December 20, 2014

Board makes change to personnel policy

By Tim Barnum
Staff writer
Posted

ARENAC COUNTY — Now that county employees can no longer bank unused vacation, sick and personal days, all of which have been replaced by paid time off (PTO) days, the county’s personnel policy has been amended to give employees the option to cash in on their unused days off.

“Previously in the old personnel policy there was no stipulation for pay out if someone wanted to empty their bank,” said Arenac County Board of Commissioners Chairman Raymond Daniels. “To get rid of that bank completely, there was nothing in the personnel policy that allowed for that.

“What we said as an option is if you wished to empty your bank out now, you get 75 percent of your unused vacation payout and 50 percent of your sick payout.”

He says prior to the policy change, employees couldn’t collect on the unused days until they left their position at the county, at which time they could collect 100 percent of their unused vacation pay and 67 percent of their unused sick pay.

Daniels added that employees who have worked for the county for ten or more years could bank up to 50 days total and employees who haven’t been working for the county for ten years or more could bank approximately half as many days as their longer tenured coworkers.

Daniels says the option was put into the policy in case an employee wanted to collect some money immediately, rather than wait until they stopped working for the county.

“Maybe they want to take that money out and invest it in some place. … It gives them the chance to get that money now,” Daniels said, adding this could also protect the employees from the prospect of a future board refusing to pay out any of the banked days. “Maybe down the road a new board could get elected and says ‘We don’t want to pay out any of those (unused) days.’”

For the county, Daniels says it will help transition into the new PTO system, which will make things easier on the county clerk’s office since it will no longer have to monitor vacation, sick and personal days, which totaled up to 28 paid days off per year.

Under the PTO system, employees can get up to 26 paid days off each year, not counting holidays.

Daniels also says the employees can tap into their banks as they have in the past, and use them for extended time off if necessary.

However, he also added that if an employee wants to empty any banked days early, they must empty them completely.

He also hopes this policy, which was adopted for non-union employees, can spread throughout the county courthouse.

“We offered that concept to the unions but none of them accepted it,” Daniels said.

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