Unlimited vacation day payouts for government employees?

San Juan County has, until now, maintained a policy of unlimited payouts for unused vacation days of its employees. Needless to say, this could get expensive for the taxpayers. Thankfully, some in the County are looking to change the policy. We decided to lend our support with the following letter to the Farmington Daily-Times.

The proposal by San Juan County to abandon unlimited payouts for
unused vacation time is a “no-brainer.” Obviously, the budgetary
impact of such policies is the most significant issue, with employees
having accrued $1.2 million in unused vacation time. Payouts could
have significant, negative impacts on taxpayers.

Such payouts of unpaid vacation time are nearly unheard of in the
private sector, making them unfair to the workers who actually pay the
bills for government. Since the intent of employers providing
vacations for their employees was to help recharge and energize
workers, such unlimited payout policies defeat the purpose of vacation
leave in the first place. This makes unused vacation time yet another
generous benefit to government workers who already receive retirement
and health care benefits far superior to those in the private sector.

San Juan County’s leaders should be applauded for considering this
issue and should be encouraged to take action by ending this unwise
policy.

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One Reply to “Unlimited vacation day payouts for government employees?”

  1. If you are giving them more that they can use, you are probably giving them too much.

    I once had a job that allowed me to accrue vacation to double my yearly accrual(private sector). Then I had to start taking it. One year the company was having financial problems and asked us to take at least our yearly and part of the accrual. The alternative was to drop the accrual rate, so there was no resistance to this request. However, the company had to manage the program closely as some key positions had to be covered and I think that might work into the equation for law enforcement and fire departments to include EMS.

    Recharge and energize does not apply to many public employees, they go to work to do that. There are some that I have run into that actually work above and beyond, but that is rare.
    The accrual appears on the liability side of the PL ledger. And this probably does not affect government to the same extent as publicly traded or private firms. Besides how many governments have you seen that cared about being good stewards of “we the people’s” money anyway.

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