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Mississippi’s county OKs COVID bonus for essential workers

November 12, 2021 GMT

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Weeks after narrowly rejecting a proposal to give essential employees a pandemic pay bonus, the Hinds County Board of Supervisors has changed its course and approved the move.

About $3 million will be distributed to about 900 full-time and part-time Hinds County employees who worked during the pandemic, including those in law enforcement, public works, the circuit clerk’s office and other areas, Supervisor David Archie said.

The premium pay employees will receive depends on their salary. Archie said employees who make less than $25,000 per year will get $4,000 in premium pay, The Clarion Ledger reported. Those making between $25,000 and $54,000 will receive $3,000 and those with salaries more than $55,000 will receive $2,000, Archie said.

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All employees will receive the pay in three installments from the end of November through the end of January, he said.

“We want to thank you for going through a tough and difficult time,” Archie said. “You deserve this premium pay.”

The board’s vote comes about three weeks after it narrowly rejected a similar proposal by Archie to give one-time payments of $2,500 to full-time workers.

“I appreciated all of you all for allowing the administration to go ahead,” said County Administrator Kenneth Wayne Jones, who helped work on the plan the board approved. “The American Rescue (Plan) fund did allow us to give premium pay and once you deemed everyone essential, everyone gets what they get.”

Hinds County is the state’s most populous and the third-largest county in Mississippi by land area.