Approximately 140 Town of Smithfield employees will receive an extra $500 in their next paycheck. Tuesday night, the Smithfield Town Council approved spending approximately $70,000 to give all full-time and permanent part-time employees a $500 hazardous pay bonus. Members of the town council said they did so as a way to thank employees for their hard work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During discussions last night, Town Manager Mike Scott said some communities have added an additional 50 cents to one dollar per hour to employees pay. Others have given a one-time bonus. Some government agencies gave the bonuses to just police and fire personnel, while other towns gave the bonuses to all employees.
Councilman Dr. David Barbour said town employees have never missed a beat. He made a motion, seconded by Councilman Travis Scott to give employees the one-time bonus during their next pay period. It was approved in a unanimous vote.
Town Manager Mike Scott said Wednesday the bonuses will be paid to employees on Friday, January 15th.
“Similar to the general public, our employees have had their battles with the Corona Virus, either through the result of a direct infection, quarantine due to exposure or caring for a loved one who has been diagnosed with the virus. Yet through these hardships our employees have endured and their dedication never wavered. Smithfield’s services have always been second to none and our employees have continued this level of service even through this pandemic. The Council saw fit to recognize them and commend them for their dedication and hard work and I thank them for that,” Mr. Scott stated.
Johnston County employees have not received any hazard pay or bonuses. County Manager Rick Hester said Wednesday it has not been discussed with commissioners. “During the budget process last summer, the Board provided funding for a cost-of-living increase and performance pay. Additional hazard pay – over and above what employees received from the budget process – has not been discussed.”
All county EMS workers, with the exception of Four Oaks and 50-210 EMS, are Johnston County employees.