New vacation policy adopted by county council

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Accrued vacation time by its non-unionized employees has become problematic enough for the County of Essex to the point where a new policy has been adopted.

Essex County council adopted the new policy as put forth by its director of human resources Greg Schlosser.  The policy covers the approximately 56 non-unionized employees the county has.

One of the highlights of the policy is a “use it or lose it” provision which allows employees to only carry forth ten days of vacation time into the next year with the remainder forfeited.

Schlosser stated in his report to county council that, at the end of 2012, there were 12 employees with more than 200 hours of unused vacation accumulated over previous years.

That figure did not include their 2013 vacation allotments.

At the end of January 2013, five employees have over 500 hours of accrued vacation time.

The policy comes into effect Jan. 1, 2014. Vacation time will be forfeited for the first time in Feb. 2015.

“We want to put plans in place for people to use the vacation time,” said Schlosser.

There is a “use it or lose it” provision in the current policy, he added, but it wasn’t forced enough.

Essex County council also approved revisions to its non-union overtime policy. In his report, Schlosser explained “the intent of the proposed policy is to more closely document what the current practices are. There have been a few modifications to current practices intended to introduce more balance, where possible.”

Schlosser noted that administration surveyed other municipal employers.

“The survey results showed a similar non-uniform administration of overtime for non union employees. The revised policy attempts to reflect what the most common approach to non-union overtime was. More specifically, that is, an extra week of time off in lieu of overtime worked, and payment only for significant extra hours.”

The extra week in time off would also fall under the “use it or lose it” provision, he added.

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