Handbook changes coming

The Dunkirk Town Board looked at the employee handbook one page at a time in proposing changes for full- and part-time employees’ time reporting, vacations and paid breaks.

The town board met Tuesday for a workshop and special meeting to review the employee handbook and conduct business.

The board decided to make changes to the way work time will be reported by instituting time clocks at the beginning of the next pay period on Feb. 26.

It was also decided employees should keep a daily log of activities to be turned in weekly. The highway department currently does a monthly log of activities for budgetary purposes to differentiate between highway work and sewer work, etc.

Supervisor Richard Purol explained the employees are paid monthly but highway employees are paid a mid month amount which is then deducted from the actual amount earned at the end of the month.

Councilman Robert Penharlow said he thinks employees should be paid bi-weekly.

“I don’t think payroll should be an estimate. I don’t believe it is accurate enough,” he said.

Clerk Jean Crane said bi-weekly pay would be an added cost for the town from the payroll agency which was not budgeted for.

Councilman Henry Walldorff said he was uncomfortable with the cost to make the change.

“Is it worth $1,200 extra a year to do it?” he asked.

The board decided not to make a change in the pay schedule.

Next the board broached the topic of lunches. Purol proposed full-time highway employees receive a 20-minute paid lunch on the job. Penharlow said if the highway department gets a paid lunch so should the office employees.

Then the question of a lunch break for part-time employees was asked. The board decided all employees working four hours or more would receive a paid 20-minute lunch.

The board also took on the vacation system which previously gave employees who worked one to 10 years with the town five days vacation and every year after an additional day.

Purol proposed all full-time employees who have worked one to five years receive a one-week vacation, six to 10 years two weeks and 11 or more would get three weeks.

Purol asked Councilman Mark Kutner what he thought of the proposal.

“I haven’t had two weeks off in 30 years so I am not a good authority on this,” he responded.

The question of part-time workers was brought up again.

The board agreed it should be one to five years receives one week of vacation and six or more receive two weeks as a maximum.

The board also decided to add the recently passed code of ethics to the handbook.

All changes will be reviewed by the board and adoption of the changes will be discussed at the board’s next meeting Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. in the town hall.