Bonuses Approved for City Employees
Both full and part-time staff are getting something extra in their stockings this year.
New Port Richey city employees are getting a gift this holiday season.
The city council on Tuesday approved one-time holiday bonuses for the majority of city staff. That includes full-time and part-time employees. It also includes staff who belong to a union and staff who don’t.
Full-time employees are each receiving a bonus of $500. Part-time employees are receiving a bonus of $250.
Paying out the bonuses will cost the city $101,000, more than $73,000 of which comes from the general fund.
Employees have not received a raise in the past four years. This past summer, the city went through budget negotiations that resulted in the layoffs of several city employees.
Mayor Bob Consalvo proposed weeks ago giving bonuses to employees this year, but he was absent from Tuesday’s vote due to illness.
Councilman Bill Phillips said he recognized some fellow council members might feel leery of the idea of handing out bonuses, but he felt the payments were a “great gesture on our part” and that the city had budget money allocated for the bonuses. In addition, it is anticipating reimbursements from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for “yeoman’s" work city employees performed in response to Tropical Storm Debby, Phillips pointed out.
“I want to go into 2013 on a very positive note,” he said.
Councilmembers also approved closings of the New Port Richey City Hall, the New Port Richey Public Library, the Recreation Center and the public works department on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Both of the holidays are on Mondays this year.
The closings are considered paid days off but not holidays. Police and fire rescue employees and minimal public works staff will continue answering calls on those days, but they won’t be getting overtime.
What do you think about the city's decision to give bonuses? Share your thoughts in the comments section.