Report: Unused Sick Time Could Cost Mass. Taxpayers Millions - NECN
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Report: Unused Sick Time Could Cost Mass. Taxpayers Millions

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    Report: Unused Sick Time Could Cost Mass. Taxpayers Millions

    More than 1,000 hours of unused sick time and weeks of untaken vacation time by state workers reportedly could have a massive impact on taxpayers.

    (Published Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017)

    More than 1,000 hours of unused sick time and weeks of untaken vacation time by state workers reportedly could have a massive impact on taxpayers.

    Inspector General Glenn Cunha, a Beacon Hill watchdog, sent a letter to lawmakers warning them to be cautious of the potential payouts.

    In his report, more than 10,000 state employees have 1,000 hours or more of unpaid sick time, which could amount to a $117 million liability.

    He also says that nearly 20,000 employees have five weeks of unused vacation time, which could cost taxpayers an additional $217 million.

    "These are employment benefits, not retirement benefits," Cunha told NBC Boston. "And if you can't use all of it, the maximum you should be able to carryover is two weeks."

    These payouts could be sooner than expected, as he reports about 30 percent of state employees can retire.

    Gov. Charlie Baker’s plan in his last budget proposal to freeze unused sick time at 1,000 hours was denied by the state House and Senate

    Cunha has his own proposal, which caps unused sick time at 200 hours.

    He says that would significantly lower the payouts to the state's highest earners - some of whom claim 100 percent of unused sick time.

    Just this year the President of Mount Wachusset Community College, David Asquino received a $266,000 sick time pay out. A 200-hour cap would have brought Asquino's haul down to $30,000.

    The legislature's public service committee says it will hold hearings on several proposals relative to second vacation time within the next month.

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