Thursday, November 15, 2007

Another bogus holiday for government workers

Did you enjoy your day off on Flag Day earlier this year? (Did you even know there was a Flag Day? Probably not, unless you're a government employee used to getting the day off as a paid holiday.)

Montgomery County government workers, who already enjoy 13 paid holidays a year, will be getting another day off next week. The Board of Commissioners recently decided to give workers off on the day after Thanksgiving.

"Black Friday" is now a legal holiday for county workers. That will give the 3,400 full-time Montgomery County employees a four-day weekend and a chance to get a jump on their holiday shopping.

The county commissioners do not control scheduling in the courts so the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown will remain open on Nov. 23. Crime does not take a holiday.

How long that tradition holds up is anyone's guess. How would like to come to work knowing that 3,400 of your fellow government workers were shopping at the mall? At least for 2007, the courts and court-related offices will remain open. Well, that's not entirely true. Most of the judges take that day off, so don't expect much more than a skeleton crew at the courthouse on "Black Friday."

And for those court employees who do show up for work, the county commissioners are offering an additional "personal" day they can use anytime during the year.

Republican Commissioners' Chairman Thomas J. Ellis told reporter Margaret Gibbons that the day off is a "reward" for the hard work by county employees. Hey, most of us work hard, Tom.

Ellis estimates the county will have to spend an additional $150,000 to pay workers with an extra personal day for working on "Black Friday." It's not like he's spending his own money, right? How many private sector workers have "Black Friday" as a paid holiday?

And when did Pennsylvania add "Black Friday" as a legal holiday for state workers?

The gap between the Political Class and the people who pay the bills just keeps getting wider.

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