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New county policy clears another hurdle

The new Pierce County personnel policy is one step away from reality.

Tuesday, the board approved the first reading of the policy, meaning it'll be up for final approval at next Tuesday's board meeting.

According to county documents, the changes are due to the passage of last year's Budget Repair Bill, as it required issues such as filling position vacancies, employee benefits, etc., be included in the personnel policy, as they are no longer addressed in collective bargaining.

The policy changes are set to go into effect Sunday, March 4, which is the start of the next full payroll for the four unions converting (AFSCME Courthouse, Highway and Human Services Support Staff, and Teamsters Professionals).

Tuesday's meeting was attended by various members of those unions and one member voiced his frustration if the policy is approved.

"I am very fortunate over the 28 years of work for the Pierce County Highway Department that such a policy of sick leave existed for my health and also the county is very fortunate that I as an employee had that sick leave bank to help through my work comp accident," said Jim Snow in a prepared statement. "...Now we come to the new policy which you have to make a decision to adopt. The new policy states that I will have to pay back all of my borrowed time in the old sick leave policy, 758 hours, before I can take new sick leave. I will either have to take vacation as sick leave because I will not get any sick leave until I pay back all my time I have used in the past."

The new policy for sick leave bank hours calls for, once an employee's sick leave balance has reached the maximum, the added monthly earned sick leave shall not go into a mutual bank.

For more please read the Feb. 22 print version of the Herald.

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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