Howard County Executive Calvin Ball signed an Executive Order today allowing one-time discretionary bonus payments to personnel who must report to work to perform mission critical work. The order provides a $1,500 bonus to full-time on-site personnel and $600 to those who are intermittently on-site. The Executive Order can be viewed here.
“I’m incredibly grateful for the extraordinary efforts of our workforce to keep everyone in our community safe, ensure the welfare of our residents, and provide the essential services that our community relies upon,” said Ball. “We recognize the dedication and commitment of our employees and appreciate their patience as we’ve navigated this uncertain time. We want to do what’s right and keep our workers safe as they serve our community.”
The Order defines emergency personnel as firefighters, paramedics and emergency medical technicians, law enforcement officers, correctional officers, 911 operators, public works personnel, emergency management personnel, employees with training, skill, or expertise necessary to operate specialized equipment or to provide aid in a declared emergency, including for a catastrophic health emergency, and other employees who provide support functions in their agencies and whose work is not able to be performed through telework.
Employees who are eligible for COVID-19 Response Pay will be identified by Department heads, with payments expected to go out on May 8th.
“The Howard County Public Safety Dispatchers Assn. would like to thank County Executive Ball and his Administration for issuing this Order and acknowledging the unwavering commitment our 9-1-1 Dispatchers have to the citizens and visitors of Howard County during this anomalous time,” said Shawn Simmonds, President of HCPSDA. “We stand in solidarity with all County Personnel who continue the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“We are grateful for the County Executive’s decision to recognize the men and women working during this crisis,” said James Capone, President of Howard County Police Supervisor’s Alliance – FOP Lodge 143.
“We appreciate Dr. Ball’s recognition of the alarming impacts that COVID-19 is having on law enforcement officers. As we continue to serve and protect our communities, I ask that you all keep every first responder, medical professional and front line personnel in your thoughts and prayers during these unprecedented times,” said Jamie Flynn, President of Howard County Police Officers’ Association – FOP Lodge 21.
“We would like to thank County Executive Ball for stepping up in support of Howard County employees as we are on the front lines providing essential services to the County’s residents. It can be difficult to be at work serving the County and not being able to support and care for our loved ones at home. This pandemic is unlike anything that we have experienced in our lifetime, and I want to ensure the general public that the professionalism from our AFSCME members to public service is second to none,” said American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 3085 President Dale Chase, Local 3888 President Gary Stewart and Local 1810 President Juakita Rideout.
“Our members are on the front lines, facing this crisis head on while their home life and family hardships are forced to take a backseat. They remain committed to the protection of Howard County residents and visitors, even at great personal risk. It has always been our focus to look after the members we serve while they look after the citizens. We cannot thank County Executive Ball enough for recognizing them for their tenacity and hard work,” said Richard L. Ruehl, President Howard County Professional Fire Fighters Association – IAFF Local 2000.
“The County Executive’s decision to provide support to the women and men working during this crisis is greatly appreciated,” said Ed Simmons Jr, President Howard County Sheriff’s F.O.P. Lodge 131.
“Each and every day the Officers at the Howard County Detention Center have continued to put forth a brave face and continued to push forward and work through this unprecedented crisis. We are thankful County Executive Ball has recognized this effort,” said Corporal Sherena Tyler, Local 3080 Union President.