Although the city of Greensboro closed recreation centers and libraries in March and currently has only one part of one building open to the public to pay bills, the city has not laid off a single full-time employee due to the COVID-19 shutdown.
Some preliminary budget figures for the 2020-2021 fiscal year were presented at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, May 5, including an average 2 percent raise for city employees.
Those two pieces of information have resulted in several comments that some city employees are in fact getting a paid vacation during the shutdown and then are going to get a raise in the 2020-2021 fiscal year which begins July 1.
While it is true that city facilities are closed, which means a lot of employees of departments such as parks and recreation and libraries are not going to work at those facilities as they did before the coronavirus changed the world, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t working.
According to Greensboro Human Resources Director Jamiah Waterman, despite the fact that the facilities are closed, the fulltime employees of both parks and recreation and the libraries are “still either working on location or working remotely from home. Some of them are no longer able to perform their traditional work duties. However, they are developing new programs, participating in online training and conducting programs virtually.”
Parks and recreation also has about 300 part-time employees who do not receive benefits. The city calls these “roster employees” and Waterman said that most of the roster employees who work limited hours or work during limited times of the year have been sent home with no work to do and are not being paid.
City employees who do have to report to work as usual, such as in the solid waste, police and fire departments are receiving 5 percent premium pay for each hour worked during the coronavirus shutdown.
Those who are working from home do not receive the premium pay.