April 22, 2008
Phoenix Honored for Support of National Guard and Reserve
The city of Phoenix received the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve’s (ESGR) Pro Patria award Saturday for its support of employees deployed in support of Operation Enduring/Iraqi Freedom.
Employees from three different city departments nominated the city of Phoenix, along with their own departments, for the 2008 ESGR award. These departments—Fire, Police and Aviation—received awards at the ESGR ceremony as well. Additionally, the city is among the finalists for the Department of Defense Freedom Award for 2008.
Since 2001, the city has had a policy that allows employees deployed in support of Operation Enduring/Iraqi Freedom to receive the difference between their regular city pay and military pay. Up to 63 employees have received the gap pay since 2001. City employees are also able to continue their medical and dental insurance at the employee rate for the entire length of their deployment. The State of Arizona requires that the city make up missing retirement contributions for public safety employees on presidential call-ups. The city has opted to grant this benefit to all city employees.
Councilman Claude Mattox, chair of the city’s Public Safety and Veterans subcommittee, accepted the award on the city’s behalf. “Phoenix takes care of its employees who serve our country in the military, and we are honored to be recognized for these efforts,” said Mattox.
The Pro Patria award is presented annually to employers who demonstrate exceptional support for U.S. national defense by adopting personnel policies that make it easier for employees to participate in the National Guard and Reserve.
Made up primarily of volunteers, ESGR is a national organization that provides education, consultation, and if necessary mediation for employers of Guard and Reserve employees. More information about ESGR Employer Outreach Programs and volunteer opportunities is available at esgr.mil , or by calling Butch Wise at 602-323-4183.