Weirton mayor addresses longevity pay concerns

Says affected workers will be compensated

ADDRESSES CONCERNS — Weirton Mayor Harold Miller, Wednesday, addressed concerns about longevity pay for a group of city employees. The issue was raised during the Aug. 13 meeting of Weirton Council, when it was stated the monthly bonuses were improperly halted. -- Craig Howell

WEIRTON — A group of Weirton municipal employees soon will receive monthly longevity pay officials say they have been owed for more than a year.

The issue was raised by Ward 4 Councilman George Ash during the Aug. 13 Weirton Council meeting, when it was stated a memo issued in 2017 put a stop to the decades-long practice.

According to Mayor Harold Miller, who addressed the issue Wednesday, City Manager Joe DiBartolomeo has reviewed the halted bonus pay, and found a memo had been issued on Jan. 25, 2017 by the previous city manager, revoking longevity pay for future full-time, non-union employees.

Miller explained the issue affects four municipal employees hired after Jan. 31, 2017.

“They are not civil service. They do not belong to a union,” Miller said.

Miller explained issuing a memo to stop the monthly pay was not the proper procedure, as financial decisions are to be reviewed and voted on by Weirton Council.

“Council has to approve all spending,” Miller said, adding there was no indication a resolution or ordinance on the matter was developed.

Miller said the longevity pay owed to the four employees adds up to approximately $150, and DiBartolomeo has been directed to revoke the memo. The city’s benefits administrator is in the process of awarding the affected employees the back pay they are owed, Miller said.

“It will be retroactive to the point they were employed,” Miller said.

The practice of longevity pay for Weirton’s municipal employees was established through ordinance in 1976. Since then, the ordinance has been amended twice, by council action, increasing the monthly pay to $5 and then $8.

“We have no intention, at least for my administration, of eliminating it,” Miller said.

(Howell can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)

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