Casco considers paid leave days for part-time staff

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

CASCO — The chairman of the Casco Board of Selectmen said she was excited to have an updated personnel policy on its way to legal counsel for a final fine-tuning.

“This is going to be great. We are going to have a 2015 on our personnel policy,” Chairman Holly Hancock said.

Some of the changes had been recommended by the law firm engaged by the town, Jensen Baird Gardener & Henry.

One amendment would move the personnel review from twice yearly to once a year.

Another change — which was recommended by Town Manager Dave Morton — would provide a few paid leave days for part-time year-round employees who have worked for the town for more than three years.

“I am requesting the selectmen to provide a benefit for regular part-time employees, who are employed on a year-round basis, at least 20 hours a week, for a period of three years,” Morton said.

“By year three, they would qualify for three paid leave days,” he said, adding the number of leave days would not exceed five days.

Full-time employees receive ten paid leave days, he said.

“Our part-time employees — they really fill the gap for us. We have hours of training and literally years invested in some of these people. I think it is appropriate to provide them with some sort of benefit,” Morton said.

Selectman Tom Peaslee asked if other towns offer this benefit.

“It’s a mixed bag. Some towns offer a host of benefits for employees who work 20 hours a week. The further west you go, the more it is done like we have been doing it.” Morton said.

The more you go south, you see more benefits for part-time employees,” he said.

Selectman Grant Plummer cautioned that part-time employees are often called in to cover the vacation time of full-time staff, which might prove problematic when scheduling leave days.

Morton said time off is coordinated through department supervisors.

The board asked about the cost.

“It is not an incredible expense,” Morton said, estimating the cost of paid leave days would not exceed $400 per person.

The board approved the changes to the personnel policy, pending legal review.

 

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