"We believe these changes will promote financial viability for the County's future while still providing excellent benefits for our employees," the memo said.
In August, it came to light that 25 high-ranking county employees had received
Last week's memo goes further in containing future costs. The changes, effective
* Sick & vacation leave will be combined as "Paid Time Off" (PTO) and accumulation of those hours will be capped at 600 within a year's time.
* Employees with more than 600 hours as of
* When an employee retires or is terminated, he or she will be paid only a total of 600 hours in accumulated PTO, with the exception of any grandfathered leave.
The new policy will also affect the five-year health insurance benefit that employees who hired on before 2008 could enjoy upon retirement. For those individuals still with the county, that benefit will phase out over time:
* All employees in this category who retire on or before
* After 2021 and through
* As of
According to the memo,
* For single coverage, the county will pay
* For two-party coverage, the county will pay
* For family coverage, the county will pay
Employees will be able to choose from several health insurance plans, including some with high deductibles. Those who opt for more expensive plans than what the county will support must pay the difference, the memo said, but if they choose less expensive plans, the county will deposit the difference in the employee's Health Savings Account.
A heated public hearing in August centered on the need to raise property taxes 25 percent in order to fund much-needed employee raises along with some overdue capital improvements. That five-hour session ended with Commissioners choosing to postpone their decision until
RELATED: After 5-hour tax hearing, Weber Commissioners push decision to November
According to Weber County Administrative Services Director
"During the public hearing, commissioners committed to bringing those benefits more in line with the private sector," Dee said Friday. "We did research and think we accomplished that goal."
"Some of that will be offset by incentives to switch to higher deductible plans," Hatch said Friday.
Although some employees might view the recent memo as bad news, Hatch said the county is keeping its promise as far as what was discussed during the August tax hearing. And he encouraged employees to stay tuned for "the good news."
"In the past, employees have had a benefits-rich package with a lower salary," Hatch said. With the recent benefit trims, pay raises are now being discussed, and Hatch said there could be "an across-the-board increase that would affect every employee" in the coming year's budget. The county employs about 1,000 workers. The tentative budget is due by
"What we've consistently heard is that employees want more in their paychecks," Hatch said. "We have to respond to market demands and to good financial planning."
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