Male nurse pushing stretcher gurney bed in hospital corridor with male & female doctors & nurses & senior female patient in a wheelchair

Debate Continues Over Prop P use

August 02, 2018 - 10:01 am

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - For months we've been covering St. Louis County Justice Center workers begging for the Prop P raises they were promised. That includes nurses who work in the jail, with criminals, full-time.  Politics pushed the issue aside for months, but with the election less than a week away, county government is maybe getting back to business.

Jail worker Kira Braxton says 4000 county employees who haven't gotten raises for 11 years are getting restless. She’s heard from many of them.

“They commended me for having the guts to say what every county employee is thinking and what every county employee feels,” she says.

County Executive Steve Stenger explains again why he vetoed raises the council passed.

“I think we have a charter provision that requires that nurses would be paid from the health fund. I think we also made promises to our community that Prop P would be used within the scope of Prop P’s intended purpose, and I think this is beyond the intended purpose and I think what that bill is meant to do is to funnel Proposition P money into the health fund, which I think is inappropriate use,” he says.

Stenger suggests giving corrections officers and case workers raises from public safety funds, while compromising on the nurses.

“That’s what I would urge that we do, and it would take care of a very large portion of the employees that we’re trying to help. And in the meantime we could perhaps hammer out some kind of a compromise on the health workers, and I’m more than willing to do that,” he says.

Councilman Mark Harder it’s time to get something done.

 “We can’t hold these people hostage for something that we thought was going through, and just because people won’t meet or won’t be in the same room with somebody else, that needs to go away and we need to get this thing resolved,” he says.

Councilman Pat Dolan is happy to hear that his colleagues are finally willing to talk.

 “I said all along, and I talked to the nurses and I talked to the justice service workers more than once, I supported giving them their raises and then move on to the nurses. We could have had that dialogue back then but it’s being held up for some obvious reasons,” he says.