Trumbull commissioners cap cashed out vacation time to three weeks


By Ed Runyan

runyan@vindy.com

WARREN

The Trumbull County commissioners on Wednesday imposed a three-week limit on the amount of vacation time nonunion county employees can cash in at the end of this year as a cost-saving measure.

Based on a review of the current usage of the program, reducing the amount to three weeks from a current maximum of six will save the county $95,800 this year, human resources director Richard Jackson said.

His analysis showed that 45 people cashed in more than three weeks worth of vacation time last year, so reducing the amount of cashed-in time to three weeks is likely to affect about 45 employees.

The commissioners have been reviewing the county’s sick and vacation program for several weeks after learning that employees’ cashing in sick and vacation time cost the county about $1.2 million last year.

Cashing in sick time is not being changed at this time, Jackson said.

He also reviewed the possibility of capping vacation time at four weeks, but that would have reduced the cost by about $39,000, Jackson said. He believed it wouldn’t be fair to eliminate more of the program than that a third of the way into the year, he said.

The three commissioners and Auditor Adrian Biviano agreed something needed to be done to reduce the cost. Biviano has been off work for several weeks and not available to ask his opinion of the program.

The change will not affect union employees because it will need to be negotiated with them because it is part of their collective-bargaining agreement.

The commissioners have said they intend to negotiate with the unions in their next contract to reduce or eliminate the cost from their wages.

Jackson said most of the contracts controlled by the commissioners expire in mid-2020.

After approving the change, Commissioner Mauro Cantalamessa said economic issues, including the recent idling of the GM Lordstown complex, has made it necessary to “right size” the county’s expenses. This is one way to begin to do that, he said.

There was a Monday deadline to notify the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System of the scope of the program in 2019.

County Recorder Todd Latell said of the change, “We’ll see how it affects everybody and how it plays out, but I give the commissioners credit for looking at alternative ways to help with our budget concerns.”

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