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Parkersburg City Council Passes Holiday Pay Change, Rejects Salary Range Increase

by CiCi
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In a session marked by contentious debates and pivotal decisions, Parkersburg City Council navigated through a series of resolutions with far-reaching implications for civil service employees and non-civil service workers alike. Amidst fervent discussions, councilmembers approved a pair of resolutions while narrowly rejecting an ordinance aimed at increasing salary ranges for non-civil service employees.

The spotlight of the evening fell on an ordinance addressing holiday pay for civil service employees, particularly firefighters and police officers. Proposed changes mirrored impending alterations in state law, stipulating time-and-a-half compensation for firefighters working holidays, regardless of shift spanning calendar days. However, concerns were raised regarding equitable compensation for firefighters on holiday duty versus those with scheduled time off, given the unique nature of 24-hour shifts.

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Adam Delbaugh, representing the Parkersburg Fire Department and president of International Association of Firefighters Local 91, voiced apprehensions about the ordinance’s potential ramifications. Delbaugh underscored discrepancies in compensation, highlighting disparities between firefighters working holidays and those enjoying scheduled time off.

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While opinions diverged, with some supporting the ordinance’s alignment with state law, others expressed reservations about its implications for firefighter compensation and operational efficiency. Council Vice President J.R. Carpenter questioned the validity of the underlying study, citing its age and potential inadequacy in reflecting current realities.

In a narrow vote, the first reading of the ordinance passed, illuminating the complexities surrounding holiday pay and civil service compensation. Additionally, an ordinance proposing the appointment of the fire inspector as a non-civil service position garnered similar support, albeit amidst dissent from certain councilmembers.

Conversely, an ordinance advocating for a 5% increase in salary ranges for non-civil service employees faced staunch opposition, ultimately failing to secure passage. While proponents cited the need to address wage stagnation and cost-of-living adjustments, skeptics questioned the relevance of the underlying study and its applicability to the present-day landscape.

Despite the rejection of the salary range increase ordinance, council unanimously approved end-of-the-fiscal-year budget revisions, alongside enacting budgeted pay increases for firefighters and police officers. These decisions underscored the council’s commitment to fiscal responsibility and equitable compensation practices amidst evolving economic landscapes.

As Parkersburg City Council continues to navigate complex policy issues, the implications of these decisions reverberate throughout the community, shaping the trajectory of municipal governance and employee welfare.

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