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Council Proposes Hazard Pay For Some Frontline City Workers

Council Member Greg Landsman proposed the hazard pay motion.
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Council Member Greg Landsman proposed the hazard pay motion.

Updated: Thursday, 3 p.m.

Cincinnati City Council members hope to secure hazard pay for the city’s frontline workers. Council approved Council Member Greg Landsman's motion Wednesday.

Landsman is proposing up to a thousand dollars in a lump sum payment for low-wage workers who can't do their jobs from home, like nurses and sanitation workers.

Council can't appropriate the funds themselves, so the motion asks city administration to find the funding. Council Member David Mann says they need more information.

"I don't know who you consider to be 'lower pay;' I don't know who you consider to be worthy of hazardous pay," Mann said in committee on Monday.

Landsman says his motion asks for the information Mann requested, but with the added benefit of signaling urgency. Mann says it will have to be part of the discussion about the budget council will adopt by the end of June.

"Ultimately we’re going to have to take into account the cost of this. And there may be a lot of other people that deserve hazard pay, and it may [be] beyond our capabilities," Mann said. "I don’t know, it depends on a lot of things as we try to figure out what the economic recovery from the pandemic could be."

Maurice Brown is president of the union representing many city employees.

"Sometimes they just feel like they're not recognized," Brown said. "So a motion, whether or not it ends up being the actual payment or not, would speak volumes from this council."

This story was originally published Monday and has been updated.

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Becca Costello