Covid NJ: Paterson City Employees Receive “Combat Pay”


Almost 1,300 city employees — or about two-thirds of the people on the municipal payroll — received stipends for working during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report released by Paterson officials this week.

About 210 of those workers received $4,000 each, 395 got $3,000 and 687 were paid $2,000 — with the varying amounts based on the number of in-person hours they worked between March 17, 2020, and Feb. 1, 2021.

Employees who worked more than 2,000 in-person hours during the pandemic’s peak will get an additional $750 on top of the $4,000, officials said. Those who got $3,000 for working between 1,600 and 2,000 in-person hours will get an extra $500, and those who received $2,000 for working 700 to 1,600 in-person hours will get $250, officials said.

The city gave out the first $3.4 million in the spring but did not release a breakdown of who got how much until this week, because officials said they had to make revisions to the payments for police officers.

About 50 Paterson cops had to return some or all of the premium pay they received because of discrepancies in the calculations of the hours they worked, officials said. The initial numbers credited officers with in-person work hours for time they were on leave during the pandemic, officials said.

Paterson has distributed $3.4 million of the $4 million in federal COVID-relief money that city officials decided to use to give employees pandemic “premium pay.” The city will distribute the final $600,000 before the end of this year, according to Business Administrator Kathleen Long.


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