City employees are on their way to seeing between $500 and $2,000 in hazard pay and bonuses after Waynesboro City Council introduced an ordinance for the one-time payments at its Monday evening meeting.
In order to qualify for the payments, individuals must have been employed by the city on or before Nov. 1 and currently be working or in a paid leave status.
“Not all employees have been required to work in the frontlines so to speak or hazardous and risky positions such as first responders. However, all employees have had to make adjustment and accommodation during this difficult time. For that reason, I think it’s appropriate to recommend that they receive some benefit of a bonus as well,” City Manager Mike Hamp said.
Because of COVID-related budget cuts, the city nixed all planned raises for city employees. That also made the city want to take advantage of providing the one-time bonuses, Hamp said.
Full-time public safety employees will receive $2,000; full-time public works employees will receive $1,600; and full-time employees in non-public safety and public works will receive $1,200.
Part-time employees will receive a one-time payment of $500.
The ordinance was adopted Monday evening, but will officially be voted on at city council’s Dec. 14 meeting where it’s expected to pass 5-0.
“I think it’s an excellent use of the funds and very much earned and deserved for our hardworking employees,” At-large councilman Terry Short Jr. said. “We tried, absent the pandemic, to really turn a corner on compensation and I’m very appreciative of this opportunity to provide meaningful benefit to our employees.”
In addition to introducing the ordinance for hazard pay and bonuses, city council voted 4-1 to allow city employees to have Christmas Eve off this year. Ward B councilman Bruce Allen voted against it, questioning the cost to taxpayers.
Hamp said the funds to cover the day off, which can run between $20,000 and $40,000 a year, have been included in the budget and there is no need to appropriate additional money to cover the day off.