City Council approves extra pay for ice storm workers
On Monday, Aiken City Council unanimously approved additional compensation for City of Aiken employees who worked during the first two days of February's ice storm.
All City employees were paid in accordance to the Federal Fair Labor Standard Act guidelines, which included paying all nonexempt employees time-and-a-half for time worked in a week in excess of 40 hours during the City's response to Winter Storm Pax.
But some Council members assert City employees were reportedly “promised” extra compensation by either former City management or department heads for coming out during the first two days of the storm even though City offices were closed.
Those specific City employees deserved additional compensation because of that promise, according to some Council members.
Employees who will receive the additional compensation include nonexempt employees from the City of Aiken Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department, Public Services and Utilities and Engineering.
Department heads and Public Safety personnel are not included.
There are 111 nonexempt and non-Public Safety employees who will receive the extra pay.
The total estimate of additional compensation is approximately $13,430.25.
That total will be split among all 111 employees, and the amount each receives will depend on how many overtime hours each worked.
Since as early as the storm hit Aiken County, Councilman Dick Dewar has spent time moving this issue along.
“The issue developed only because some were promised overtime ... or led to believe they would receive overtime,” Councilman Dick Dewar said. “I thank Council for the support of this issue. I've been working it since March; it's been a long road. People are going to get paid what they were promised, and it will help employee morale.”
Council also unanimously passed on final reading an ordinance to hire an operations manager to oversee Capital Project Sales Tax projects.
The starting salary is between $50,000 and $62,000 for the positions, depending on the applicant's experience. That salary will be paid out of Capital Project Sales Tax monies.
Interim City Manager Roger LeDuc said he hopes, by the end of the month, the City can hire an individual to fill that position.
Maayan Schechter is the local government reporter with Aiken Standard. Follow her on Twitter @MaayanSchechter.