Chief asks for help diffusing holiday pay problem

Kelsey Leyva | Wellington Enterprise The police committee discusses Wellington police chief Tim Barfield’s suggestion to change the holiday schedule for the police department.

Complaints over holiday pay by part-timers at the Wellington police department are creating concerns for chief Tim Barfield.

Independence Day fell on a Saturday this year, so it was observed the preceding Friday by village workers. Yet officers and dispatchers who worked on the actual July 4 holiday didn’t get time-and-a-half pay, Barfield told village council Monday.

One WPD worker even threated to file a formal complaint about the situation, he said.

The chief asked the police committee to look into altering the holiday schedule for his department.

“My idea was to just give the full-time police department employees their holidays at the beginning of the year like vacation time,” Barfield said. “If they do that they can have whatever holidays they want off as long as they give us two weeks notice.”

Barfield also suggested keeping the actual holiday and the observed day the same so part-timers don’t run into the problem they did this year.

The police station has 10 full-time employees and 15 part-time employees.

Ten part-time employees worked a total of 80 hours on July 3 and received time-and-a-half for those hours.

Ten employees, including three full-timers, worked on July 4 and didn’t receive holiday pay.

Barfield said he was trying to find a way to accomodate the 24-hour, seven-day-a-week schedule his employees have and give them more flexibility.

Council members had concerns about the chief’s suggestion and decided to hammer out details of the issue at the ordinance committee meeting on July 20.

Kelsey Leyva can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @TWE_KelseyLeyva on Twitter.