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Council not barring military service Print

There was confusion about leaves of absences to work in war zones for private contract companies 

By LOGAN MOSBY - Delta Democrat Times

GREENVILLE - Some members of the Greenville City Council are concerned that a recent order to place a moratorium on city employees seeking a leave of absence for civilian jobs overseas has caused confusion among the citizenry.

During the last city council meeting, members voted to place a moratorium, or temporary suspension, on the approval of leaves of absences for city employees seeking to work in war zones overseas for private contract companies.

 

We have such a shortage in the police and fire departments, we voted to place a moratorium on leaves for those who wanted contract civilian work, said Councilman Carl McGee.

Private businesses specializing in medical, fire, and security work overseas in combat areas have become popular within recent years. These jobs, due to their dangerous nature, often have substantial payouts and are thus attracting the attention of some Port City residents and city employees.

Because of the impact on the city, we just can not allow that, said Councilman Lee Owen.

According to Owen, a handful of employees have already taken leaves of absence for such work and because officials are concerned with the effect this will have on departments that are already suffering from shortages, the suspension was approved.

The moratorium, however, does not apply to those city employees who are called to active military duty.

The moratorium is on leaves of absences for non-military personnel, said Greenville Mayor Heather Hudson. All military personnel are exempt.

If a city employee who is a member of the National Guard, a reserve unit, or has any other military affiliation, is called to active duty, city officials are quick to assure that those duties will be honored.

We would never inhibit an employee in performing their military duty, Hudson said.

If an employee is called up for military service, we will honor that, Owen said. They have our full support and we will protect their jobs at home.

According to officials, the moratorium will be in place until the matter can be further discussed and a decision can be reached by the council. 

 
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