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Workers have more questions following public health district split

Annette Rodriguez
Posted at 10:14 PM, Oct 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-21 23:19:44-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The fallout from the split at the Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District continues.

Public health director Annette Rodriguez talked about her shock and concern for city employees who now don't have a clear picture of their future Thursday afternoon.

"The first question is why do we have to reapply," Rodriguez said. "I mean these are people's lives they don't know what just happened I don't even know what just happened."

What happened was a split that was announced in an instant.

Rodriguez asked, "What does that mean what does stepping off the health district mean?"

She found out about the split of the health department, which she is the director of, via the news on Tuesday.

Immediately the calls came in to questions she didn't have answers for.

In particular from city employees who asked what's going to happen to our jobs.

City manager Peter Zanoni stopped by the health department to answer those questions Wednesday morning. But Annette says there are still more questions than answers and that no one was reassured they would have their job after the split.

"So, is everybody going to get their job back? No, they said that it was up a competitive process. The question was asked if its only internal applicants and he said no, it's going to be external as well the question was still there why why are we having to reapply we are in the middle of a pandemic," Rodriguez said.

In the middle of a pandemic with the holidays approaching and the question about those city jobs was brought up by Councilman Gil Hernandez.

Just after the split was voted on Tuesday, Hernandez said,"Peter, there's obviously employees in the county and city. Can you please reinsure our city employees they will have an opportunity to work at the new health department for the city?"

Less than 90 days away from the split and those positions have not been created according to Annette and employees haven't been told where to go to apply.

Also, if their own jobs that may or may not be there.

Rodriguez says, "And basically said this is day one, we're figuring it out with you you guys are going to help us to figure it out. Which I found a little concerning cause I thought we shouldn't be figuring it out on day one we should have a plan."

And as for her job after 23 years with the city, Rodriguez continued, "I said does that include myself and he said oh yeah, you have to reapply."

Rodriguez says she along with 72 other city employees still don't know where their future stands.

Meanwhile, there are also 52 county employees and there's no word on the status of their futures either.