BELLAIRE - After hearing the Bellaire Police Department members air their concerns about the restructuring of how holiday is paid, members of the village council's finance committee met Tuesday afternoon at the municipal building in order to get to the root of the department's complaint.
Officer J.J. Watson had detailed for council members how the department's officers felt the changes to the holiday pay structure were unfair to officers working shift work.
A main sticking point was the stipulation that village employees must work both the day before and after the holiday in order to receive credit for the holiday pay.
Department officers work four 10-hour shifts per week. Their days worked are generally the same from week to week, meaning, because of scheduling, they may not work the required days in order to receive holiday pay.
Watson also brought up the subject of officers who work, for example, three hours prior to the holiday and seven during. Would that still count?
Councilman Jim Piatt addressed that issue first.
"The holiday starts at 12:01 a.m. that night," Piatt said. "So if they came out on Thanksgiving Eve, for example, and started at nine and worked through till Thanksgiving at 7 a.m., they would get three hours of straight time and seven of holiday pay."
The committee then addressed the most pressing issue, that of days worked requirements in order to receive the holiday pay.
"We're guaranteed to pay them so many holidays," Councilman Jim Williams began. "We promised seven days of holiday pay and they should get paid that whether they work before or after the holiday or not."
The decision was made to move forward striking that part from the new ordinance.
That amendment to the ordinance will be brought to council floor during the next regularly scheduled council meeting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 15.
It still must be approved by the full six-member council but it appears that a solution has been decided upon for one of the department's issues.
Hughes may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org