Last week, members of the Plymouth Common Council received proposed modifications to the Employee Handbook from City Attorney Jeff Houin and Human Resource Manager Jen Klingerman.

Houin said it was the first draft and not the final version.  He said no action is requested at this point.  The attorney said there are some other updates they will be discussing with HR and the Clerk-Treasurer along with some technical corrections. 

The main point discussed by Klingerman was the vacation policy.  She said the Employee’s Benefits Committee, initially implemented by Mayor Mark Senter met in February with new committee members.  The committee is comprised of the HR Manager, Mayor, City Attorney, Clerk, and council members Dave Morrow and Linda Starr. 

The current vacation policy states that the year of hire for a new employee they are not eligible for any vacation time. The change was considered a recruitment tool.  New employees would accrue 8 hours a month of vacation time, like the sick leave policy. There would be a maximum of 80 hours accrued in the first year of employment.  Firefighters and paramedics would accrue 12 hours a month because they work a 24-hour shift for a maximum of 72 hours. The lateral transfer policy will be modified to fit the city’s new policy if passed by the council. 

The change is an incentive to bring new employees to the City of Plymouth departments. 

A second change would offer a “buy-back” option.  Once an employee reaches 15 years of consecutive service with the city, they are eligible for 4 weeks of paid vacation and at 25 years it increases to 5 weeks of vacation.  Those long-term employees would be able to have the city buy back one of their weeks of vacation.  You can request up to 40 hours, once a year as an extra paycheck.  You would work that week and get paid plus get paid for your vacation week.

City council members didn’t have any questions on the proposals.  The committee will continue meeting and ironing out the details.  The City Council will be requested to consider the modifications in the next month or two.