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Many City of Edmonds employees getting hazard pay even when not working

Series: Coronavirus | Story 213

Last updated 5/31/2020 at 1:32pm

City of Edmonds employees have been receiving paid full-time salaries even not working full time. On top of that, many are getting hazard pay of between 3 and 6 percent – even when not working and at home.

One category of City employees is required to physically be in office. They work 20 percent of their regular time and draw a full salary. They receive a 6 percent hazard pay differential, even when off work.

Other employees work one week on and one week off, providing staggered shifts. When they do work, it's for a half day. They receive a full salary and hazard pay of 3 percent.

Another class of employees are on call, with full salaries and benefits.

The City has paid $57K so far in hazard pay during the coronavirus pandemic, reported HR Director Jessica Neill-Hoyson during the May 26 council meeting.

All employee salaries are paid for by Edmonds taxpayers.

Neill-Hoyson said on-call status will end June 1. Mayor Mike Nelson said City employees will be back to working full time after the end of the month, with social distancing and other restrictions in place.

The City of Edmonds has about 250 employees. There is a mix of represented (union) and non-represented employees.

During Tuesday's meeting, Councilmember Kristiana Johnson grilled Neill-Hoyson on all full salaries for part-time work, as well as hazard pay. She made a motion to halt the extra pay immediately, but was outvoted by Councilmembers Diane Buckshnis, Laura Johnson, Luke Distelhorst, Adrienne Fraley-Monillas, Vivian Olson, and Susan Paine.

Nelson defended the actions on salaries, saying that they have helped keep employees safe during the pandemic.

He added that councilmembers had approved both the full-time pay and hazard pay. That was on March 24, when City Council approved the Emergency Closure/Essential Personnel compensation plan, which is tied to the Governor's Stay Home Stay Healthy order.

No one in the City has taken a pay cut, including the mayor and councilmembers. Assistant Finance Director Dave Turley said last week that the City is in good financial shape.


Reader Comments(1)

douglas swartz writes:

Its time for Mayor Nelson to start getting real. Rather than bonuses for employees, Nelson needs to start planning for a 15-40% budget shortfall. Governor Inslee is planning for a 15% budget cut--how can Nelson keep saying that Edmonds is in good shape. Once all the reserves are spent, Edmonds will not be in good shape.


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