Friday, January 11, 2013

UPDATE to Publishers Request for Investigation on Sick Pay; Separation Agreements Released

On Saturday January 5, 2013, we requested the Township to investigate $18,876.18 worth of Sick Time to be paid to Seven Employees who were listed on a Resolution approved by Council authorizing the payout. Since our request to the Township and publication of same, we continued our own investigation into the payouts. After speaking with multiple employees and several members of Council, it appears three employees on the list may have a provision in their Union contract that would permit the payment of Sick Time for "Layoff."

Those three employees were members of IBEW Local 210. The provision in the contract for "Layoffs" states, "an employee of the Township who, is laid off shall receive payment for unused sick leave at the rate of fifty percent (50%) reimbursement for said days not to exceed $10,000.00. The rate of pay for this reimbursement shall be computed at the employee's daily rate of pay as of the date of separation of service."

The resolution approved by Council states the employees are being paid through the provision of Ordinance 1068 of 1991 which does not include a "Layoff." The conflict remains as the provision in the Ordinance in which Council approved for the sick leave, is not consistent with the provision in Local 210 Contract for Lay Offs.

Although the three employees in our opinion, Carla Dow $10,000, Raymond Farrell $1,838.63 and Jennifer McConaghy $629.15, may be eligible to be paid under Local 210 contract provision for Lay Offs. Council would still need to amend the resolution approving the payment under the correct provision afforded to the employees.

As for the other four employees, one employee is still working part time is part of Local 210 and the other three employees who were laid off, were part of Local 676 Union from the Public Works Department. In reviewing the Collective Bargaining Agreement for Local 676, their contract does not have a separate provision for Layoffs. It is our opinion, with the lack of that provision and the continued wording in the resolution stating the employees are to be paid in accordance with Ordinance 1068-1991, these remaining four employees in which the payout totals $6,408.42, still may not be eligible. 

The Township also released the Separation Agreements for each employee that was further executed by Township Manager Arch Liston. Each agreement contains a provision that each employee waives "all rights to reemployment with Galloway Township."  In exchange for the employee agreeing to the layoff, "Galloway Township will not contest any application for "Unemployment Benefits." 

Council members we spoke to assured us that the Township's Labor Counsel is reviewing the Sick Time Payout. We anticipate Council to decide based on the Attorney's review, which employee will ultimately receive the payout, at the next council meeting on January 22, 2013. 


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