County employees prepare to return to work - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

County employees prepare to return to work

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Jefferson County is getting ready to welcome more than 700 workers back on the job after being on administrative leave without pay since August.

"I'm excited to have everybody back to work," Kathy Burleson said. "There are many functions that are not getting done."

Lines this week have shortened in the Revenue Department after employees in that office returned to work last week. For county workers who have stayed on the job, they are more than happy to see their fellow employees returning.

"We are hoping it will relieve some of us who have been here and relieve some of the crowds," Denise Trimmier said.

The returning employees will be put on a 32-hour work week because of a drop in tax collections. But, some county workers say even earning a paycheck again won't ease their financial strain.

"It's going to be three weeks before we get any pay," Lisa Pack said.  "So that is going to be be three weeks before the employees get any kind of money. Actually it's going to be tough on them."

Commission President Bettye Fine Collins said Tuesday letters have been sent to the workers telling them when to return.

"It has worked out very smooth," Collins said. "The letters have been sent out. Some of the employees have said they don't want to come back for a while. However, they will come back on the day we say or they will be away without leave."

Some county workers are not expected to come back after having new jobs. Still, for those who return, there is no gurantee they will keep their jobs. Some jobs will be lost as Jefferson County departments eliminate higher paying positions and consolidate their operations.

"A good government jobs meant you got a job, came to work, went home and retired," said Commissioner Sheila Smoot. "No where in America can that be the case."

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