New law extends paid sick leave for city workers
Aliya Schneider is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media Hudson Mayor Kamal Johnson has signed a local law giving the mayor the authority to make available additional paid sick leave during public health crises or emergencies. The local law will amend Article 31 of the city charter. The measure was approved by the Hudson Common Council February 16, and following an uneventful public hearing March 2, Johnson signed it into law. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced March 17, 2020, that all public employers must give at least 14 days of paid sick leave and guarantee job protection for the duration of the quarantine order. The Civil Service Employees Association contract with the city allows 18 days of sick leave per year for any employee hired before May 1, 1999, and 12 days per year for full-time employees hired after that date. The CSEA contract expires at the end of 2021. The Law Enforcement Officers Union contract, which expires in 2023, allows 18 days per year for full-time employees of the police department. Johnson said, “There really wasn’t a unified policy in place and this helps us clean that up for now or any future pandemics.” The idea for the legislation came out of the city’s daily COVID-19 meetings, when Johnson meets with department heads and the city’s legal team. Department heads were raising concerns about employees taking time off during mandatory quarantine. There has not been an issue with employees not getting the time off they need, but the law is meant to be proactive, Johnson said. “Any law that supports city workers during these difficult times deserves our full support,” Common Council President Thomas DePietro said. NOTE: Johnson and DePietro are WGXC volunteer on-air programmers. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.