CINCINNATI (TDB) -- When Ronald Reagan died, no Cincinnati city employees got the day off. On Tuesday, rank-and-file union workers will required to show up for work during the National Day of Mourning for Gerald Ford. But their bosses, those who are not represented by a union, can stay home.
It's also a windfall of a benefit few, if any, in the private sector will get to enjoy.
A city worker from the Wolverine State who now doesn't have to work tipped The Daily Bellwether. She's planning to party hardy watching the Rose Bowl, where the University of Michigan, Ford's alma mater, is a one-point underdog to USC. She gets to recover from the party Tuesday -- a benefit that was totally unexpected.
J. Rita McNeil, Cincinnati's city solicitor, has issued a memorandum explaining that the city's Municipal Code say non-represented workers get a holiday "on any day appointed and recommended by the governor of the State of Ohio or the president of the United States." She said President Bush set Jan. 2 as a special day to pay respect to Ford. The city has about 6,000 workers, and roughly 2,000 get the day off.
In the past, City Council was able to override the ordinance by holding a meeting and nullifying it with special action. This time, there is no time to meet because of the New Year's weekend. ''In order to address this inconsistency and avoid similar occurrences in the future, the Administration will submit an ordinance for Council consideration, which would give the City Manager the discretion in the future to determine whether non-represented employees, as well as collective bargaining employees, will be granted an extra holiday on days declared to be national holidays or Days of Mourning," McNeil wrote in a Dec. 29 memo.
The whole who-has-to-work issue is explained in the memo, which is available on the city's Web site. It was addressed to Mayor Mark Mallory and city council members.