all the way to the bank. Unfortunately struggling families are stuck paying the bill,” concluded Comptroller Mychajliw.

For pdf of release, click HERE

For pdf of report, click HERE