Proposed changes to Personnel Ordinances – Places Caps, reduces sick days, gives Manager some authority(?)


Lost in this weeks City Council Packet is some changes to the current Personnel Ordinance.

Which reads: Unless otherwise stated, all full-time positions not covered by collective bargaining, including department heads, confidential employees and other non-union personnel, shall be covered by and receive the benefits provided for in this chapter (GN that is chapter 56 entitled Personal.)

Included among the proposed changes, which the City Council has to approve:

January 1st all accrual (sick, vacation, personal days) will take effect instead of the waiting until the hire date (anniversary) of the individual.

All employees will receive their paychecks by direct deposit every two weeks

Personal Days will “increase” from 3 to 4 (with the 4th being designated as the day after Thanksgiving)

Sick days are reduced from 15 a year to 12 a year

Carrying Sick days will be capped at 300

New employees (as of when this passes) will no longer qualify for buy back of unused sick leave

One of the items up for a vote that seems very vague states that:(Bold Mine) Department Heads will receive at least four (4) weeks of vacation*: other professional staff shall receive a vacation allotment as determined by the City Manager based on prior years of service and current job responsibility’s

Fist off who is considered under the other professional staff (would the Asst. City Clerk, Asst. Treasurer, Managers Executive Assistant)and is that fair to the individual? If the current Manager doesn’t like you, can he not grant vacation time? Does that also mean if the Manager wants to, he can say that the Deputy DPD Director gets 6 weeks vacation while giving the DPD Department Head only 4 weeks?

Here is what the existing ordinances states: All employees, except department heads, who have actually worked for the City for 30 weeks in the aggregate during the 12 months preceding June 1 of such year shall be entitled to a vacation based on years of service as follows:

(a) For up to five years of service: two weeks’ vacation.
(b) For five years but less than 10 years of service: three weeks’ vacation.
(c) For 10 years but less than 20 years of service: four weeks’ vacation.
(d) For more than 20 years of service: five weeks’ vacation.

Why would the City / Current Manager seek to change that? Is that something you would leave up to the politics of whoever the Manager is?

Those that are most affected by these changes are the following and I’m guessing some of their direct reports.

City Manager -City Auditor – City Clerk – Council on Aging Director – Fire Chief
Health Director- Human Relations Manager – Inspectional Services Commissioner – City Solicitor
Library Director – City Messenger – MIS- Chief Information Officer -Assistant City Manager/Operations – Director of Neighborhood Services- Commissioner of Parks and Recreation-Assistant City Manager/Director – Division of Planning and Development – Superintendent of Police -Commissioner of Public Works/Assistant City Manager – Chief Procurement Officer/Purchasing Agent- City Treasurer -City Veterans Director
Executive Director – Lowell Regional Wastewater Utility – Executive Director – Lowell Regional Water Utility

* Note that the 4 weeks vacation for Dept. heads has been in place since 1999 and isn’t something being done by this Administration.

1 thought on “Proposed changes to Personnel Ordinances – Places Caps, reduces sick days, gives Manager some authority(?)

  1. Several years ago the Department Heads had their own union. I cannot remember who got them to deunionize ( is that a real word?) – but I see the potential for the formation of a new union for them. Frankly, if I were a Dept Head, I would more than a little nervous about this. I can certainly see the chance to play favorites and as a former union member- I do not think is a fair thing to do.

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