Committee revisits non-bargaining personnel policy

Montgomery County may soon have two separate policies for non-bargaining personnel instead of one.

Members of the County Legislature’s Personnel Committee voted Tuesday to send the separate policies to the full Legislature for action at its meeting next week. The measure includes a policy for full-time appointed officials and department heads and a separate policy for elected officials, both full-time and part-time. The policies would take effect retroactively from Jan.1, 2013 and remain in effect until Dec. 31, 2016.

Legislators passed a single policy for all non-bargaining employees in October 2014, but County Executive Matthew Ossenfort vetoed the resolution because it contained two controversial provisions–health insurance for part-time employees, including legislators, and stipends for chairs of legislative committees. District 7 Legislator Barbara Wheeler, chair of the Personnel Committee, initially removed the two items, but they were restored by an amendment proposed by District 2 Legislator Thomas Quackenbush. Wheeler and her committee then began working to revise the policy.

Both proposed policies provide specific rules as to the work day and work week, pay periods, mileage allowances, holidays, insurance, retirement, longevity increments, and availability of employee assistance programs.

The policy for elected officials applies to the sheriff, county executive, district attorney, county clerk and county treasurer, all of whom are full-time, and the head coroner, coroner, chair of the legislature and legislators, all of whom are part-time. Under the proposal, full-time elected officials would pay 15 percent of the cost of health insurance as well as a $25 co-pay for each claim. Part-time elected officials would be offered health insurance at the full premium rate. The policy also specifies annual salaries for legislators at the current level of $10,000 each, and the chairman of the legislature at $15,000, but does not include stipends for chairs of legislative committees.

John Becker

John Becker is both a Reporter and Consulting Editor for The Compass. He and his wife Pat operate Abbey Farms in Amsterdam NY.