Washington City Council approves one-time bonuses for all employees

Published 1:08 pm Tuesday, February 15, 2022

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The Washington City Council on Monday approved a one-time bonus payment for all of the city’s full and part-time employees. Each full-time employee will receive $2,000, and each part-time employee will receive $1,000.

City manager Jonathan Russell said the payments were recommended in light of additional workplace stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. He said similar payments have already been made to state employees. Rising costs caused by inflation also influenced the recommendation.

The bonuses are covered by the city’s American Rescue Plan funds. The financial impact is $527,000.

“This would be a nice gesture,” Russell said. “Our people are our No. 1 asset.”

Councilman Bobby Roberson suggested that a sliding scale based on longevity be used for the bonuses, but Council ultimately moved forward with city staff’s recommendation to approve the $2,000 and $1,000 payments.

“I don’t think somebody who’s been here nine months should get the same amount of money as someone who’s been here nine years,” Roberson said. “I think it should be prorated down. … I just have a problem with that. I would think employees — I haven’t talked to them, but I would think they might have that.”

Washington is receiving approximately $2.8 million in ARP funds. The final rule on permissible uses for ARP funds recently published.