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Brick's Unused Sick, Vacation Liabilities Fall to $6.7M

Most new employees retirement payouts now limited to dollar amounts, however

Brick's outstanding obligations to pay out unused sick and vacation time to employees as they retire have decreased in the past year, budget documents show.

According to the 2012 township budget, Brick's compensated absence liabilities – the technical name for unused sick and vacation time owed to employees – currently totals $6,729,539.

When the 2011 budget was approved last year, the total obligations were $7,299,391.

Those figures include only employees of the municipal government; school district employees and employees of the Brick Township Municipal Utilities Authority fall under different contracts.

The current liability consists of 30,656 days owed to members of the township's three unions – the Transport Workers Union, Policemen's Benevolent Association and Teamsters – as well as unclassified employees. Union members' benefits are covered under state law and labor agreements, while nonunion employees' benefits stem from a local ordinance.

Members of the PBA account for the bulk of the current liabilities – about $3.5 million – while TWU workers are owed approximately $1.7 million and Teamsters members are owed $528,155. Nonunion employees are owed $889,705.

Those numbers fluctuate depending on the year. Township officials said retirement payouts, as well as terminations or employees using – or not using – sick or vacation time can affect the amount of the liability. For 2012, $900,000 is set aside for potential payouts.

In 2010, Gov. Chris Christie signed a law limiting employee sick and vacation time retirement payouts to $15,000, according to Township Attorney Jean Cipriani.

"The sick time that was accumulated prior to the date of legislation in 2010 … would be retained by the employee and they would be entitled to cash that out," she said.

The amount of sick time that is given per year to township employees is dictated by state law. The state minimum is 15 days, and the carrying over of sick time cannot be restricted, said Business Administrator Scott Pezarras.

However, going forward, payouts will be restricted. Members of the TWU hired after 1998 are limited to $7,500 while the recent police contract caps payouts at $25,000.

"That is going to be a huge savings moving forward," Pezarras said.

However, "if you already earned that benefit, it cannot be taken away without a constitutional change," he said.

JD June 05, 2012 at 09:52 AM
You can negotiate the max payout at retirement to cops at $15,000 like the rest of NJ employees!!! You can acrue them... but there is also max you can take in a year.... but can be used for short term disabilitiy... and yes, you can CAP the payout to all employees regardless of how much they have in the "bank".
Scott Pezarras June 05, 2012 at 12:26 PM
JD I am unaware of any bill being signed into law affecting local public employees. There are several bills being considered, in particular the O'Scanlon bill which is supported by the Governor. State workers are Capped at $15000, and we have Caps in our contracts as well 7500 for TWU, $25,000 for police, but you cannot take away benefits that have already accrued. It would violate the State's constitution. What the O'Scanlon and other Bills would do is stop gap any additional accruals and set a limit for future employees. Brick has already put provisions in place for future employees.
JD June 05, 2012 at 12:31 PM
You can CAP the payout at retirement... like state employees at $15,000 for cops. That is not taking away benefits accrued... The statue speaks of accuring.... but doesnt mention CAP payout... that is negotiated! By making it law for local employees... that makes that issue non-negotiable and not sosomething you give a raise in lieu of!
Scott Pezarras June 05, 2012 at 12:45 PM
JD I have alays siad this needs to be negotiated, but the other side needs to agree. In the last round of negotiations the Twp brought the avg buyout of police time for new employees down by over 50%. That is what was negotiated.
Cosmo June 05, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Scott Thank you for your response, no doubt the provision was in the contracts and all of the legal punctuation is correct. The point I am making is that these "provisions" are not there by accident or based on some officials "goodwill". They are there intentionally and logic states that someone was compensated to put them there, or avoid putting any kind of limitations on carryforward accruals of time. Several people mentioned that it was in the contract, so why refuse it? I am saying those labor representatives "lobbied" for those limitations not to exist. So the trusted official didn't just give our money away unilaterally, they had motivation. Those individuals have no honor. Our country and states and municipalities became great because our leaders had a good moral compass that made them make decisions for the greater good. That character is now extinct.


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