The Pulaski County Commissioners met last night, their first meeting with two new commissioners Larry Brady and Terry Young, before a packed audience. Many of the attendees were county employees who had a number of issues with the new county handbook, and the commissioners heard their arguments last night.
Sheriff Michael Gayer told the commissioners that a number of deputies had approached him to express their concerns with the policies laid out in the handbook – their biggest concern regarding paid time off, which several deputies argued had been cut drastically. The employees argued that because they work a variety of different shifts – eight-, ten-, twelve-, or in some cases even 24-hour days – the employees are going from a total of 336 hours of paid time off per year to just 116 hours per year. As a result, a number of employees are considering transferring out of the county in order to receive the benefits they feel they deserve.
Gayer said that because the Handbook Committee was made up of only a council-member, a commissioner, and a department head, the committee did not have a firm grasp on what the needs of county employees in each department would be. He said a handbook that lumped all the departments into one category was not going to suit the needs of the county.
Commission President Tracey Shorter recommended that the commissioners table this matter for the time being because she feels it is going to open a can of worms when dealing with paid time off and the handbook. A motion was made and approved to table the matter until the Handbook Committee could come to a meeting of the commissioners and discuss the matter further.