Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval has announced his employees deserve recognition and compensation for providing essential services during the pandemic.
Clerk of Courts workers will begin receiving "hero pay" — a $1 per hour increase for everyone except bailiffs, who will get a $2 per hour increase for their work escorting inmates, a job that doesn't allow for social distancing.
“Our employees have stepped up to serve the people of Hamilton County in the midst of this pandemic,” said Pureval. “We say it’s important to honor our heroes on the frontline. And we’re going to do that with more than words — we’re going to do it with our actions.”
Today I announced a pay bonus for our county workers who are on the frontlines of the COVID pandemic.— Aftab Pureval (@AftabPureval) August 6, 2020
Our staff deserves more than just our words. They deserve our actions. At the Clerk’s office, we will always value the dignity of work and stand with our working families. pic.twitter.com/ezvD9CQxfT
During the press conference announcing the pay increase, Pureval was joined by Peter McLinden from Cincinnati's AFL-CIO union board.
“I wish more employers were like Aftab Pureval,” McLinden said. “We don’t need statements and platitudes — we need employers who will step up for their workers and pay them a fair wage.”
In 2017, Pureval increased pay for all of his employees to a $15-per-hour living wage.
When interviewed by CityBeat in 2017 about the raises, Pureval, who became the first Democrat elected to the court clerk’s job since 1903, said they were long overdue.
“I was shocked that the clerk’s office has been able to retain so many folks for decades while still underpaying them,” he told CityBeat. “These are folks who come in every day, who work hard and diligently and are committed to public service and serving the citizens of Hamilton County — and our office had been woefully undervaluing and underappreciating them.
“Our staff is the greatest resource that we have, and they’ve earned these salaries and these benefits through their hard work."
Even with that pay increase, Pureval "will have saved taxpayers approximately $3 million dollars through modernizing the office and making it more efficient," says a release from his office.