Evacuation Day: Holiday or Not? - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Evacuation Day: Holiday or Not?

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If you look hard enough - you can find some people on the job.

But they're not losing out:  in exchange for showing up today, most workers will still get another day off with pay later.

Hiller asks State Sen. Kenneth Donnelly, "It's not a holiday that is a holiday?"

Donnelly: "It's not an official, legal holiday. It's still recognized like many other holidays throughout the state."

Hiller: "A regular person couldn't understand that?"

Donnelly: "No, I know."

Evacuation Day was celebrated this morning at Dorchester Heights, where it all began.  This is where George Washington's army brought the artillery that convinced the British to evacuate Boston in 1776.

And it's also where the secretary of state explained to me how a day that's not a holiday can be a holiday, despite a long fight last year that left the impression it wouldn't be.  Can you say, "union contracts?"         

Secretary of State William Galvin said, "The press release was that the holidays were abolished, and the fact of the matter was the language of the abolition law made it subject to union contracts.  Maybe that was in very small type in the press release."  

Hiller:  "How small?"

Galvin: "Well, small."

And one of Evacuation Day's biggest supporters says time is running out on its holiday status.

"Under contract the state employees still have a couple of years left with this holiday in their contract.  But after that it will be eliminated," State Senator Jack Hart said.

Maybe Evacuation Day is in its last days here.

But the given the luck of the Irish, and state politics, I wouldn't bet a single, green beer on it.

I'm Andy Hiller, that's my instinct.

(Copyright (c) 2011 Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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