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County Board approves new personnel policy

The new Pierce County personnel policy was up for one final debate during Tuesday's county board meeting and one ensued.

A revised policy was created due to last year's "Budget Repair Bill," which made significant changes to public employee compensation and collective bargaining provisions to provide state and local governments with increased flexibility needed to reduce costs.

One of the essentials of the bill changes issues such as filling position vacancies and employee benefits be included in the personnel policy, as they are no longer part of collective bargaining.

Dawn Churchill, a 22-year employee of the human services department, called the new policy "a discredit" and a "slap in the face" to employees, and called for the board to reconsider this motion.

In addition, the new policy for sick leave bank hours calls for, once an employee's sick leave balance has reached the maximum, the added monthly earned sick leave shall not go into a mutual bank.

Jim Snow, a 28-year employee of the highway department, mentioned the same concerns about the sick banks he had at a previous meeting.

County Supervisor Mel Pittman addressed those in the crowd and said, as a supervisor, his job is to look in the best interest of the county, and said the new policy fits it. Acting Board Chairman Jeff Holst said the policy could be reviewed and replaced at any time.

The vote ended up 11-2, with Supervisors Ben Plunkett and Cullen Peterson voting no. Supervisors Jon Aubart, Ken Snow and Rod Rommel were absent. The new policy went into effect Monday.

For more please read the March 7 print version of the Herald.

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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