State employees still allowed to accrue unused vacation time
July 8, 2010
Despite warnings, Sacramento continues to offer members of four different state employee unions the chance to rack up large amounts of unused vacation time. [California Watch]
Tentative agreements on new contracts have already been reached with unions representing state patrol officers, firefighters, psychiatric technicians, and social services/health workers. All four agreements, subject to legislative approval, run through 2013.
Analysts say that each of the four agreements carries over the original language from previous contracts regarding unused vacation time. Under terms being offered, state employees are allowed to accrue up to 640 hours of unused vacation time throughout their careers and cash out any unused portion once they leave.
Thousands of state employees have accrued more vacation than their contracts are supposed to allow. Sacramento has spent hundreds of millions of dollars over the last few years cashing out massive leave balances for employees who exceeded the cap, with many employees taking home six-figure checks. At least two of the highest-earning employees face civil or criminal investigations into their conduct while working for the state.