A news service for the people of Michigan from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy

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Happy Birthday Indeed for Saginaw Fire Department Union Members

Tax dollars paying for day off plus $110 bonus

It took nearly 200 years after Thomas Jefferson died before the former President of the United States had his birthday officially recognized as a holiday.

But for every city of Saginaw Fire Department government union member, it comes with the job — as well as a $110 bonus.

According to the Saginaw Fire Fighters Association contract that ran from July 1, 2006, through June 30, 2012, a government union employee's birthday is recognized as one of 12 holidays that triggers a $110 a day premium.

The other 11 holidays include, New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Jr. day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, Friday after Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.

Saginaw Fire Department and city of Saginaw officials weren’t available for comment or didn’t return phone messages. Once contracts expire, the union rules still apply until a new contract is ratified.

Amanda Fisher, assistant state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, said she has never heard of a birthday being designated as a holiday with a bonus.

"I wish we would have a deal like that," Fisher said. "I have never heard of that except for President’s Day. But they are the fathers of our country."

Central Michigan University economist Jason Taylor explains how raising the minimum wage will hurt teen workers trying to find their first job. See more at "Raising the Minimum Wage, Lowering Opportunity."


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