JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Most state workers in Missouri do not have Friday off. The Friday after Thanksgiving has never been an official state holiday in Missouri, but for years governors have issued executive orders giving the day holiday status.
Governor Jay Nixon this year chose not to issue an executive order designating the day after Thanksgiving as a state holiday. A few, however, do have the day off.
Senate President Pro-tem Charlie Shields chose to give support staff for the Senate the day off. Spokesperson Farrah Fite said that Shields did it for two reasons.
"Senate employees are expected to report to work on several state holidays that fall during the legislative session," Fite said, "And secondly, we've reduced staff and worked with smaller budgets over the past few years, and this is his way of saying 'thank you' to employees for doing more with less."
Bradley Harmon heads the Communications Workers of America Local 6355, which represents workers in two state agencies.
"Gimmicks like making state employees come to work or take a vacation day on the day after Thanksgiving are not going to solve the enormous budget problem that the state of Missouri has," Harmon said.
If individual State Senators choose to open their offices Friday, their staff will have to work or use a state holiday to take off. The Missouri House and Governor Nixon's office will both be open Friday.