NEWS

Antrim policies in practice don't match handbook

PAT FRIDGEN

The Antrim Township personnel policy is out of date, and supervisors started

reviewing its contents March 1.

Township administrator Brad Graham said the insurance company and a

consultant had recommended the document be updated. Secretary Mary Klein had

marked sections that caught her attention and they asked supervisors James

Byers, Curtis Myers, Fred Young III, Sam Miller and Rick Baer for comments

and to also take the policy home for further study.

The policy and schedule of benefits were last amended in March 2009.

Klein said there were many things that were not being done or people were

not aware of them. Graham noted emergency snow plow drivers, for instance,

were not taking a half-hour break every six hours, which would cast

liability on Antrim if they were ever in an accident. The road crew was also

skipping lunch so it could leave work at 3 p.m. rather than 3:30 p.m.

³If the Department of Labor audits us and they haven¹t clocked out for

lunch, we¹re in violation of the law,² said Klein.

In addition, the manual called for the township to examine employees¹

driving records every two years, although township solicitor John Lisko had

recommended annually. Klein said that hadn¹t been done since she was hired

in November 2008. Antrim was also supposed to pay for the CDL license

renewals of employees, but no one had asked her for reimbursement.

³The burden¹s on them,² said Young. ³They¹re supposed to read this.²

All personnel were required to follow established safety rules and

procedures in the Antrim Township Safety Policy, but Klein and Graham, who

came onboard in Feburary 2009, had never seen the policy.

No equipment operators were notifying department heads when they were taking

prescription medications, in violation of township policy. Several

supervisors wanted a clause deleted pertaining to fulltime employees who

volunteered with a fire/EMS organization. Currently someone who was on a

call at the normal start of work would be compensated for lost time.  Baer

said that since no one now worked with the  Rescue Hose Company, the line

item should be taken out. Klein thought it could be dealt with on a case by

case basis.

There was also concern since the benefits policy stated that fulltime

employee health insurance was paid for at 100 percent by the township, and

employees at 20 to 39 hours per week were covered 50 percent. Klein wasn¹t

sure if that referred to permanent or temporary parttime employees, so

Graham suggested rewording it to say they must work 1,020 hours a year. Life

insurance coverage was also more than stated in the policy. It was no longer

$20,000 per person but equal to the employees¹ salary, but had not been

changed on paper, said Klein. Nor had the policy  been updated to reflect

that parttime people could not participate in the pension plan.

The board will address those and other issues at a future meeting. Graham

urged adoption of a tight document.

³We want to eliminate the opportunity for discretion. In case there is ever

a lawsuit, we want to have followed all the rules.²