Sunday, March 07, 2010

Sick Day Tally a Big Liability

An article in today's Star-Ledger notes how police officers eligible for retirement are jumping at the chance before reforms are made to a system that lets them accrue hundreds of sick days over time.

Most employers have a "use it or lose it" policy, but municipal government is not always so strict. The state Division of Local Government Services began making municipalities state the amount owed for sick and vacation days some time ago, in the official budget document. Click here to read an October 2008 Plaintalker post on the subject.

The majority of Plainfield's police officers are at the top of the salary scale. The Star-Ledger article points out that the current system allows payment of the Compensated Absence Liability at the individual's present rate of pay, not the pay level at which the time was accrued. That would be one of the reforms sought.

It will be very interesting to see how the numbers work out in the FY 2011 budget.



Blogger Jackie said...

I think the government should curtail some of their benefits policies in line with private sector. I work for a company with good benefits. My sick time is earned per year and caps off at 240 days. If I quit or retire, it vanishes. If I need it while still employed, it's there for me. Personal days not taken within in the year issued vanish.

Vacation time can't accrue from year to year -- if I don't take it by a certain date, POOF. If I quit or retire, I will get the accrued vacation pay before seeing the door. But it would never be more than the current year's worth.

The government could still have excellent benefits while not playing loose and free with the tax monies of the people. It's time for government to act more like they're running a business without an ever-flowing amount of money.

9:52 AM  
Blogger olddoc said...

Agreed, the question of sickdays, vacation days and personal days must be revisited especially in government contracts. These can no longer be considered an untaxed right of be banked until needed or payed off in the salary of the moment.\

My Granddaughter who works for teh State of Ohio mentinoned that they have to tkake 10 furlough days a year and personal days have been eliminated.

My daughter who works for a private company in DC has told me that she gets no personal days, must use vacation days and they are not subject to unlimited accrual.

I do not know what time limits either has on sick or vacation days but I am sure in the private sector there are limits.

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You won't see big payouts for retiring Plainfield Police or Firemen because their time is already capped. Vacation time must be used within the year, sick time is capped at $15,000, and Accumulated Overtime is limited to a little over 400 hours. It seems that companies that don't pay for accumulated sick-time at retirement are punishing those loyal employees who come to work everyday and benefiting those who use their sick-time as additional vacation time.

2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think $15,000 is a nice gift when retiring and collecting that amount for unused sick time. And capped means that is the maximum amount that can be paid. But what about the 6 months full pay you get when you retire and not even have to show up?

It is a nice investment plan. You can bank sick time earner years ago which was probably $10/hr and get paid 25 years later at $40/hr.

More power to ya.

It's almost just as good as being a council member and put in a few hours a month and get full health benefits.


11:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 2:07pm - It's called SICK time. You aren't entitled to the money unless you are SICK. And, you are not entitled to get sick.

And those LOYAL employees, are coming to work sick because they want the moola at the end of their retirement, not because they are loyal. How do I know? Take the sick time accumulation away and I bet every single one of those loyal employees will happen to be sick the number of days they are allowed to be sick EVERY year. Coincidence? I think not.

10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Change the rules for new hires but not on men and women who have been working under a mutual agreement.

11:44 PM  

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