Tuesday, October 16, 2018

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On-call pay on Eau Claire County Board agenda

Board delayed vote on Dec. 5

  • Eau-Claire-County-Courthouse-2

    Staff file photo

On-call pay policies for Eau Claire County employees may be updated for social workers who could be needed for emergencies on nights, weekends and holidays.

Changes to the county employee handbook will be considered during the County Board meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Courthouse, 721 Oxford Ave.

The proposed changes would establish on-call pay of $30 on weeknights, $48 on Saturdays and Sundays and $60 on holidays for social workers who agree to be available to respond to juvenile apprehension calls. Those who do respond to a call also will be paid for that time at their regular hourly rate.

The on-call pay policy change follows last year’s merger of the county’s juvenile detention center into the Human Services Department where the social workers work. With the integration, social workers are being added to the pool of potential on-call employees for the detention center.

The additional pay has an estimated fiscal impact of $26,813, which is included in the Human Services Department’s budget, according to a memo to county supervisors.

The proposed handbook changes were debated during the Dec. 5 County Board meeting, but supervisors voted 17-9 to send them back to the Human Resources Committee.

Several supervisors at that meeting expressed concern on what approving on-call pay for social workers would mean to other employee groups.

Supervisor Steve Chilson said other county employees get comp time for on-call duties, and he noted that those workers may also want to get pay instead.

“To set it for one and not others, doesn’t make a lot of sense to me,” he said of the proposal for on-call social workers during the Dec. 5 meeting.

Others also wanted the assurance that changing the handbook for some employees wouldn’t have wider ramifications for the county.

“We need to be aware if it does spread to other departments, it may require a budget amendment,” said Supervisor James Dunning, chairman of the Finance and Budget Committee.

Other business

Also during Tuesday’s meeting, the County Board is scheduled to vote on dissolving a small agency it has used to spur business development in the area.

The Industrial Development Agency is part of county economic development efforts that began in the late 1970s. But the IDA’s role diminished in the following decades as other organizations became involved in economic development.

The agency’s five-member board has only met twice in the last eight years. And the agency’s main function has been to contribute to the Eau Claire Area Economic Development Corp., Momentum West and the Chippewa Valley Innovation Center.

The IDA’s funding, which came from sales of county land years ago, is on pace to run out in 2019.

Contact: 715-833-9204, andrew.dowd@ecpc.com, @ADowd_LT on Twitter

EAU CLAIRE COUNTY BOARD »Meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the boardroom at the courthouse, 721 Oxford Ave.

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