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Hamilton County Clerk of Court Institutes "Living Wage" For Employees

Bill Rinehart
Clerk of Court Aftab Pureval instituted three policy changes in his office based on what private corporations were doing.

The Hamilton County Clerk of Court says the minimum starting wage in his office is now $16 an hour. The change affects 72 of the more than 200 employees in the office. Aftab Pureval says the wage hike will cost about $180,000 a year.

"We're still saving taxpayer dollars. We're still saving money in personnel fees because we were able to run the office more efficiently, cut waste, right-size salaries and reduce the size of the office. So ultimately this is a cost savings for taxpayers," he says.

He says he has already cut $450,000 from his operating budget since taking office in January.

Pureval says his office is also offering comprehensive paid family leave to employees, and has banned discrimination against LGBTQ employees.

Pureval is calling on other county departments to follow suit.

"If we want to be a cutting edge, innovative, efficient, business friendly community and county we have to do these things to compete. This is about keeping up. This is about not being a dinosaur. Whether it's leveraging technology or treating our employees right this is what management looks like in 2017."

At 40 hours a week, $16 an hour works out to be $33,280 a year. At 35 hours a week, it's $29,120.

According to Hamilton County's benefits manager Sarah Irwin, the county has 380 employees who make less than $32,000. She says 250 of those work 35 hours a week. The Clerk of Court employees are included in the 35 hour work week group.

Rinehart has been a radio reporter since 1994 with positions in markets like Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio; and most recently as senior correspondent and anchor for Cincinnati’s WLW-AM.