Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez struck down Saturday county commissioners’ decision to restore most workers’ pay, forcing a new vote Tuesday on the high-stakes issue.
His veto was expected. But the mayor also offered a potential compromise to commissioners determined to no longer require employees to contribute 5 percent of their base pay toward group healthcare costs.
Gimenez proposed giving one-time bonuses to some of the lowest-paid county workers: $1,500 to employees who make less than $40,000 a year and $1,000 to those who make between $40,000 and $50,000.
“I listened to the commission,” Gimenez told the Miami Herald, referring to the board’s concerns over workers suffering economic hardship. “This way we can give a little bit of relief to our lowest-paid employees and not break the bank.”
He emphasized that restoring all workers’ pay, as the commission voted to do, would be a greater benefit to those on the higher end of the pay scale. An employee making $100,000 a year would get $5,000 back, compared to one making $50,000, who would get $2,500.
Under the mayor’s bonus proposal, an employee making $45,000 a year who pays $2,250 toward the healthcare contribution would get a little less than half of that as a one-time payment. An employee making $20,000 whose contribution is $1,000 a year would get all of that back, plus $500.