(12/11/2014)
Some members of Grantsville Town Council's Employee Handbook Committee are rethinking issues that would affect town employee benefits, after the council increased benefits some months back.

The current package includes 24 sick days and 24 vacation days, with the benefits available to newly hired employees.

The town has about eight full-time employees and at least one part-time employee.

Elected officials are paid a stipend.

Mayor Curtis Garretson said the issue seems to be that the handbook committee (two council members, two town employees) want to rescind the current benefit package with the approval of a new handbook.

"Council members should vote to decrease benefits in January, if that's what they want," he said, declining to call a special meeting in December.

"It is not a good idea to take away benefits given to employees. Benefits are what attracts and retains employees to low paying jobs," he said.

More directly affected by the roll-back is police chief Andy Walker and water plant employee Roger Sweppenhiser, said Garretson.

Chief Walker advised the council if the cut-backs are approved he will bring a suit against the town, having consulted an attorney.

The Herald was unable to obtain comments on the issue from the police chief or members of the handbook committee.

Garretson said individuals who want to reduce the previously approved benefit package are likely saying it costs too much money, and there is some opposition to giving the package to new employees, although he indicated there may be other concerns.

"I will encourage the council to stick with the current system that they essentially promised the employees with a 4-1 vote," Garretson concluded.


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