Not All Holiday Pay Is Created Equal

By: Renee' LaSalle
By: Renee' LaSalle

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Due to paid legal holidays and rotating or unusual schedules, all city employees aren't paid the same way.

"You can have two people that were hired the same day, at the same rate of pay and their annual salaries, one of them could be higher because of this issue," said Deputy Fire Chief Sammy Foy. "Because one of them may get holiday pay, whereas the other one could not."

Council president Bobby Smith of Ward 5 said the concern is how to handle holiday pay or compensation for city employees when a holiday falls on their regularly scheduled day off, so they wouldn't be working anyhow.

In the current system, many city employees feel cheated, because time and again the holidays fall on their off days and they get neither the holiday pay for working nor the chance to schedule the time off later.

"And we're not asking that we be paid for time when we didn't work," said police officer Jerry Jordan. "We're asking that we be compensated at least in the form of time off later."

Giving city employees comp time for the paid holidays they work can create scheduling nightmares, and holiday pay is only allowed for observed, legal holidays. The matter was put on hold until numbers could be crunched and auditors could be consulted.

"We the council are going to sit down and see, and we're going to try to get those people who get a holiday off to get their money, which they rightly deserve," said Smith.

Another discussion, for another day.

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