Earlier this year Picher Emergency Medical Service employees asked the city for a small benefit to aid in compensation for the hours put in by their full-time emergency team.
Tuesday, city council members rejected a proposal for vacation pay to EMS employees.
Clint Epperson approached the board in June requesting a week of paid vacation for each full-time Picher EMS employee.
“There are only a couple of us that would be considered full-time employees,” Epperson said. “But, for those of us who do work full time, I think we should be compensated.”
Board members agree unanimously that the dedication of the few who do serve the community's emergency needs on a full-time basis should be rewarded. But said the board doesn't have the resources to include vacation pay in the its budget.
“There just isn't any money for that,” said Mayor Sam Freeman. “It's not a matter of whether we'd like to do that or not.”
For two months the board tabled the issue in an attempt to fit the benefit into the budget and determine which workers would qualify as full-time employees.
“There is just absolutely no money in the budget for that,” said City Clerk Carolyn Elmore.
The regret was expressed by most of the council members, but the motion to pay vacation benefits to full-time EMS employees was ultimately rejected.