A lot has been made of late in the SUN about the Dracut Selectman giving New Year’s Eve off as an added holiday to some town employees. Some say it is just another of the many “perks” public employees receive.
I know of several occasions where public workers ranging from Police, DPD employees, DPW workers and teachers who have taken a day off to participate at a Charity Golf Tournament or leave for a vacation trip a day early.
I recently received information about some teachers who were asked to participate at a charity golf tournament representing their school. They paid for the cost of the golf but were not charged a vacation or personal day because the Superintendent wanted to have the school represented at a worthwhile fundraiser. It was considered a “business” day because they were there to represent the school.
I have no issue with any of the above scenario’s but I am sure some do and that leads me to ask if during contract negotiations should Manager’s / School Committee’s / Superintendent’s etc. restrict what a public employee can do on time off granted in the contract and should City Councils, School Committee’s and Selectman set restrictions on allowing public employee’s to “Represent” their city/town/ school while on the clock at ANY Charity Event ?
Is it wrong for teachers, police, city or state workers to be paid a days pay to represent their city or school at a charity function? Isn’t networking a good thing? In the private sector we see it done often. I’m betting we will at some point soon see someone trying to make this a big deal. Is it?
How many public employees are at the ST. Patrick’s Day Breakfast when it runs after 9:00 am? Is it okay for the City Manager to teach a class at 8:00 am a couple days a week and get into the office at 10:00? Where should the line be drawn? Does it depend as always if it involves people we like versus those we don’t?
Should the public be upset that a teacher or Superintendent uses a vacation day or personal day to leave early for a vacation? If the time is theirs and they have it should the public be informed of what they use their time doing? Should they have restrictions and would Unions allow this?
I worked at a printing company that didn’t allow Vacation time to be used in July or August because that was their busiest time. The State of Mass said that this company was allowed to set restrictions because they didn’t have to give vacation time.
If it can be done in the private sector, should we be able to do it in the public sector?
So what do you think? Should tighter restrictions be placed on public sector employees?