All companies and government agencies offer some form of time off plans. Whether it ranges from partial pay, to full pay for certain lengths of times, vacation or sick leave or any other alteration, time off for workers have become a staple of the workplace in America. The city of Cincinnati has now been reported to offer perhaps too much in benefits for their employees, as the city’s liabilities related to the expense has soared.
Worker’s Leave Costs Cincinnati $110 million
Worker’s time off has cost the city $110 million that relates to sick leave, vacation time and other forms of leave. While a cost is expected to be incurred, this high level of money, especially in times where governments consistently ask for more money or forms or revenue to generate money, is viewed as excessive.
A detailed report was given to the Cincinnati council members in regards to these Cincinnati business deals that have allowed one in every three city workers to have more than six work weeks off in 2011. This high level of absenteeism and paid leave cost the city over $110 million.
Some have been quick to point out that the $110 million is not exactly too “bad” of a number, as it includes some standard level or pay outs to employees in it that will be used in parts of this year. They argue that when that number is subtracted from the $110 million sum, than the liability will actually be less.
Councilwoman Roxanne Qualls was quick to respond and stated that such expenditures and generous packages is something that the city in quickly becoming unable to afford.
Police and fire departments make up a large portion of this excessive liability due to union contracts that grant the workers above market level benefits, at the cost of fiscal stability to the city. Out of the nearly $22 million in comp time, over $20 million of it alone went to the police department. And out of the $6.7 million of birthday, holiday or personal leave, the fire department made up $5.2 million of it.
Despite these outrageous levels of packages offered, voters took away the government’s ability to limit these excessive pay outs in last November’s election with the Ohio Issue 2 vote.
The Budget and Finance Committee is set to review the report tomorrow and determine what steps, if any are to be taken to address this large fiscal responsibility the city owes to its workers.