On-call city employees to receive additional $20 per day

Jay Hinton
Glen Rose Reporter
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GLEN ROSE — All on-call Glen Rose city employees will now receive $20 per day in addition to their regular pay and overtime, should they be called out.

In a unanimous vote at council meeting Tuesday night, the Glen Rose City Council approved the move that will cost the city just less than $30,000 a year.

“Glen Rose continues to grow, so naturally our employees have additional duties and heavier workloads,” said Glen Rose City Councilman Chip Joslin, who pushed for the item to be placed on the agenda. “We are not adding additional employees to save our beloved citizens money, so we absolutely must compensate the ones we have in a fair manner.”

Chip Joslin

The city requires three employees (one each from the Water Department, Public Works and Animal Control) to be on call each day. While on-call, employees must stay by their phones, stay within 30 minutes of Glen Rose, and now they abstain from drinking alcohol. Previously, city policy allowed on-call employees to use alcohol in moderation.

The bottom line: $60 per day for 365 days equals $21,900. Overhead also includes 7.65% retirement, 4% worker’s compensation insurance and 3% unemployment insurance. The total cost is $28,174 per year in perpetuity.

“As a city, we have to compensate our employees fairly,” Joslin said. “Due to the fact that many employees have had their overall compensation package reduced over the last year or so, there has been a morale issue among many of the employees at the city. I know that this agenda item has helped to remedy this.”

Joslin said he is also happy with that new policy on alcohol consumption while on-call.

“It is my job as a councilman to limit the liability for the city, and this was another good example as to a situation that could have cost us plenty in the case of an accident,” he said.

The new on-call procedure will go into effect immediately, and while the money wasn’t budgeted for the 2020-21 fiscal year, Joslin said there are ways for the city to find the money to cover the cost now until it can be worked into the 2021-22 budget.

“We create and work on the budget every year,” Joslin said.  “Each department affected has a line item so this will be adjusted. We need to treat our employees in a just and fair way. The budget is constantly being modified as we have operational changes and needs.”

According to the city, between mid-April 2020 to mid-March 2021 (not counting Snowmageddon), there were 44 major/minor call-outs. For each call-out, each employee was paid a minimum of two hours overtime, and now they’ll also receive an additional $20 per day while on-call.

“These employees do many things to help keep our great city functioning behind the scenes and do it for a very nominal amount of overall compensation,” Joslin said.

Discussions on the new policy were first held in a specially called work session on March 23, but it wasn’t officially voted on until the meeting last Tuesday.