MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Governor Robert Bentley has made a drastic change of direction on his stance on paid state holidays.
About eight months after he told the Alabama GOP Executive Meeting that Alabama had, "Too many of those" referring to paid days off, the governor decided to award state workers two additional days off.
The governor announced a few weeks ago that all paid state employees would receive Friday, November 25 and Friday, December 23 as additional paid off days. Those made the year's total 15.
"I just felt like giving them an extra day at Christmas and this extra day around Thanksgiving was just for me to say thank you to those state employees" Gov. Bentley said Friday at the Hyundai Power Transformers USA plant ribbon cutting.
Mac MaCarthur, the top officer at the Alabama State Employees Association, said he had spoken with the governor recently about the notion of adding more compensated days off to state employees' calendars.
"From where I sit it was something we could do for our employees who are having to do more with less" said MaCarthur who was reached by phone Monday
According to the state's personnel department, a day of paid wages costs the state $6,322,994 without including overtime. Some state departments like Public Safety, Department of Corrections, Mental Health, and Youth Services all require round the clock supervision. Those department employees who work on state holidays receive personal days off later.