Separation plan approved
February 20, 2019
Sweetwater County will offer a volunteer separation program for qualifying employees.
During the Sweetwater County Commissioners meeting Tuesday morning, the Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution allowing for the Voluntary Separation Program.
At the Commissioners previous meeting, county human resources director Garry McLean was asked to meet with department supervisors and elected officials about the proposed VSP to find out if they had any areas of concern.
McLean reported he had met with all of them and based on these discussions common concerns about the flexibility of participating in the plan if the position needed restaffing came up.
The wording in the initial VSP stated department leaders and elected officials must agree not to restaff the vacancy. This was something they wanted to change.
McLean said the reasoning for the change was they could still save the county money if a needed position was restaffed because it would be at lower pay grade than what the person taking the VSP was making in that position.
McLean said he was presented with many scenarios where this could happen. In a letter to the Commissioners, McLean stated “Because the scenarios were so factually dependent, I could find no way to consider such requests, except on a case-by-case review.”
Due to these scenarios, McLean changed the language of the VSP. It now states “The board also recognizes that while reducing headcount produces the most significant and enduring savings, other savings and benefits may also potentially be achieved through VSP, such as replacing positions at a lower rate of pay, or reorganization of functions, or acquiring new personnel with valuable skill sets. As such, employees, elected officials and department heads in these circumstances are encouraged to contact the human resources department to bring forth to the board such requests for case-by-case consideration. The board will be evaluating the potential for cost savings and benefit to the organization in any request.”
Under the VSP, qualifying part-time and full-time employees can put in for the VSP by March 30, 2019, to receive the one-time $30,000 payout.
“I do like the restructuring of the wording,” commissioner Roy Lloyd said.
He said in some cases the county could probably save $10,000 to $15,000.
Chairman Wally Johnson said he supported the new version and the flexibility it allows the departments to have.