Luzerne County Cuts 22 Jobs on New Year’s Eve

WILKES-BARRE – Luzerne County’s solicitor told Newswatch 16 that nearly two-dozen workers were laid off this afternoon as part of the solution to balance the 2014 budget.

In addition to the 22 county workers who were laid off, officials said that a new insurance company will take over healthcare coverage for the remaining county employees, in a move to cut costs.

Property taxes will also increase eight-percent, costing the average homeowner an extra $42 annually.

Luzerne County workers said they were unable to talk about the cuts on camera, but taxpayers said they were upset by the handling of the budget and the timing of the layoffs.

“It’s horrible, I think, because of the holidays. You just don’t need an extra blow like this. What do you do afterwards,” said Carol Washesky. “We have to struggle when they have their problems and we still have to get by. But I don’t know what they’re doing that they’re not able to keep their employees.”

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