Commission takes new look at PTO

by Brian Bloom

Uintah County commissioners approved the repeal of a 2020 commission decision which would place all Uintah County employees under a previous pair-time-off agreement.

Human Resource director Tonya Craven requested that the 2020 amendment be dissolved citing employees hired after July 2020 were placed on one set of accruals and those before that time were hired under another calling it, “an administrative nightmare.”

She requested the commission consider vacating a 2020 commission decision which limited PTO to a maximum of 600 career hours.

According to the HR director, there are some county employees who, because of their tenures, exceed the total number of PTO accruals by mid-year or earlier, telling the commission some employees accrue 7-8 hours of PTO each pay period.

She noted public safety is a concern because of the rate of turnover in those departments. Less personnel can mean others have to cover shifts, limiting their ability to take time off.

According to Craven, the county currently has 260 full-time or full-time-equivalent employees and 340 employees including part-time and temporary jobs. Eighty-five of those employees would see a change, moving from vacation and sick pay to PTO as they were hired after the July 2020 date.

Prior to the 2020 commission decision, employees used to be able to accrue 1,000 PTO hours which the commission changed by moving 400 hours in what the county called a “sick bank.”

Craven stated that if all eligible employees with sick bank funds would retire simultaneously, the county would have to disperse $113,000.

Last year, Craven said, the total employee hours lost, due to the 600-hour maximum, was 129 total hours. “So not a lot,” she said.

“I think that there is great value in having employees worth and value acknowledged,” Craven said. “The hours that are earned; the policy acknowledges they are eligible for that time so they should be rewarded for that time.”

In other action, the commission approved a $39,500 purchase for a used 333E John Deer skid loader for the airport and a $300 rezone application fee waiver for a proposed fire station.