Town of Halifax, Vermont

June 14, 2012

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 2:00 PM at the town office.  Board members in attendance were Lewis Sumner, Earl Holtz, and Edee Edwards.  Others in attendance were Jessica Bruno, and Brad Rafus.

40 Hour Work Week for Road Crew

Edwards reported that she had clarified with VLCT that discussing salary information is public data and not protected information. Therefore, this meeting should not be an executive session.

The Selectboard discussed ways of fairly compensating the road crew should they switch from a 45 hour work week to a 40 hour work week. This will impact them especially during the Summer months as the road crew would not then receive 5 hours of overtime pay per week.

Edwards presented slides and spreadsheets to the members of the Selectboard summarizing wages and hours for the road crew. Sumner provided wage and hour worksheets for the last three fiscal years provided by Patty Dow.

It was noted that some members of the road crew are not working the extra 5 hours in the Summer. They will need to factor this into their equation. The Selectboard also discussed brining one or two of the road crew’s wages more in line with State average pay. The amount of the increase has not been determined.

Various equations were discussed in order to determine how to reach a fair pay rate. The difficulty was in determining what to budget for overtime hours. The average overtime for individuals was between 280 and 415 hours. The average overtime of everyone combined was 340 hours (over the last three years).

Edwards inquired whether the work can still get done in 40 hours. Rafus believed that the work could be completed in 40 hours in the Summer months. Edwards noted that they should also consider whether they need to have coverage for all work days of the week (i.e. have three people work Monday through Thursday and two people work Tuesday through Friday). The Selectboard will also need to research whether there is some flexibility with scheduling. If someone works 10 hours on Monday, can they leave early on Thursday?

Edwards’ computation used a 42 hour target to bump up wages (2 hours x 1.5 x proposed pay rate)  + (40 hours straight time x pay rate x 52 weeks).

Sumner noted that Wilmington has Summer rates and Winter rates. Edwards and Holtz thought this might add further confusion at this point.

Edwards and Holtz expressed that they thought a 40 hour work week would be the right way to go. It would clear up concerns about issues such as vacation overtime and may better clear up the perception that people are working hours they might not need to. It may also enable us to better control overtime.

Rafus expressed that the road crew is concerned because they can not afford to lose money in the Summer months. He noted that they cut back on uniforms which saved about $3k. He also noted they lost money last year because even though they got a 25 cent raise, their insurance cost them $1500 more out of pocket. He also noted that now their insurance is back where it was two years ago.

Edwards expressed that in the past, the town auditors suggested making a change in the work week on a fiscal year basis. She wondered how difficult it would be to make the change January 1st (calendar year versus fiscal year). This may have less of a financial impact on the road crew as they can then budget for the summer months.

Edwards would like to contact VLCT and see if they have someone who can help them with the calculations so they are fair for both the employees and the town. The VLCT may have percentages or averages to help them with the calculation of overtime.

Sumner would like to look into the two pay rate system (Summer and Winter pay rates).

To summarize, Edwards noted that the road crew needs a predictable amount of money coming in, the town and crew are open to comp time and flex time, the crew needs to be treated fairly, and overtime will be worked only as needed.

Discussion of Agenda Items for June 19, 2012

–         Approval of Minutes June 5, June 8, and June 14, 2012.

–         40 Hour work week

–         Opening of Bids for Fuel, Sand, Roadside Mowing, and Chloride

–         Weir and Sumner Farmhouse roads on the map

–         Josh Road bridge


The meeting was adjourned at 4:52pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Jessica Bruno
Selectboard Secretary