Commissioners delay vote that would limit paid time off - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Commissioners delay vote that would limit paid time off for Shelby County employees

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The Shelby County Commission delayed a contentious vote Monday that could limit paid time off for county employees.

The proposal has had the county's 6,700 employees on edge for months.  Commissioner Mike Carpenter said he's received violent e-mail and phone threats against the proposal.

"We're simply asking employees to work 70 percent of the month to earn more time off," Carpenter said.

Carpenter said the county can no longer afford the millions of dollars spent on sick leave and bonus days that build up the longer employees work for the county, especially if they avoid sick days.  

But not everyone agreed. Commissioner Walter Bailey said Carpenter's plan is too harsh.

"They've given sweat and blood and dedication and patriotism and commitment, and I wish that we'd show them we appreciate them," Bailey said.

Commissioner Heidi Shafer said this will be a hard call.

"I want to just draw everybody's attention to the fact that there are counties and state governments, and European countries, that are going bankrupt," she said.

Commissioners still have many questions.

"How would this effect our Sheriff's Department?" Commissioner Terry Roland asked.

"Since nobody else has ever done that, I really don't know how to answer that," said Dan Chapman, president of the Shelby County Sheriff's Deputy Association. "I've never seen this anywhere."      

Chapman said most cities require employees work 51 percent of the month.  The unions offered another compromise that would cut bonus days workers get for not taking time off.

About an hour into the meeting, Commissioner Bailey proposed delaying the vote to give the administration, the county commission and unions time to seek further compromise.  Commissioners agreed to hold the vote two weeks.

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