At a Special Meeting held Thursday morning, the Inyo County Board of Supervisors approved designating Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a County-recognized Holiday on January 16, 2017. County offices and facilities, including landfills, will be closed in observance.
“Recognizing Martin Luther King Jr. Day again as a County Holiday is important to the Board of Supervisors, and has long been a personal priority of mine and all members of the Board,” said Board Chairperson and Fourth District Supervisor Mark Tillemans.
The staff report accompanying the Board’s consideration of the item indicated that reinstating the MLK Holiday has been part of ongoing negotiations with labor unions, and that there is currently a Tentative Agreement with the Inyo County Employees Association on the subject, but the County and ICEA have yet to agree upon a new contract.
“Dr. King was a great, great man, and we all wanted to make this happen,” said Tillemans. “Although we don’t have a new contract yet, the Board is very pleased with how the negotiations are proceeding and wants to make sure that Inyo County does not wait another year to celebrate Dr. King’s birthday.”
The County used to observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day, however, as the result of past labor negotiations the union and County agreed to exchange three paid holidays (Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Columbus Day, and Admissions Day) for personal days that employees could take off anytime during the fiscal year.
The County’s labor contracts with the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association and Law Enforcement Administrators’ Association already contain provisions to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day.