Some City of Memphis employees get 75 paid days off each year - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Some City of Memphis employees get 72 paid days off each year

(WMC-TV) – Would you like to be off for 72 days each year and still be paid for them? Some Memphis employees are doing just that -- and taxpayers are footing the bill.

City of Memphis Human Resources Director Quintin Robinson warned Memphis City Council about a paid leave problem. He says city employees who have put in 25 years or more are off nearly half the year when you count weekends.

"This is impacting our ability to provide critical services and in some cases, driving up overtime costs," said Robinson.

Robinson says after the first year on the job, a city employee receives 13 paid holidays, 12 paid sick days, 10 vacation days, and can earn up to four bonus days. That totals 39 paid days off each year.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American has 24 paid days off each year after one year on the job.

By year 25, City of Memphis employee accumulate 13 paid holidays, 30 sick days, 25 vacation days, and can earn four bonus days, amounting to 72 days off of paid leave per year.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, after 25 years on a job, the average American has 34 paid days off per year.

"To meet the financial challenges, it is imperative that we manage paid leave time," said Robinson.

In the City of Memphis, out of 6,728 full-time employees, 844 of them have 25 or more years of service. That is 12.5 percent of the city's workforce, who each have 72 paid days off.

Memphis Fire Fighters Association President Thomas Malone says benefits are a draw for good talent to work in government because their salaries are lower than the regular market.

"This is an earned benefit, they've been model employees," said Malone. "They came to work. You make no bonus days if you don't come to work."

Malone says the city previously turned down changes to paid leave during negotiations over the now reversed 4.6 percent pay cut. He says the City Council Personnel Committee is the wrong platform for this kind of discussion. He thinks he should be hashed out in labor negotiations with the unions.

"To bring this before the council is totally inappropriate," said Malone. "We think that this should be done at the negotiating table the way the citizens of this city said."

Firefighters and police have a different model for holidays than other employees.

The fire and police unions say this YouTube video explains best why they do not get actual holidays: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bOIKwjnzzWo&sns=fb&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DbOIKwjnzzWo%26sns%3Dfb

To learn more about City of Memphis paid time off policies, click on the following links:

City of Memphis paid holiday policy

City of Memphis paid vacation policy

City of Memphis sick leave policy

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