The Gatlinburg City Commission Tuesday night paid more than a tribute to America’s service men and women. By a unanimous vote the commission added a section on military service to its human resources regulations on city employees. The resolution states that the city, “wishes to support its fulltime employees who may be called to active duty because of their participation in either the National Guard or Reserves.”
The new policy benefits city employees who serve in the reserve forces or the National Guard. In the event that the unit they are serving with is called into active duty, the city will make up the difference between what they make as a city employee and what they are paid by the military during that time.
“We want to do everything we can for people we have in the armed services. These are the people taking care of us as a country and we want to treat them fairly,” said Commissioner Mike Werner.
The provision deals with a widely documented loss of income that affects many reservists and their families when they are called up for active duty. The time away in the service of their country will also not affect a Gatlinburg employee’s sick leave, vacation time, longevity status or retirement time.
Reservists, who have been called up for active service in great numbers in the last two years during the War on Terror, often bear a financial burden as well. Their regular jobs often pay more than the military’s active duty pay. While their military paycheck goes up the regular check often stops making families adjust their finances.

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