By Liz Wood 

Town employee holiday pay changed


The Saratoga Town Council held a special meeting Dec. 23 at 2:30 p.m., to discuss holiday pay.

After a one-and-one-half hour executive session, the council reconvened and passed several motions regarding holiday pay.

Mayor-elect Ed Glode was invited to participate in the executive session, but did not vote on the matter.

Saratoga Mayor John Zeiger explained the employee handbook was not clear about holiday pay and that there was not a uniform pay procedure for town employees in different departments. This meeting was intended to clear up the confusion for the year 2014 and the new council taking over Jan. 6, 2015 will not be obligated by the vote made on Dec. 23.

In the first motion, councilwoman July Welton moved to pay full-time regular employees holiday pay for 2014. Councilman Steve Wilcoxson seconded the motion. Councilman Mike McWain and councilwoman Sue Howe were absent from the meeting.

The second motion, made by Welton, was for extra holiday pay and applied to employees who are full-time and part-time. These employees would be paid time-and-a-half if they work on a holiday.

The motion was passed.

The third motion applied to exempt employees including salaried employees who do not get holiday pay.

The motion, made by Welton, stated if an exempt employee worked the holiday, they would get holiday pay for the actual hours worked plus their regular salary pay.

That motion was passed by Zeiger, Welton and Wilcoxson.

The approved changes are retroactive through 2014.

“There were some concerns that one department was getting holiday pay or potentially extra holiday pay,” Zeiger said. “We are trying to get this cleared and will need to do some more checking … ”

Some, in fact, may have been paid too much, Zeiger said, and that is what the town is looking into right now.

The personnel handbook said holiday pay is eight hours, Zeiger said. “We are trying to get that all straightened out, that if ‘Johnny Go-lucky’ worked 12 hours, does he get 12 hours holiday pay or just get eight hours holiday pay as the handbook says.”

“What we are trying to do here,” Welton said, “is if you worked a holiday, such as Christmas for example, the regular full-time, part-time employees would get paid time-and-a-half for the hours they actually work.”

Glode said exempt employees who work on holidays would get paid for the hours they worked at their normal rate, plus holiday pay for the number of hours they worked.

The personnel handbook defines 10 days as holidays for the town of Saratoga employees, Glode said after the meeting. Glode said the personnel handbook needs to be defined. Zeiger said the council has already been reviewing the handbook and will continue with the new council in 2015.

“That was the reason for the three motions,” Welton said.

Welton made a motion for the town hall staff to go back and structure the change from Jan. 1 to see who needs to be paid and who has been overpaid.

Vacation pay is another issue that the council will need to work on Glode said, but that will reviewed by the new council.

Cox asked for clarification on whether she just writes the checks or puts the information together for the council. “We will need to meet with those employees,” Zeiger told Cox. Welton and Glode will review the data before meeting with the employees.

Zeiger said he is not trying to dodge the bullet, but rather trying to resolve the issue before his term ends.

Glode and councilmen-elect Richard Raymer and Will Faust will be sworn in at the Jan. 6, 2015 meeting.


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