By GABRIELLA DRAGONE
Mayor Andre Sayegh, Business Administrator Kathleen Long and Paterson City Council President Maritza Davila announced on Thursday that about 1,300 Paterson municipal employees will receive a second round of premium pay on April 22.
Employees who worked in person during the height of the pandemic from March 17, 2020, to February 1, 2021, may receive a maximum of $4,000 and a minimum of $2,000.
“We wanted to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to you [City employees],” Sayegh said. “We have all had to endure a once in a century crisis…and we feel that your response should be rewarded, that you put yourselves in harm’s way.”
The City is earmarking $4 million from the American Rescue Plan to provide premium pay to employees. The first round of premium pay was distributed on April 8.
“The mayor made it clear that this had to be something that was going to all employees that were eligible, all employees that were here in person working hard and putting themselves at the service of the city at the time where a lot of people in corporate America were working from home,” Long said. “As a city, we’re also looking for other priorities that employees will benefit from as well, but we understood that this had to be one of the top priorities.”
Public Service Recognition Week has been celebrated the first week of May since 1985 to honor the people who serve our nation as federal, state, country, local and tribal government employees.
“Although I am the president of the council, and I was pushing, I was not doing it alone, but with the entire council,” Davila said. “I want to thank you for what you’ve done for these past few years. I will fight for you as long as we are fair.”
Davila also informed employees that the 1,300 people who were receiving premium pay was chosen through a process of who came into work and worked for a certain amount of hours between March 2020 and February 2021. Those that started in the summer of 2020 or later, or worked at home, will not be receiving premium pay.
Councilwoman-at-Large Dr. Lilisa Mimms who previously initiated an effort to recognize noteworthy municipal employees on a monthly basis told TAPinto Paterson she was proud to loudly support, sponsor, and vote for, the hazard pay.
“Our employees deserve the very best and should always be a priority,” she told TAPinto Paterson.
City employees also received an appreciation lunch, provided by Paterson restaurant Cafecito, in advance of Public Service Recognition Week.